Newsletter: December, 2010

American Catholic CouncilDetroit Skyline
On the way to Detroit

Reclaiming the Promise of Vatican II       Newsletter – DECEMBER 2010

Catholic Bill of RIghts & Responsibilities
Upcoming Local Listening Sessions

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American Catholic Council



Registration for
ACC National Council
in Detroit

 June 10-12, 2011
PROGRAM BROCHURE(Large File, please be patient)

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Register Before Dec. 31 for Early Bird Discount
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 Also Available

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Please share this newsletter with friends, family, and fellow parishioners who are hungry for a reformed Church.  Use the easy Forward Email link at the bottom left. THANK YOU!


Last Call for Listening Sessions through April 15, 2011
Listening Session
We contine to encourage and welcome local Listening Sessions as we prepare for Detroit. All sessions that take place through April 15 will be factored into the data collection used to inform the developing agenda and process in Detroit.
The first step is to review the Listening Session Template and related resources that are posted to the ACC Assemblies Community Network. Be sure to submit the Assembly Planning Form, so that we can list your event on the master Calendar
Calendar of Local Assemblies
TOOLKIT plus more on the

ACC Assemblies Community Network (ACN)

For more info, contact:
Peg Bisgrove
Sheila Peiffer


Telephone Conference Calls for Planners of Local Listening Sessions

These telecons are a great way to learn more about how to convene a listening session in your community and talk live with real ACC planners in the grassroots: 


Mon., January 10, 7pm (EDT)

Participants should RSVP by emailing Linda Pinto
; Call-in Number and Access Code will be sent to all registrants via email approximately 24 hours in advance. More info available at Assemblies Community Network.


Recommended Reading 

Last in a series of articles by Tom Roberts, on The Emerging Church, making a compelling case that the Bishops are dropping the leadership “ball” and simply don’t get it as the church is being reshaped in new ways that reflect the critical dynamics of lay leadership and new forms of “parish” life. (National Catholic Report, 12/7/2010)
By Sr. Christine Schenk, Ex. Dir., Future Church, published by Voice of Faithful, 12/9/10
Fall Issue of C21 Resources, published by The Church in the 21st Century (Boston College);
see especially Doubting Thomas, the Crisis, and the Laity by Robert Beloin (p10).
By Nicholas Lash, America Magazine (12/13/10); A bit “heady” but stimulating for its focus on why “dialogue” with the heirarchy is so problematic.


Christmas StarChristmas Blessing from ACC

During this wondrous time of year we are reminded of the hope and promise of Peace, the gift of Emmanuel, “God with us.” May the Spirit of Christ be with you and yours this holiday season.


On behalf of the national Planning Committee, we ask you continued prayers for our collaborative efforts for Church refom as we prepare for Pentecost Weekend in Detroit, June 10-12. This newsletter will focus on some important advances in the onging development of an ACC foundational document called the Catholic Bill of Rights and Responsibilities


We also remind you of the Dec. 31st deadline for the Early Bird Discount if you have not yet registered for Detroit and intend to be with us. Though the first gathering of the American Catholic Council is still 6 months away, we have already received over 400 registered participants, a very encouraging number this far out. Please plan to be part of the movement of God’s Spirit in Detroit and register now to take advantage of the lower rate. You can view the tentative program and register via the links on the left column.

   — Janet Hauter & John Hushon
       Co-Chairs, American Catholic Council, Inc.


Update on the Catholic Bill of Rights and Responsibilities (CBRR)

Through listening sessions to date and online surveys submitted by participants in those sessions, we’ve received much input regarding the developing draft document called The Catholic Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. That CBRR will be pivotal to ACC proceedings in Detroit. It is our hope that adoption of a final document will be one of the major outcomes of Detroit.


By November we had collected enough responses from the earliest listening sessions to undertake our third major revision of the CBRR.  The input we received called particularly for simplification of the language, “less legalism,” as well as supporting statements addressing sources, theological justification and application of the various statements to church policy and practice. 


With this newsletter, we are releasing that updated version of the CBRR, along with several supporting documents. You can access the updated draft, along with the related documents as they are now posted on the main ACC website. Follow the links below.

  Latest Revision of the CBRR (Dec. 2010)

  Preamble to the CBRR

  Historical Overview of how the ACC developed the CBRR  

  Theological Rationale and Sources for the CBRR

  Implications & Application of the CBRR (preliminary draft)


The National Planning Committee intends to review these documents again prior to the Council and then publish one more version on the website and in the Council Program booklet for Detroit. We are hopeful that at that point we will have a “near final” form sufficient to garner consensus among those in attendance in Detroit.  Thanks for all your input through the listening sessions, online surveys. online discussion forums, and to the planners who read, digested and responded to all the feedback.


Finding ACC “Kindred Spirits” in Your Area
As individuals and groups in local communities organize and plan listening sessions, we are somGetting Connectedetimes asked if we can support local networking by providing contact information of others who may be on ACC databases. While underscoring our continued commitment to maintain privacy for persons by not sharing contact information with third parties, we do strive to help connect folks in local communities. We offer the following suggestions to support those of you who are organizing in the grassroots:


(1) If you are a member of ACC Assemblies Community Network (close to 600 folks), you are able to communicate via that social media tool and search members by city and state and send them electronic communication through the network, though the system will not disclose email address, phone or physical address. This is the most readily available means to find kindred spirits in your local araea. 


(2) In addition, if requested, we may be able to filter our master email database (approximately 2000), of which nearly half include a city/state reference.  Though this might take us some time, if so requested by a confirmed local organizer of a listening session, we could search the dababase and then send a bulk email to that sublist, informing those persons of the particular local initiative and encourage them to contact the local organizer. This would not abrogate our privacy policy. For further assistance, contact ACC Technical Support.


Upcoming Local Listening Sessions:

Access to the links below will provide Program Descriptions and contact information. If you are not already a member of the Assemblies Community Network, you will be prompted to sign-up.


Call for Volunteers in Detroit:

Watch for a Volunteer Form to be posted to the main ACC site by early January. There will be many volunteer needs including assistance at the registration desk, helping with transportation logistics, serving in various liturgical ministry functions, as well as breakout session support roles.


Breakout Workshops & Dialogues in Detroit:

The Planning Committee has been diligently working to process data from Listening Assemblies in order to construct 18-24 Breakout Sessions that will focus the ACC action agenda in Detroit and give continued voice to those in attendance. Our hope is that each of these sessions will address actionable applications of the Catholic Bill of Rights & Responsibilities informed by the data from the Listening Sessions, the sensum fidelium, and the “signs of the times” originally articulated in the ACC Declaration of Reform and Renewal. The format of each facilitated session will including some component of dialogue and deliberative process with some topical focus by an animator, best practioner, or workshop presenter. There will be two 90-minute breakout periods in the Detroit program. Each will include strategies to identify “actionable” outcomes. More information will be made available in forthcoming newsletters and in a finalized Detroit Program agenda to be published in the Spring.


By the Numbers (As of December 15, 2010)

Listening Session Assemblies to date:  55

Listening Session Participants in Fall 2010: 1416

Estimated total Particpants in all Listening Session: +2300

Listening Session Participant Survey Respondents: +800

Pre-registrants for Detroit (as of early December): +400

First Time Visits to ACC website in last 5 months: 8687

First Time Visits ACC Assemblies Community Network: 7527

Member Sign-Ups ACC Assemblies Community Network572

Subscribers to the ACC Newsletter: +1900

The American Catholic Council, Inc.
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