Now is the Time (Fundraising Appeal), July 14, 2012

American Catholic Council

Now is the Time
We Need You  

JULY, 2012

Sharpening the Saw as We Carve our Niche?

sharpen sawACC is on the cutting edge of Church Reform. Still in the glow of Detroit, we just celebrated our first anniversary as a movement! ACC continues to underscore its primary focus: To change structures of church governance and empower collaborative models of lay leadership in the institutional church.  


If you’ve been following our doings over the last year, you know that we have attempted to chart a path that does not duplicate nor compete with other church reform groups. We strive to carve a niche that undertakes new and entrepreneurial ventures that serve the broader church reform movement, while focusing on our mission to change church structures. You can capture a snapshot of five of our working projects on the right column.Detroit Skyline


ACC’s inaugural gathering in Detroit was more than a conference. It was a deliberative body that adopted the Catholic Bill of Rights & Responsibilities, unquestionably ACC’s “flagship” accomplishment that will continue to inform its unfolding mission. Some of you have asked if we would convene similar gatherings of the Council in the future. Though there is no such gathering planned at this time, we do recognize that what happened in Detroit in June of 2011 might serve as a prototype of a forthcoming Council gathering in the mold of a national deliberative Synod of the Laity. And so, Yes, we can imagine future “conventions” of the American Catholic Council in years coming, and possibly regional gatherings “along the way” to nurture the grassroots. But all that is purely speculative at this time and in need of ongoing discernment.


StainedGlassPentecostWith over 4000 of you on our email list and over 1400 in the Assemblies Community Network, we have laid the foundation for a grassroots model of Church Reform. If we have credibility, it is because those of you in the grassroots have so given it!  


ACC might be described as a mirror of the Church Reform Movement in the Grassroots in the broadest sense, reflecting the ethos of diverse expressions of reform, in multiple dimensions and across multiple communities and reform organizations, each with their distinct charism and mission. And so we embrace the fullness of that and welcome all who share the unifying vision that was so clearly articulated in Detroit when we celebrated the promise of Vatican II.


And so, we have opted to sustain a minimal organizational infrastructure as we chart the future. We maintain no national office, we are not in the business of annual conferences (though we treasure and support our sister groups who provide that important resource), and we are not a membership-based organization. We move forward on our innovative working projects while listening to the stirrings of the Spirit as she unfolds in these extraordinary times and communicating them via our monthly newsletter. All of the initiatives in the right column have taken root because of YOU who have breathed life into these actions as we respond in efforts to actualize them for broader consumption


The Council in Detroit did pay for itself, even allowing to us to make contributions to several local social justice ministries, as well as partial reimbursement of seed monies from several Council planners. The remaining funds have gotten us this far, and will likely be exhausted by the end of 2012. We had promised to withhold requests for funding until we had a clear vision of our short-term future initiatives. Well, we are at a point to say, “It’s time!”


And so, we now come to you for support. Though we continue to rely substantially on donated time and expertise from many, we have need to sustain a “bare bones” budget to meet minimal administrative and project-related costs. Only two of the initial planners are receiving monthly stipends, graciously accepting a way below market fee for their extraordinary dedication and commitment to the cause.  


Our goal: $35,000 by September 30th. We believe this is a modest goal and we are resolute in keeping it modest in this challenging economy. We are counting on you!


Respectfully, in the hope of a renewed Church, born of the Spirit of Vatican II …

–ACC National Planning Committee 

Donor Premiums !

We do all in our Donor Premiumpower to model Vatican II values of collaboration, i.e., collegiality and compassionate dialogue.  We have heard from many how much they learned and were motivated by our speakers during our memorable Pentecost Weekend in Detroit a year ago.  Many of you are hungry for more. As an act of collaboration, we have as a very special incentive for our donors: Books authored by ACC Keynote Speakers. For a listing of these books and other prizes to be awarded, CLICK HERE These are priceless, as priceless as your contribution.


Anyone who makes a financial contribution by September 30th will be entered into a lottery for one of these “prizes.” Even if you can’t give, you can still enter the lottery: Mail a 3×5 card to the address on the right column above the “DONATE NOW” button. Include your name and address, postmarked no later than September 30, 2012, and we will enter you in the lottery.

For More Information, go to
Help us Meet Our Goal by 9/30/12:

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ACC On The Cutting Edge

We are grateful for your gift in any amount. You can either mail your check to our Treasurer:

  American Catholic Council
  c/o Joseph Beausoleil
  9007 Springview Loop,
Estero, FL  33928
Or, make an online credit card donation through our account at Network for Good by clicking below:

ACC on the Cutting Edge of Church Reform


1. Piloting ACC’s Institute on Nonviolent Action for Church Reform: ACC is about to launch Changing Power Structures to lay the foundation for an emerging Grand Strategy to move forward the work of reform.  Though there have been numerous actions in the church reform movement by many individuals and organizations to create awareness and action for change, they often lack a needed “laser focus” laser focusthat can transform power structures within the institutional Church. That is part of what makes ACC different. The Institute on Nonviolent Action can meet that need as it seeks to frame a “big picture” strategic plan for changing the institution. This effort also interfaces with ACC’s SWOT Analysis of the Vatican and the Church Reform movement.


2. Resourcing Intentional Eucharistic Communities: This has been perhaps the most resonating need heard from the grassroots since Detroit. To that end, we are building on the work of others who preceded us in this area. ACC is developing a consolidated database of existing IECs across the US and Canada. A new website will provide multiple resources. Read more … 

3. Advancing the Catholic Bill of Rights & Responsibilities: We continue to witness the extraordinary empowerment of laity through local Listening Assemblies that were so pivotal to preparing for Detroit. We offer those groups and others a new template for dialogue and discussion on the CBRR. We continue to tap the power of these groups and we intend to fuel these efforts with ongoing materials for dialogue. Read more


4. Reframing a Catholic Lay Spirituality to sustain us: Since Detroit we have witnessed a distinct pattern that points to the need to Hands Framing Sununpack a Catholic Lay Spirituality that is relevant to the 21st Century. We have recently  launched an online ACN “planning group” on Spirituality, open to all persons on who wish to explore and nurture a contemplative spirituality to sustain our action for change, and that bridges the gap between traditional catholic spiritualities and evolutionary Christianity, pointing to an emerging church that the Spirit is bringing forth in our day. Read more  


5. Opening the Assemblies Community Network to all the Grassroots: Established in 2010 to support the work of local Listening Assemblies (Sessions) leading up to Detroit, ACC’s online Assemblies Community Network is now open to ALL persons and groups across the Church Reform Movement. This interactive social media website facilitates planning, collaboration, and communication among thousands of Catholics involved in groups across the US and Canada. We welcome all who are sincerely committed to work for the reform of our Catholic Church in accord with the vision and promise of Vatican II and the impetus of the Inaugural Convention of the ACC on Pentecost Weekend in June, 2011 (Detroit, MI).

Holy Spirit
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