Christ calls each one of us to Himself. He invites each of us individually and intimately into a relationship with Him, one that, strengthened by the sacraments, bears its final fruit in life eternal. Yet, life as a Christian disciple today is far from easy, and while He calls us to love and serve Him in the modern world, He does not expect us to do it alone. Quite the opposite! Christ has given us a community of believers to love and support us along the way, and He commissions us to bring more people to Him:
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19-20).
It is a call for the ages. It is a call to community. It is a call to relationship.
Embracing that call, Peg Winkelman and a few other women have formed a Discipleship Quad, wherein they gather together once a week to encourage and support one another in their call to Christian discipleship.
This group uses a program established by Deacon Bob Rice and Franciscan University of Steubenville that walks them through Scripture and Church teachings and gives them questions to ponder and discuss along the way.
“Each week we reflect on a topic and teaching that is solidly grounded in Sacred Scripture and Church teaching,” Peg says. “Then, when we get together, we pray and then discuss our personal reflections and how it applies to our life.”
Peg says this particular format, which brings together four women or four men every week for about a year, has created strong bonds and intimate connections which have really served to strengthen the faith of the participants.
“Because of the way this program is formatted, we are able to dig deep into our faith in a whole new way than I’ve ever done before,” Peg says. “It has helped me build deep bonds with the women and given me a sense of accountability that I need in my faith journey.”
Peg first joined a Discipleship Quad at the invitation of Val Kula last year. After they finished the 44 weeks of the program, she felt called to continue the ministry. So, Peg invited three more women to participate in a new Quad with her this year. They are currently just over halfway through the program and thoroughly enjoying the experience.
“It has been so fruitful in so many ways,” Peg says. “This process has allowed me to learn my faith in a deeper way, to learn to share it with others, and it has taught me how to pray with others in such a deep and intimate way.”
Peg says she would encourage any who are desiring to deepen their experience of faith and fellowship to consider starting a Discipleship Quad. The process, which specifically brings together four men or four women for the better portion of a year is definitely one that requires a commitment to weekly preparation. It is not a simple process, but one has only to speak with Peg to realize that the fruit of the ministry is well worth the effort.
“It is a place we can come as Christian disciples to share our burdens and learn our faith without fear of judgment,” Peg says. “I know every time we gather, we will be rooted in prayer and that everything shared will be lifted up in prayer.
If you are interested in starting a Discipleship Quad or learning more about the process, please contact Peg Winkelman at 320-290-8485.