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  About CFM


What CFM Is

Christian Family Movement is a national network of parish/neighborhood small groups of families. Through the use of programming available from the CFM USA Office and the dynamics of small group interaction, Christian values are reinforced and families are encouraged to reach out in action to others.

The CFM group consists of five to seven families with the adults meeting regularly in each other's homes, or at the parish. Through the use of CFM's many different programs, members discuss what they have observed in their own family or community, judge what they have seen in the light of Jesus' teaching, and then act to change things for the better.

The observe/judge/act technique is the "Jocist Method" first pioneered by Canon Joseph Cardijn, founder of the Young Christian Worker Movement in Belgium. Through the application of this method, many CFM families have become involved in helping others in such ministries as foster-parenting, prison ministry, refugee sponsorship, religious education and couple counseling.

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Mission Statement

Be doers of the word, and not merely hearers.
James 1:22
 
The Church speaks clearly of the duties of family members to one another that build a radiant faith. . . . But the Church doesn't stop there; it also speaks of the relationship between families and the larger culture, the duty of service, working for the common good, welcoming strangers, and giving voice to the Christian conscience. That is the message; you are the messenger.

A Radiant Faith: The Gift of Families to Families
Address of the Most Reverend Anthony M. Pilla, Bishop of Cleveland
to the Christian Family Movement
August 5, 1995

The mission of the Christian Family Movement is

  • to promote Christ-centered marriage and family life;
  • to help individuals and their families to live the Christian faith in everyday life; and
  • to improve society through actions of love, service, education and example.

Adopted by the Board of Directors
March 10, 2002

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Benefits of CFM

- CFM makes lasting friends
- CFM helps couples stay married
- CFM supports family life
- CFM helps members grow in faith
- CFM helps members get involved in the community
- CFM makes members aware of the issues facing the community

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How Families Benefit from joining CFM

  1. CFM provides a Christian community in which individuals, marriages and families are supported and grow. Parents interact with other parents who have similar morals and values. Families socialize together and develop an extended family connection. This interaction between families helps to build a strong family support system.

  2. This experience helps husbands and wives spend time together and develop common interests. Various aspects of the program enhance the couple relationship. Experience shows that CFM is a non-threatening environment for inter-faith marriages. Single parents also find support in a CFM group.

  3. CFM enriches families. Much of what is discussed in the small group meetings of parents is carried back into the family. Parents learn how to be better parents and how to build happier families.

  4. CFM challenges participants to be seven-day-a-week Christians. It helps individuals and families apply the gospels to their everyday life. CFM nurtures spiritual growth and provides Christian formation for the entire family.

  5. CFM builds self-confidence because it challenges individuals to develop their gifts and talents. It is a catalyst for creating parish and community leaders.

  6. CFM increases social consciousness. It helps families to be aware of the problems in their families, neighborhoods and community. CFM encourages them to dialogue and make changes.

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Outline of a CFM Meeting

CFM groups usually meet in homes. The group members take turns hosting the meeting. If this is impossible for reason of the size of membersí homes or geographical distances involved, groups sometimes meet in a church facility.

Program Books are the "heart" of CFM. Through the use of these books, our members' meetings are guided through the observe, judge and act process.

Sign of the Cross

Mark your time together as sacred by beginning in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Gather and Report on Actions

Take a few minutes to let one another know how your life has been since you last met. Group members report on the progress of CFM actions taken individually, as a family, or by the group.

Scripture Reading and Opening Prayer

Godís word and our prayer move group members out of their busy lives and toward the issues of the meeting. Prayer helps them to focus on these issues from a Christian perspective.

SOCIAL INQUIRY (Observe, Judge, Act)

The Social Inquiry is the foundation of the CFM meeting. Background and direction for the discussion is provided, including reference information from authoritative sources. Following this are three sets of discussion questions.

Observe

Members should "Get the facts." At this stage of the meeting, members should refrain from expressing their opinions about facts. They should try to simply report, like any good objective newspaper reporter. The knowledge and experience of group members are valuable, but the group must go beyond its own members to gather facts from the larger world and report them objectively. One can editorialize later.

Judge

For CFMers, to judge is not to find another person sinful or holy; it is rather the comparison of how things are with how things should be, in accord with Gospel values. To make such a comparison requires objective observation of how things are, as well as a sincere effort to determine the teaching of Jesus.

Act

If the group judges - through prayer, reflection, and observation - that things are not as they should be, then ways to bring about a change will come forth from the group. Actions listed in the book are suggestions. The best actions come from the group. They may be directed toward improving family life relationships, or toward the community and beyond.

Closing Prayer

Prayer is supplied for each meeting, but this is also a good time to offer prayers for the intentions of the group.

Social Time

A short social with simple and inexpensive refreshments helps members to know and understand one another better and builds community.

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CFM Prayer

Holy Trinity, you are a family.

We believe you wish our families to reflect your heavenly community.

Jesus has called us to family ministry, and asked his heavenly Father not to take us from the world, but to deliver us from evil.

And so we pray for the Christian Family Movement, that present members may grow in grace and that new families may join us.

Through good example and prayer, may our homes become that which you desire them to be: true domestic churches, temples of your glory, and schools of humanity, ushering in the reign of God.

Amen.

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