in the beginning . . .

A Tacoma origin story

You probably know the Genesis story, but here is the genesis of The Offertory.

In November 2018, the opportunity presented itself for the purpose of gathering local Catholic young adults to WITNESS how God is in motion within their lives. Once a month, Mass Consumption Tacoma Catholic Young Adults decided we would hold a different stylistic than our usual session, which is a Monday Night Bible Study. Upon our first meeting, the presence of the Holy Spirit was evident as it suffused the space and whose embers caught aflame our shared desire to form what we are presenting to you as . . . THE OFFERTORY.

As it became an uninhibited sharing of human doubt and God’s divinity as a common complexity of life, this forum became the truest gift of witness. Each month, every sharing proved to be a palpable experience of God revealing Himself by each presenter’s expression -- simple findings, frustrations, and fruitful epiphanies. It is in the listening of one’s own interior life, whilst mirroring the wisdom of others, that lends into the transcendent participation in the reality of the Body of Christ. In those monthly moments, further enthusiasm for the Gospel message thrived. This effort affirms that we can no longer operate as a single-mission-minded Christian, but we are of a greater unified identity that is the Church family.

THE OFFERTORY sees its contributions to the local Church as a commitment to create a space that allows for Catholics and all who attend the reassurance and comfort that we are meandering through what we know as . . . LIFE. Along our interconnected adjacent steps, we join our desire to serve and know Christ and His Church more fully. Here, we can draw together in the Spirit, live into our God given gifts, and heal and bridge our brokenness designed to resonate to the deep needs of every human person. As a community, we are to challenge ourselves with what it means to be a witness of gratitude - at every age and every season of our lives . . . and in turn, offering it all up from the rising of the sun to its setting.

“What you have received without cost,
you are to give without cost.”
Matthew 10:8

The offertory since November 2018

Andrea Gleason offered an enchanting evening by melodic depth from the human heart. Surrounded by authentic togetherness, a combination of boisterous laughter and lulling contemplation took place. Andrea is a praise and worship leader and former campus minister with background in Theology.

Jordan Tracy offered an evening of teaching and discussion on applying cooperation and double effect, fundamental moral principles, and healthcare ethic topics. It didn't matter the array of off-the-wall situations, she was able to maneuver through the complexities (complete with Batman scenario references). Jordan is a Registered Nurse with a nurse leader certification and has obtained a Masters in Nursing at Pacific Lutheran University.

Diana Jorda offered imagery from the Catholic Church and Classical Arts compositions to arrive at theological themes through the experience termed "Formal Analysis" used in the Art History world, to analyze what an art piece may be communicating to its viewer. Another evening, she led a contemplative style paint night inspired by the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. Diana is a faith speaker and ministry consultant for Ruach Ministries and an artist creative. She received a Minor in Art History at the University of Washington.

Luke Krumwiede offered his story through guitar and song to connecting his life situations with the world in order to make sense of his spiritual surroundings. The night contained renditions of popular hits by artists including James Taylor, Britney Spears, and Jason Mraz. Luke is a student-teacher for the Bethel School District. He is a graduate of Bellarmine Preparatory Catholic High School, an alumni of Western Washington University, and has a Masters in Criminal Justice.

Chad Lucero offered an appointment in his office hours to introduce to us the Divine Office and how it has influenced his faith. With lots of new knowledge gained (finally a reason for those ribbons) and refreshers for some, it was an amazing time to pray with each other with the Church’s official prayer. Chad is the youth minister at St. Columban in Yelm and serves in our US Military Reserve.

Peggy Guevara, offered how her interest in the Genesis bible story sparked a love in her faith journey for the relationship between Science and Faith. Through a few lab demonstrations, she help prove that the language of faith is necessary in order to arrive at the overlooked question of why that should very well compliment the question of how. Peggy is a graduate of St. Martin’s University in Lacey and works as the university’s current Laboratory Manager.

Nathan Scott offered how he navigated his life as he learned to know God and love Him. By his greater awareness of the Church and putting into practice what it means to be in conversation with God in his life choices, he continued to discern God’s will to where he is now. Nathan is the Parish Administrative Assistant at Our Lady Queen of Heaven Church and involved with youth ministry over the years.

Gus Labayen offered music and a personal reflection on seeing others by first seeing yourself. By living a “sheltered” existence to only understand his privilege and gifts, he developed a deep sense of gratitude. This gratitude afforded him the ability to recognize the injustices around him and be about the change in his own backyard for others. Gus is a Catholic Worker at Guadalupe House in Tacoma and a music minister for St. Vincent de Paul in Federal Way. He has a Bachelors in Piano Performance Music from Central Washington University.

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