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St. Thomas Couples' Challenge: Lent 2017

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St Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church

530 Elizabeth Street

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

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In the course of our marriages husbands and wives must regularly recommit ourselves to the work of building our relationship together - both through good times and through bad times. The St. Thomas Lenten Couples' Challenge aims to help young families better prepare for the celebration of Holy Week and Easter 2017 by participating together with other couples in activities that strengthen each couple's physical, emotional, and spiritual bonds. Since this program is geared towards intimate relationships, it is strongly encouraged that each couple be married or engaged.

Couples will enter into the Challenge by making a donation on this Eventbrite page that you are reading, creating a secret team name, and completing the registration form.

After registering, each couple will receive an email with the scoring method and other rules along with an invite to the private Facebook group where the main communications and interactions of the Challenge will take place. We apologize for the inconvenience, but for the sake of the game, joining the private Facebook group is necessary. (If y'all are a couple who have already discerned that giving up Facebook for Lent is a good practice for you and/or for your marriage - please do that instead, rather than participating in this Challenge.)

In order for a couple to receive points, the husband and/or wife will need to post photographs of their activities into the private Facebook group each day. It is only necessary that one member of each couple post to Facebook over the course of the Challenge. In addition to the daily points for prayer, Bible reading, and exercise, there will be weekly opportunities for bonus points - mainly oriented around attending or assisting with activies at St. Thomas Parish or School. At least some of the bonus activities will ask Challenge participants to widely share information about Lent or the Challenge with their contacts on Facebook or other social media.

The competition will run from the Laetare Sunday of Lent, March 26, 2017 to Easter Friday, April 21, 2017. The couple that racks up the most points during the whole challenge will be the main winners of the competition. For the benefits of late bloomers, including those who join the Challenge after it is underway, there will also be a separate prize for the couple that collects the most points between Palm Sunday (April 9th) and Easter Friday. In addition to the head-to-head aspect of the Challenge, we hope that the Challenge will help and support participating couples in being intentional about setting their own personalized goals for prayer and the pursuit of holiness.

The registration proceeds will benefit a charity. This first time around, proceeds will benefit Children Waiting Everywhere, a Catholic and ecumenical 501(c)(3) foundation dedicated to serving our brothers and sisters in Africa and around the globe by sharing our blessings and empowering them through education and self-employment. Organized by parishioner Naomi Corera, Children Waiting Everywhere serves one community, one family, and one child at a time, contributing to projects in microeconomics, education, and health.

Suggested donation is $25 per couple, but couples are encouraged to discern the amount they can afford. The donation will also guarantee a spot at the concluding celebration on Friday, April 21 at St. Thomas. This celebration will include the couple and their children, if any. No need for babysitting that night! More information to follow.

The St. Thomas Lenten Couples' Challenge is limited to couples who self-identify with St. Thomas School and / or St. Thomas parish. (We would be willing to make exceptions for those who self-identify with another Ann Arbor parish upon receiving a request from the Grand Knight of that parish's KofC Council.)

"young families" = couples married 10 years or less; or any couple of any age with students at St. Thomas School.

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St Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church

530 Elizabeth Street

Ann Arbor, MI 48104

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