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ARISE Group Sticks Together, Continues to Share Faith With Technology

It would take more than a few hundred miles in this digital age to break up a faith-sharing group in Texas.

That point was made by a small Christian community in St. Mary’s Parish in Odessa, a city located in the Diocese of San Angelo in west Texas.

The group is participating in ARISE Together in Christ, a faith-sharing process from RENEW International consisting of five seasons of six sessions each.

According to the group leader, Lyd Reyes, one of the members, Janelle Woody, moved away—four hundred miles east, in fact, to Port Lavaca, which is situated on a bay off the Gulf of Mexico.

St Mary ARISE Group
Members of the ARISE faith-sharing group at St. Mary’s Parish in Odessa, Texas.
From left, Lyd Reyes, Janelle Woody, and Sara Carranza.
Not present was Rachael Orona.

But, Lyd said, the group wasn’t going to let distance stand in the way of their Wednesday-night faith sharing—with Janelle included.

“So we just call her over the phone when we meet,” Lyd explained, “and it has worked great for all of us.

“We had our first meeting with her over the phone last Wednesday night. It was awesome!

“I text her what to get ready for each session, so she will be ready when we meet — like the last session, when we needed a candle to be lit.’’

Lyd said the group planned to take a step further by using Apple’s sharing technology FaceTime with Janelle, “so we can see her on our phone or Mini iPad.’’

The group that has been kept intact through a combination of commitment and ingenuity has chosen St. Francis of Assisi for its patron.

“My group is awesome,” Lyd said, “and we just want to continue making our faith stronger.’’

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