The name of this movement shall be known as









            The members of the ACTS community will strive to assist members of the parish family to attain a deeper relationship with the Lord and with fellow parishioners through:


Adoration:       Prayer life

Community:    Love and caring for each other

Theology:        Study of the faith through scripture

Service:           To God and to each other


To achieve this goal we sponsor three day weekend lay retreats which are patterned after the description of the early church in the Acts of the Apostles ( Acts 2: 42-47). The purpose of the weekend is to invite the retreatant to a new relationship with our Lord and fellow parishioners through Adoration and daily prayer; through Community in one’s parish as a member of the body of Christ; through Theology encouraging an intellectual and spiritual growth that gives fruits in our daily lives; and finally to encourage a spirit of Service to our Lord, our parish and each other. Participants experience God’s love and joy through the weekend, return to their faith community with a deeper love for each other and an increased desire to become more involved in their parish community.

This mission is continued and enhanced by scheduled gatherings of the ACTS community, prayer groups and by evangelizing or service projects.







The ACTS core, along with the staff liaison, will serve as the decision making body of the ACTS community. The ACTS core is comprised of the President, Vice-President, Secretary, the staff liaison (non voting) and a body of seven additional ACTS community members who are fully committed to the ACTS movement. These members must have participated in an ACTS retreat, both as a retreatant and as a team member, and may not be a spouse of present core members. The core will meet monthly and at the call of the President who will conduct the general business of ACTS. Decisions will be made when a quorum is present consisting of at least two-thirds of the total core, and votes will be taken when necessary. Majority vote rules. Decisions made by the core will be decisions that affect the community, the relationship with retreat centers and with other parishes in the diocese. The core will ensure that the weekend is in keeping with the ACTS mission.

Each core member will serve on one of the following committees:

1.      Retreat Support

2.      Community Relations

3.      Follow-up

4.      Finance

5.      Retreat Supplies

An operating fund will be maintained to purchase supplies and materials to carry out the weekends. An ACTS closet will be kept to store all materials for retreats. A registration fee is necessary in order to defray the costs of the retreat. Scholarships are available to those in financial need, as finances should not stop anyone from attending.








            The first core will be selected by nominations and votes from the ACTS community. The names of nominees, brought by the community, are placed in a container. The nominees must have the following qualifications: must have served on one team, must live a moral, ethical and faith-filled life, demonstrated leadership ability and have a positive, supportive attitude.  The names of the nominees are prayed over using Acts 1: 23-26. The names are removed one at a time and recorded in the order drawn. The individuals are asked to serve on the core.  Ten members will be chosen in an alternating process of 5 men and 5 women. They should not be spouses of other core members.

 Staff position on the core will be voted annually and other members of the core will vote upon incumbent officers, i.e. President, Vice-president and Secretary. A term of office on the core is two years, with an optional third year if desired by all parties. Replacement of core members will be done by the core, nominating people from the ACTS community, reading Acts 1: 23-26, and voting by the core. The nominees must have been on at least two teams, and should also possess the above-mentioned qualities. Should the President of the core not be able to serve, the Vice-President shall assume the duties of the President. The core shall then elect a new Vice-President.






The core will choose the directors for the retreats. All core members pray for guidance from the Holy Spirit. Read Acts 1:23-26 and meditate for a moment. Core members make nominations, and names are posted. Nominees must have the following qualifications: 1. Must be a member of the parish.2. Must have served on at least two teams. 3. Must live a moral, ethical and faith-filled life.4. Demonstrated leadership qualities. After all the names are listed, ask if anyone has any objections about the names written. A member can object to a future director, with no reason given. The names are then eliminated. All voting members (the exception is the staff liaison) vote secretly, putting votes into a container. The person with the most votes is chosen to be the next director. The person with the second highest number of votes will be asked if the first person declines, and so on. The president calls the future director to ask them if they would like to serve in this manner. The president should encourage the candidate to take a week to prayerfully discern this matter. Once the director accepts, the president must meet with them to go over the director’s guidelines and director’s manual, to clear any questions. During team formation, directors should be in continued communication with the core president.







            The follow-on committee, with the help of volunteers, will ensure that the ACTS community gathers at least twice a year to continue the relationships with our Lord and each other. The activities for the gathering should reflect Adoration, Community, Theology and Service. Gatherings will begin with prayer or meditation, scripture reading and a faith sharing activity. They may also include presentations, mini-retreats (half-day), and the sacraments. The activities of the gathering shall include time for fellowship and refreshments.






            An ACTS retreat is a three-day, three-night catholic lay retreat presented by fellow parishioners as “ Apostolic Christians Teaching for Service”. Talks and activities will focus on Adoration, Community, Theology and Service. Holy Scripture and the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church are the guides for the retreat.

            The purpose of the retreat is to instill in the retreatant a new or deeper relationship with our Lord and fellow parishioners through prayer, fellowship, and teachings of the Catholic faith and the experience of service to our Lord, our parish, and each other.

            Notice of all upcoming ACTS retreats with dates and locations should be made public to the whole parish as soon as they are available. This gives the parish advance notice and ample opportunities to register early for the retreats. There will be no limitation as to acceptance of applications. All applications will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis regardless of parish affiliations.


            The weekend should consist of:

1.      Prayer and adoration-personal and group prayer is the essence of the weekend, including time for silent and quiet reflection.

2.      Holy Eucharist/ communion service

3.      Stations of the Cross

4.      Morning and evening meditation

5.      Rosary

6.      Reconciliation

7.      Footwashing

8.      Candlelight ceremony (including non ACTS family and friends)

9.      Agape

10.  Talks of presentations by lay members centering around theme and focusing on Adoration, Community, Theology and Service

11.  Religious and clergy also present talks on grace, the sacraments, mass and other themes of theology

12.  Small group discussion and faith sharing following presentation of talks

13.  Social activities to contribute to the bonding


Because of the nature of the retreat, it is suggested that the retreatants must be at least 21 years old. Any exceptions must be made by the team and referred to the core.

The core will choose directors with the criteria given. Each director chooses his or her co-director (s). Together they select team members who have attended an ACTS retreat to serve as table leaders, music ministry, angels, marthas or stewards, and liturgy ministry. Guidance for team selection is included in the director’s manual. Team members should be chosen primarily from the parish. The retreat team will meet weekly for 12 weeks prior to the retreat date, most importantly for spiritual bonding within the team. The meetings usually include communication services, scripture readings, personal reflection, prayer services, small group sharing and presentation of talks.

The core will meet with the new director and co-director as soon as possible after the selection process is completed. The purpose of this meeting will be to introduce the core and to provide the new director and co-director with the opportunity to ask questions, share ideas, clarify perceptions, etc. The director will be given the role of the retreat liaison. The core will offer any assistance to the director at any point along the development of the retreat, either through the liaison or any member of the core.  The director will also be invited to a core meeting during team formation, to share some of the experiences of the retreat team. After team formation, the pastor should conduct a commissioning mass to bless the team.


Following the retreat, one of the regular scheduled gatherings should focus on the recent retreatants and team members. This gathering is to welcome the new members of the ACTS community, provide a calendar of events, directory of members, and an overview of the ACTS community. At this gathering there should be an opportunity for members to sign up for small groups in an effort to continue their faith sharing experiences.





The weekend director, through the staff liaison, shall ask a priest, or other spiritual director/ directress involved in the ACTS weekend to serve as a spiritual director for the weekend. The Spiritual Director should:

1.      Provide support, guidance and spiritual direction for the team leaders during retreat preparation.

2.      Attend team meetings as often as possible to lend support, spiritual guidance and direction to the various ministry efforts.

3.      Be involved in the planning of the liturgies: Eucharist, Reconciliation, Footwashing, and Agape.

4.      Be available to help presenters with their talks.

5.      Be available to share your religious experience/journey with the retreatants.

6.      Be present and involved all weekend; meet as many retreatants as possible and get to know them, and mingle with the team and retreatants throughout the weekend.

7.      Be available for the liturgies each day (including a team mass Thursday before retreatants arrive).

8.      Be available for individual counseling daily during the weekend.

9.      Be available to give a presentation on the following possible topics:

Spiritual introduction to the weekend

Faith talk

Grace talk

Prodigal Son talk

Emmaus Walk talk

Sacraments talk

10.  Participate in Sunday’s closing Eucharistic liturgy at the host parish.

11.  Be available for, and encourage among the retreatants, a post retreat gathering for team members and retreatants, usually 2-4 weeks after the retreat.










            The President leads the ACTS community activities to keep gatherings and meetings running smoothly. The President shares in the responsibilities of the core. It is important for the President to stay in touch with the Pastor.


1.      Presides over ACTS Core meetings:

·        Ensures meetings run in an orderly fashion

·        Encourages open discussion of each issue on agenda

·        Keeps the members of the Core “on task” during the meeting

·        Allow for addressing all issues on agenda


2.      Prepares ACTS Core meetings agenda

·        Consults with other Core members and the pastor

·        Informs people who want to address the Core (time and date of meeting)

·        Sends written agenda to Core members prior to the meeting

·        Reserves room for monthly Core meetings (for the year in advance)


3.      Communicates

·        With Church pastor about the ACTS calendar for the year (retreats and gatherings)

·        With other Core members concerning retreats, activities and duties

·        With new Core members by informing them of meeting dates, times, and providing them with a copy of the ACTS Charter and minutes of the last 6 meetings.


4.      Coordinates

·        With retreat directors and other Core members for retreat support

·        With other Core members concerning ACTS community gatherings and small faith sharing groups.

·        With retreat centers for future retreat weekend dates


5.      Spiritual guidance at Core meetings

·        Plans for opening and closing prayer activities


6.      At the pleasure of the Core, arrange a day retreat for the Core at the beginning of the year









The secretary records minutes of regular ACTS Core meetings, special meetings and/or any meeting called for the core team by the facilitator.  The secretary will furnish said minutes to each core team member and will retain a permanent file copy.


Technical Details:


1.                  Record detailed notes

The secretary shall attend all meetings and record detailed notes on:

·        The individuals attending the meeting

·        The discussion of the agenda items

·        Any decisions or actions that were agreed to by the attending members


2.                  Document minutes

Using the notes recorded during the meeting, the secretary then documents the minutes for the meetings.  The minutes should include:

·        A copy of the meeting agenda (if available)

·        The date of the meeting

·        Those core members in attendance, and those absent

·        Identification of any guest(s) in attendance

·        Thorough, concise descriptions of the discussion and the outcomes of those discussions, including any decisions that were made or actions that were to be taken


3.                  Distribute minutes to Core team members

Make copies of the minutes for all core members and distribute to each member at subsequent meeting of core.


4.                  Obtain Core team approval of the minutes

At the next regularly scheduled meeting, ask the core team members if they have any changes to the minutes.  If there are no changes, place the minutes in the minute notebook for future reference.  If changes are requested, revise the minutes and post the minutes in the notebook.


5.                  Maintain the ACTS charter and Director’s manual

As needed, update the charter and director’s manual to reflect any decisions made by the Core team.  When a new director is selected, make a copy of the master director’s manual and deliver it to the director.  Keep the master copy of the director’s manual updated with current schedules and information as compiled by the latest directors of both the women's and men's retreat directors.


6.         Getting replacement

If the secretary is not able to attend the meeting, the secretary is responsible for arranging for someone to take notes in his/her absence.





Mission statement


The retreat support committee’s primary responsibility is assisting the director with the interface of the core and the ACTS community as a whole. The committee may recruit people from the community to coordinate some of the items below, however, it is the committee’s ultimate responsibility to coordinate the following:


1.      Arrange for transportation of retreatants to and from the retreat location.


2.      Coordination of registration/send-off Thursday night.

·        Have ready registration list of retreatants.

·        Place nametags on retreatants.

·        Place identification tags on retreatants’ luggage.

·        Collect any outstanding retreat fees.

·        Arrange for send-off prayer and music.


3.      Make arrangements for Thursday night evening meal.


4.      Coordination of candlelight ceremony.

·        Arrange for music, readers and Master of ceremonies.

·        Arrange for retreatants’ crosses and updated list of retreatants.

·        Provide candles, candleholders, lighters and music sheets.


5.      Sunday reception.

·        Arrange for volunteers to help

·        Buy cookies, beverages, and supplies needed.
















Mission Statement



This committee is to communicate all necessary and pertinent information to the ACTS Community regarding retreats and other activities. It should also make the presence of the vibrant ACTS community known to the wider parish community.



This mission will be accomplished by:

·        Publishing a bi-annual newsletter mailed to the current ACTS community list.

·        Publishing a retreat brochure for every retreat with team and retreatant names, and contact numbers for support personnel.

·        Maintaining a weekly ACTS Update section in the church bulletin.

·        Mailing or announcing through the bulletin - or from the pulpit - other pertinent information.



The chairman will be assigned from the Core and will be a Core member.  Other members may also be Core members or members at-large of the ACTS community.



The committee should report monthly to the Core, and disseminate Core information in a timely manner.
























Mission Statement



1.      To organize (2) social gatherings for the entire ACTS Community per year: A spring picnic and an advent gathering

·        Core will set the date, time, and place for each gathering.

·        The committee will reserve the date, time, & place.

·        The committee will make a schedule and a list of responsibilities  and present it to the Core so that each may sign up for one responsibility.

·        The date, time, place to be given to the Community Relations to be included in their newsletter and mailings.


2.      To organize a Saturday morning spiritual growth program for adults of the ACTS community.

·        This program will be organized (4) times a year.

·        The Core will set the dates, place & times.

·        The committee will arrange for a speaker. Suggestions taken from ACTS community.

·        The committee will make sure the Community Relations committee publishes these dates.

·        The committee will arrange for light refreshments.



3.      To provide a means of organizing retreatants into Faith Sharing Groups at the end of their retreat.

·        When the director is announced, a member of the committee will call the director and explain the purpose of trying to organize the retreatants into faith Sharing Groups.

·        Two copies of the Faith Sharing Groups will be mailed to the director- one for the director and one for the team member assigned to be the Faith Sharing Group coordinator for that retreat.












Mission Statement



This committee is to enhance and promote the spiritual activities and growth of the ACTS Community by securing its financial stability.




Facilitate the management and acquisition of funds to finance parish ACTS retreats, community activities and evangelical interests in order to make the cost of the retreats and other activities affordable for all community members.


Set up an accounting system and procedures to track all budgeted funds, donations and expenses related to the ACTS Community activities.


Meeting and Reporting Frequency


The Acts Finance Committee will meet in the first two (2) weeks immediately following each retreat.  If this is not possible, then a reasonable timeframe option may be used.   This timeframe must not exceed one (1) month. 


Reporting to the regular monthly Core Meetings will be scheduled after each subsequent retreat meeting has taken place.  The Finance Committee Chair will be responsible for scheduling this with the Core President.


Any special occurrence or extraordinary action that may need a financial perspective may prompt a special meeting.  These occasions will be scheduled with the committee and any executive members of the Core or Core members at large.
















The ACTS Ministry maintains an inventory of consumable and non-consumable goods needed for ACTS retreats.  These items should be stored in a closet within the parish premises. A member of the ACTS CORE is responsible for the following duties in connection with the closet:



1.      Maintaining a key to the ACTS closet- issued only to the ACTS CORE member responsible for the closet.



2.      Keeping a current, general, and printed inventory of the closet contents.



3.      Contacting the director of the next scheduled retreat to open the closet and “check–out” the inventory to the designated team contact person.  One team member, generally the Head Steward or Angel, is needed as a contact. Set the time for return of the closet inventory on the Monday following the retreat.



4.      Receiving and updating the closet inventory when it is returned on the Monday immediately following the retreat. Any missing items are brought to the attention of the contact person and located ASAP.



5.      Designating an ACTS CORE member to handle these duties in your absence.







There are many steps to the follow up process.  We are trying to make sure that everyone who wants to be in a Faith Sharing Group has every opportunity to do so, and that every group receives plenty of encouragement to build their faith.



During Team Formation:


1.        The director chooses a team member to handle this task.

2.        The director and team member meet with the Core Follow-Up Committee member for paperwork and explanation.

3.        The team member is responsible for making copies of the forms that are needed.

4.        The team member needs to request other team members who are willing to help follow up on each Faith Sharing Group that is formed.  (Try to recruit about 6 team members.  The director and co-director should be willing to help with this since it is their retreat.)



On Sunday Morning of the Retreat:


1.        The Faith Sharing Group Sign-Up sheets and suggested reading sheets are passed out to the retreatants.

2.        The team member reads the explanation of Faith Sharing Groups to the retreatants.

3.        The Sign-Up sheets are collected, and during the final talk, the team member completes the Division Schedule.  Assign a team member to follow up on each group. Please include the name and telephone number on the schedule. 

The Division Schedule is returned to the ACTS Core.  Please give the Schedule to the Director to bring to the Core meeting as part of their debriefing of the retreat.

4.        Complete a Team Member Follow Up sheet for each group and give it to the team member assigned to that group.

5.        The assigned team member calls together his/her group after the sermon on the amount.  He/she needs to help that group decide on a place and time to meet.  Give them your telephone number in case they have questions later.  You are their contact so they will not feel abandoned.

6.        Give each person in the group a Faith Sharing Group Member Information sheet and let each of them complete it for their group.  Find the member of the group willing to serve as the group coordinator.

7.        The team member assigned to that group needs to make a follow up call within a week of the retreat to the group coordinator to make sure they have plans to meet. 

8.        The team member assigned needs to make another follow up phone call a month after the retreat to check on the group. Are they meeting?  Are they frustrated or discouraged?  Give them encouragement.  Help them in any way you can.  Remember we are acting as Christ to them.

After the second follow up call, the assigned team member is asked to return the Team Member Follow Up sheet to the ACTS Core. 






You have come to the end of an exciting weekend – a weekend spent sharing your faith.  Here you have learned, expanded, and/or grown in your faith.  You’ve only just begun!


Small Faith-Sharing Groups are organized in order to help you continue in your faith journey. 


Faith-Sharing Group sheets have been passed out.  Please check off the days and times you prefer for your meeting.  I will take this information from each of you, combine it, and group you together based on days and times that you prefer to meet.  One person within each group will then be contacted and asked to organize their group.


Men’s Faith-Sharing Groups usually meet once a week for an hour.  You may want to make arrangements with the church for a room in which to meet, or you may wish to arrange a standing lunch date as your faith-sharing time, or your group may even choose to meet early in the morning before going to work.


Each Faith-Sharing Group directs itself.  The idea behind the group is to establish a close, intimate group of friends who can express their ideas and questions, discuss topics, and challenge one another to expand in faith.  Who are you?  What do you believe?  Why do you believe it?  It is an opportunity to hear another’s thoughts and ideas.  It is an opportunity for you to grow into a deeper love of Christ.


Along with the Faith-Sharing Group sheets, we have passed out a list of suggested reading material.  Challenge yourself to grow in faith.


Men’s suggested reading:



  • St. Joseph’s Covenant Keepers Men’s Small Group Study Guide:  “The Eight Commitments of Saint Joseph’s Covenant Keepers” by Hugh Williamson and Stephen Wood.  You can order a copy from Family Life Center International, Inc. (941) 764-8565.
  • “Mission of the Messiah” (on the Gospel of Luke) by Tim Gray.

Published by Emmaus Road Publishing 1-800-398-5470

  • “Mystery of the Kingdom” (on the Gospel of Matthew) by

Edward P. Sri.  Published by Emmaus Road Publishing 1-800-398-5470

  • “Halftime” by Bob Buford
  • “A Father Who Keeps His Promises” by Scott Hahn.
  • “Coming Down The Mountain” by Thomas Hart





You have come to the end of an exciting weekend – a weekend spent sharing your faith.  Here you have learned, expanded, and/or grown in your faith.  You’ve only just begun!


Small Faith-Sharing Groups are organized in order to help you continue in your faith journey.


Faith-Sharing Group sheets have been passed out.  Please check off the days and times you may be interested in meeting.  I will take this information from each of you, combine it, and group you together based on days and times that you prefer to meet.  One person within each group will then be contacted and asked to organize their group.


Women’s Faith-Sharing Groups usually meet twice a month for a couple of hours.  You may want to make arrangements with the church for a room in which to meet, or you may wish to meet in someone’s home.


Each Faith-Sharing Group directs itself.  The idea behind the group is to establish a close, intimate group of friends who can express their ideas and questions, discuss topics, and challenge on another to expand in faith.  Who are you?  What do you believe?  Why do you believe it?  It is an opportunity to hear another’s thoughts and ideas.  It is an opportunity for you to grow into a deeper love of Christ.


Along with the Faith-Sharing Group sheets, we have passed out a list of suggested reading material.  When your group begins to meet, choose a book that interests your group.  Read a chapter or a meditation at a time, depending on the book, and arrive at your meeting prepared to discuss how it touched you, or what feelings it inspired, or what it made you question in your life.


Challenge yourself to grow in faith.


Women’s suggested reading:


  • “The Cup of Our Life” by Joyce Rupp
  • “Moments With The Savior” by Ken Gire
  • “Intimate Moments With The Savior” by Ken Gire
  • “Coming Down The Mountain” by Thomas Hart
  • “Challenge 2000, A Daily Meditation Program based on The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius” by Mark Link, S. J.
  • “Were Our Hearts Not Burning?” by Henri Nouwen
  • “Return of the Prodigal Son” by Henri Nouwen
  • “Healing Words from Jesus” by Isaias Powers
  • “Quiet Places with Jesus” by Isaias Powers






Sign Up Sheet


Name:  _____________________________________


Home phone:

Work phone:

Cell phone:

email address:



Yes, I am interested in meeting in a small Faith-Sharing Group.

I prefer to meet:


Sunday:                a.m. _____                   p.m.  _____

Monday:              a.m. _____                   p.m.  _____

Tuesday:              a.m. _____                   p.m.  _____

Wednesday:         a.m. _____                   p.m.  _____

Thursday:            a.m. _____                   p.m.  _____

Friday:                 a.m. _____                   p.m.  _____

Saturday:             a.m. _____                   p.m.  _____











Team Member Follow Up


Date of Retreat:  ____________________


Assigned Team Member:  ______________________________________


Telephone Number:  ___________________


Group members:

Name                                 Home #            Work #            Cell #                                                  E-Mail Address










Day and Time Group Meets:  _______________


Place Where They Meet:  _________________


Group Coordinator:  _____________________


1-week follow up phone call – made on:  ___________


Status of group:  ________________________________________________________________________



1-month follow up phone call – made on:  ___________


Status of the group:  ________________________________________________________________________