FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Feeling called to attend a Renewal Experience but have a few questions?
We have answers. The rest is up to you!
What is WELCOME?
WELCOME is a program designed to bring parish members together in Christ. It is a program that has expanded across states and even across countries. WELCOME offers you enriching, real life faith stories that are presented by real life people. The experience is intended to change and/or enhance the lives of those in Christ. Unlike many experiences that seek a temporary spiritual boost, this experience is meant to last a lifetime.
The uniqueness of the WELCOME renewal program is its continuation. WELCOME can be made as a renewal experience with no further commitments. However, for those who are so renewed and uplifted that they want “more” after their weekend experience, WELCOME and our parishes offer an array of opportunities.
What can I expect on a WELCOME CRHP 2.0 Renewal Experience?
Most who have participated in the renewal experience say that “you can’t explain what happens; you have to experience it. It's life-changing” This is your invitation to that “experience.”
You will have the opportunity to relax, unplug, and be served.
The substance of the WELCOME Renewal is the presentation of personal testimonies in which hosting retreat team members share their lives and faith journeys. Also included is time for prayer and reflection, fellowship, scripture reading, Reconciliation, and Holy Mass.
You may expect an opportunity - in a relaxed atmosphere - to respond to Christ’s call to a closer and deeper relationship with Him.
Who conducts the weekend retreat?
The WELCOME Experience is presented by a “team" of participants from the previous Renewal Experience, under the guidance of a priest spiritual director. The experience includes special contributions that each person makes. The combination makes a very enjoyable event.
Who may attend?
Any adult (post-high school, 18 & older) is invited and welcome to attend a WELCOME Renewal Experience. Priority is given to adults living within the boundaries of the five Traverse City area parishes. Men and women participate on separate weekends.
Regardless of where you are in your faith journey – new to the church, been away for a while, unclear on Catholic teachings, or have a rich faith life – this experience can help you deepen your faith!
I have been away from the Church. Will I be a fish out of water?
WELCOME is for anyone seeking spiritual renewal. You do not have to be a spiritual person to attend the retreat. In fact, many people attend because they are not as spiritual as they would like. Many attend because they feel something is missing from their lives.
WELCOME is an excellent opportunity for those who have stopped attending Mass, who have lost interest in the church, or are new to the faith to connect with the parish family. All participants will be welcomed and receive unconditional acceptance.
Where will I sleep?
* The Renewal Weekend has been changed to a one-day format until further notice.To detach from the outside world, the team and participants all sleep at the Renewal Weekend location, Christ the King Church. Cots and air mattresses are set up in designated sleeping areas in the parish hall.
There are real benefits in staying overnight together with your fellow participants. However, if health or other issues would prevent this, call us so we can work together to find a solution. We do not want anything to deter you from attending!
What should I bring?
A full suggested packing list will be provided, but includes:
A face covering if you are not vaccinated (we will provide plenty of hand sanitizer!)
Coffee or water container with lid
Rosary for personal prayer (if you wish)
Chair cushion (if you wish)
A cot or air mattress if you have one (otherwise one will be provided)
Blankets or sleeping bag
Toiletries (We have plenty if you forget anything!)
What is the cost of the weekend?
WELCOME is FREE! The experience is a gift from the presenting team and past participants. No one in attendance is ever solicited for funds. However, at a later date, you may make private and/or anonymous donations should you be so inspired.
How do I sign up?
Consider yourself officially invited! Just visiting this site means you have been nudged in some way to attend. You may have heard about WELCOME through announcements during Mass, in the weekend bulletins, by word of mouth, or perhaps by someone you know from a Traverse area parish. So in some way, you have been called. It is up to you, as an individual, to answer the call. Praying for guidance is important. If you feel that Christ, through the Holy Spirit or through a human mediator, is calling you…Come!
You may register
What about weekend Mass?
There will be a private Holy Mass for those attending the weekend. However, it will be early in the day and will not fulfill the Sunday Obligation.
What about meals?
You need not lift a finger! You will be pampered with meals while during the day. Hot meals are served by WELCOME alumni volunteers. The food is excellent and the portions ample. There will be regular breaks for coffee, cold drinks, and snacks. If you have special dietary needs, we welcome you to bring your meals to be stored in the kitchen to offer you peace of mind.
What kind of attire should I wear?
Casual, layered and comfortable clothing is the norm. No shorts for Mass, please.
I would like to attend, but I have a health problem.
Your health issue should be discussed with one of the event directors as part of the Renewal Experience registration process. A recommendation will then be made. Please ask! We have accommodated many who never thought they could attend such an event!
I have insomnia, snore, or use a C-Pap machine, will I disturb others?
Not to worry! Earplugs and electric outlets are available, and remember, there is only one night’s sleep.
I don’t like to get up and talk in front of people. Will I be required to? What about the retreat after mine?
Aside from being encouraged to introduce yourself the first day, no one is required to get up and speak. No pressure will be applied even if others do decide to speak. If you choose to be on a future team, you still will not be required to speak publicly.
What about this “witnessing” business?
The talks are given by team members NOT by participants. You will not be asked to witness or give testimony in any way.
You will have the opportunity to relax, unplug, and be served.
So, What About You?
If you've read this far you must be at least a little bit interested.
As previous attendees and team members, we can assure you that it's powerful stuff. It's a lot of fun and a great opportunity to form meaningful and lasting friendships. Some have come reluctantly, but left grateful that they came.
For more information, please feel free to contact us.
Say a prayer. Ask God what you should do.
Traverse City WELCOME Teams