For synod member, evangelization is a ‘purpose, passion and call’

2 Hermenia Adams CMYKFrom Nov. 18-20, nearly 400 clergy, religious and laity will gather for the 11th general synod of the Archdiocese of Detroit on the topic of evangelization. As Synod ’16 approaches, The Michigan Catholic asked a handful of synod members for their thoughts as they prepare to prayerfully discern the Holy Spirit’s will in helping Archbishop Allen H. Vigneron to create a culture of “joyful, missionary discipleship” in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

Name: Hermenia Adams
City of residence: Redford
Parish/position: Nativity of Our Lord Parish, evangeli-zation committee leader & lay minister

Why did you agree to participate in this 2016 Synod on evangelization?
Many Catholics associate evangelization with other non-Catholic religions and not as the work of the Catholic Church — each parish and each individual member. In only recent years has there been a renewed focus on the mission of evangelization and call to ongoing discipleship. My purpose, passion and call are to the work of evangelization — in my family, my parish, my daily life. Being selected as a synod participant is another opportunity to serve.

What excites you about the upcoming synod?
The synod is a climax to the invitation to Catholics to “Come, Encounter Christ” and “Unleash the Gospel!” It’s about creating “Amazing Parishes” that form enthusiastic Catholics who live and share their faith. I expect the Holy Spirit to be with us as He was in the Upper Room with the early Church. I am excited for the opportunity to share the experience with other Synod participants and look forward to the work that will follow!

How have you encountered Christ in your own life?
I am a cradle Catholic, but I experienced the baptism of the Holy Spirit as an adult. I encounter Christ through: His Holy Spirit’s indwelling; Scripture; in Mass and Holy Eucharist; in prayer and simple talks; in family and others I meet on my faith journey — including courageous terminally ill believers. The love and compassion that continues for my family due to the unexpected passing of my husband in 2007 is an encounter with Christ.

In what ways can you say you’ve grown as a disciple in your Christian journey?
Christ is the head of my life. I have grown to rely on His guidance, comfort, direction, prayer and teachings. I believe the Lord has a plan and purpose for each of us, and I am committed to fulfill those things He desires of me. I have learned that putting Jesus first brings love and respect into all other relationships. He values all people. The journey is not always easy, but I can celebrate the highs and lows because He brings good through both.

In your opinion, what is one of the best ways to share Christ with other people?
The best way to share Christ is to tell your story (personal witness) — how he speaks to you in a quiet inner voice; answers your prayers; guides your decisions; comforts you in times of sorrow; transforms your behavior; delivers you in times of trouble, etc. Share Christ without words by living a faith-filled life of joy in knowing we have received the gift of eternal life through Jesus — walk the talk.