Gospel Forum Helps Men Share, Grow in Faith
Published on Monday, 06 September 2010 17:52
Scholarly scripture study is available in many ways in Ave Maria, but many men are finding inspiration and camaraderie in an informal discussion called Gospel Forum, held each Wednesday morning before work.
Gospel Forum grew out of the Faith and Ale group (photo at right), which has been drawing more than 100 men in the Naples area to a monthly meeting to hear an inspirational speaker who can help them grow in their Catholic Faith.
Michael O. Timmis, one of Faith and Ale's founders, had been delighted with the response but he and co-founder George de los Reyes decided a few years ago that "once a month was not enough," so they started weekly sessions called Gospel Forum where men get together in smaller groups to discuss the scripture reading for the coming Sunday in a casual atmosphere.
When he moved to Ave Maria with his family this summer, Mr. Timmis and Daniel Dix established the Gospel forum in town, holding one-hour meetings every Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. in the Queen Mary Pub.
"Gospel Forum seeks to be a band of brothers spurring one another on to love and good deeds," said Mr. Timmis (right, with son Mikey, 4).
About a dozen men attended the group's second Ave Maria meeting last Wednesday, many coming for the first time.
One of them was Bellera Walk resident Jeff Ball, who said his first experience "was a true pleasure."
"A group of men looking to gain some personal, practical guidance in how to live out their faith, sharing thoughts and insights into the upcoming week's Gospel, is another example of the many wonderful gifts available in our community," Mr. Ball added.
The first Gospel Forum began meeting Thursday morning in Naples at the Perkins Restaurant on Pine Ridge Rd. just west of I-75, and a second Naples group meets Monday evening at Royal Palm Academy.
All men are welcome at the Gospel Forum meetings.
"You do not need to be a theologian or scripture scholar to participate," Mr. Timmis stresses. "It is a gospel reflection rather than a Bible study. We are not trying to determine doctrine or dogma but are approaching the Gospel as a living document that has encouragement, challenge, wisdom, and hope to enable us to better live our lay vocation as workers, husbands, and fathers."
And, he adds, "We also laugh a lot and have a good time together."
Ave Maria Gospel Forum: Every Wednesday, 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. at the Queen Mary Pub. Pick up coffee first at The Bean, if desired, and enter the pub through the door connecting to the Pub.
Naples Gospel Forums: Thursdays, 7:15 to 8:30 a.m. at Perkins Restaurant, 3585 Pine Ridge Rd.; Mondays, 4:45 to 6 p.m. at Royal Palm Academy, 16100 Livingston Rd., Naples.
Faith and Ale: Faith and Ale meets on the third Wednesday of each month from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Clausen Family Center at St. John the Evangelist Church, 625 111th Ave North (which is Immokalee Rd. west of US 41) in Naples. The next meeting is Sept. 15 and the speaker is Ave Maria University literature professor and author Joseph Pearce. Pizza and ale served.