WHY "STONE TO FLESH"?
Young adults are leaving the church in droves. We respond to the call for the new evangelization and new missionary zeal requested by Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis by equipping Christians to rediscover their identity as baptized believers, church members and community influencers. We utilize our best experiences and best equippers in empowering young adults so they can be released to serve in their families, neighberhoods, parishes, schools, colleges, churches and places of work.
It takes years to become a good football player, a math whiz, or to learn another language. Likewise, discipleship also requires the investment of time, focus, energy, and money. Our focus is neither academic nor professional. We want to form passionate lovers of Jesus who, after discovering their place in the Father's heart, will be released to draw others into Love in various ministries, vocations, and places. If you want to be equipped in your ministerial call in an accelerated environment of God's grace, we can promise that we will do everything we can to help you reach that goal.
We have to live from a redeemed heart to participate in the purposes of God's heart for a time such as this. We cannot participate without having been transformed, but we also cannot put off the call to serve while we wait indefinitely to first be transformed "enough." Revival starts when we trust God without reservation, when we love Jesus crucified and resurrected fiercely, and when we do unto others what we desire done for us.
What does the logo mean?
Our logo shows a heart of stone becoming a heart of flesh, based on the Ezekiel's vision in Ez 36:26. In popular understanding, it is close to the 'head to heart' journey, understood as one that enables a person to live wholeheartedly, faith and reason working together in harmony. Theologically, a heart gifted with the baptismal grace needs to awaken, experience a revival or renewal, to be fully cooperative and docile to the Holy Spirit in order to live in righteusness and the power of the Spirit.
The heart is the dwelling-place where I am, where I live; according to the Semitic or Biblical expression, the heart is the place "to which I withdraw." The heart is our hidden center, beyond the grasp of our reason and of others; only the Spirit of God can fathom the human heart and know it fully. The heart is the place of decision, deeper than our psychic drives. It is the place of truth, where we choose life or death. It is the place of encounter, because as image of God we live in relation: it is the place of covenant. CCC 2563
We will take you on a journey of the heart.
WHO IS THE SCHOOL FOR? Is it for me?
Are you hungry to see the Presence and the power of God in your life? Do you want to enter into close relationships with others who have a passion to see the Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven? Do you desire to grow in faith and help the Church to become the Bride the world longs for? If your answer is yes, then the school is for you.
The school is intended for all single and married, who want to continue their discipleship process and prepare for Christian ministry and leadership as missionary disciples. *We are not aiming at big numbers but at key people who are hungry for a deep communal environment, ready to transition to a passionate discipleship lifestyle and are ready to be released into the modern world as witnesses of Jesus' love.
Why do you call it a 'school'?
The spiritual pedagogy of heart requires a school where students can learn, fail and succeed in an environment that will enable them to trust and flourish. The school provides a time frame and an approach that doesn't minimize learning to linear acquisition of knowledge and testing but situates each person in a context of individual and communal growth in stature and skills.
How will the school help young adult ministries, parishes, and dioceses?
We create a culture of discipleship, equip people to understand the mission of disciples and leaders and prepare people to take vital positions in the church of 21st century. We work closely with Bishop David G. O'Connell, coordinate our ideas with local diocesan and catechetical leaders as well as with pastors of parishes who reach out to us in order to fulfill our role in evangelization.
We offer various forms of interaction with parishes and young adults ministries. Click on INVITE US to learn more.
IS YOUR SPIRITUALITY CHARISMATIC OR TRADITIONAL?
Catholic spirituality seeks not to exclude but to embrace the whole truth revealed by God to mankind. Therefore we are both traditional and charismatic. Embracing the mystical and charismatic experience of the Catholic Church, we are searching for God who wisely reveals Himself in ways of His choosing. He graciously makes Himself accessible to human hearts that yearn for freedom and love. Reaching deeply into the well of Catholic prayer, we dive into the Liturgy of the Hours, Lectio Divina and Adoration with the same zeal as into Bible studies, spiritual reading, praise and worship, and spontaneous, creative expressions of faith empowered by the Holy Spirit present in us and in our midst. Acknowledging humbly the supernatural presence of I AM WHO I AM, we recognize the charisms of the Holy Spirit working among us and encourage the pursuit of charisms for the good of the whole Body. We reject stereotyping people's encounters with God by labeling them with this or that category of spirituality. We embrace insightful, biblical and doctrinal explanations and descriptions of God's activity for the purpose of understanding God's ways with better clarity and for preparing hearts to meet God.
Will the school offer spiritual direction or counseling?
Not on a systematic basis, only occasionally, as the need occurs during particular sessions. You will be encouraged to refer to your Encounter Group leader with your personal questions regarding spiritual direction (in matters that are not absolutely life changing).
Generally, you will be encouraged to continue relating to your current confessor or spiritual director. In case you do not have one or discern a legitimate need in changing, we will try to refer you to another one, lay or clergy (for spiritual direction).
You will have many chances to be prayed for and to share in a private manner during various ministry time sessions and Encounter Groups meetings. Most of your needs will be resolved there.
We are not providing professional therapy.
HOW OFTEN WILL WE MEET?
Heartbeat Tuesday: weekly equipping and Encounter Groups, community building. Ministry School: one Saturday for seven hours monthly for equipping, training, activation, workshops, ministry and prayer with guest instructors specializing in their field of ministry. Gathering: bi-weekly on Fridays, open to all, preaching, praise and worship, teaching, groups.
Plus special events and outreaches. Click CALENDAR for all events and meetings.
What are Encounter Groups?
These are small groups meeting during Heartbeat Tuesdays (twice a month) for the purpose of accountibility, sharing, processinsg and discussing teaching, personal ministry and developing spiritual friendships.
Can I apply after the school starts or only for one quarter?
No. It is absolutely crucial to attend from the beginning (Sept.8) to the end.
What are the FEES?
Click on APPLY tab.
WHY IS IT SO EXPENSIVE? SHOULDN'T THE CHURCH EQUIP PEOPLE FOR FREE?
It's $125 per month (including monthly Ministry School) but if you pay in full by March 31st you get 10% off. Undergraduate college students also get a discount. Skip one coffee/snack a day and you have enough to pay for the school! If you want to be equipped by the great equippers and teachers you need to put your money where your priorities lie. Even with your fee, MajorChange will have to raise additional money to cover the costs of the school.
Religious and active lay missionaries (only those active in ministry who have to raise monthly support) get a significant discount. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you do not have any means to reach that amount monthly, ask your family, friends, parishioners, or parish pastor to invest in you.
Is there any significance to the opening date of Sept.8?
San Gabriel Mission was founded on that date in 1771. It became the initial Christian center from which missionaries were sent out several years later to start what is now known as Los Angeles city. The date represents the pioneering and apostolic spirit of our school.
It is Mary, the Mother of Jesus' birthday. We believe she will take care of us well.
When we approached Bishop O'Connell with the vision for the school and proposed the opening date, he blessed us admitting that his episcopal consecration occurred on that date and this is no coincidence.
DO I HAVE TO PARTICIPATE IN SPECIAL EVENTS?
You need to participate in the fall retreat. An additional fee will be required. You will have to participate in 24/7 Prayer and Pentecost vigil as well as in Intercessory prayers on locations and several outreaches.
WHAT EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE IN RUNNING A PROGRAM LIKE THIS.
Here is your answer.
WHAT IS MAJORCHANGE?
MajorChange is a non-profit run by Keith Major and Iwona Bednarz-Major, founders of the Stone to Flesh school. Their experience includes: missionary work in post-Communist Poland, Russia, Muslim Saudi Arabia and Qatar; leadership in missionary and formational schools and programs; pastoring church plants and ecclesial communities; creative arts and media work;
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER I AM DONE AND I WANT TO STAY CONNECTED?
You may feel released to join or start something different and stay in touch, collaborating on future projects and participate in events we organize.
Alumni of Stone to Flesh will be invited to different Stone to Flesh / MajorChange ministry opportunities.
WILL WE HAVE ONLY CATHOLIC INSTRUCTORS?
The majority of them will be Catholic, but occasionally we will invite an influential Evangelical Charismatic friends to share, encourage, and invigorate our school with stories, experiences, and wisdom the Lord is teaching them.
What is your statement of faith?
Here it is.
I am a non-Catholic Christian thinking of joining your school. What benefits and obstacles will I meet?
MajorChange is involved in building unity based on spiritual ecumenism. Keith and Iwona were involved as missionaries, pastors, worship leaders and church planters with YWAM, Vineyard, IHOP and The Call so you will feel at home in their presence. We will honor and respect your theological views and tradition you are coming from. You will be exposed to the beautiful 2,000 years of Tradition of the Church that might be not familiar to you but you will find it captivating, intellectually stimulating and spiritually enriching. We will make ourselves available to asnwer all your questions and no pressure will be put upon you in matter of adhering to the Catholic articles of faith. You will particiapte in Catholic traditonal ways of biblical prayer such as Lectio Divina (praying the Scriptures) or Liturgy of the Hours (singing the Scriptures) as well as Adoration (entering into the Presence of God).
WHAT WILL STUDENTS DO?
Each student will be asked to enter into a time of intensely seeking the presence of God, following intentional daily prayer, Bible reading and praying, and spiritual reading. Secondly, we will encourage everyone to make himself or herself available in a vulnerable way to the Father so everyone can be released into their mission. You will not be a passive consumer absorbing knowledge but you will find a place where you can discover and deepen your natural and charismatic gifts, where you can flourish and serve so you can grow in wisdom, expand your abilities, and love well.
Each student will play a vital role in his/her Encounter Group (meeting bi-weekly at the end of Tuesday Heartbeat session) where he will have time and space for developing close relationships, share the struggles and victories and ask for prayer.
Each student will be actively involved in ministry and service for the school. You may lead praise and worship or a prayer meeting, preach, lead a ministry team, prepare food, lead young adults in a project, etc.