SINE Program Exceeds Expectations of Local Leader

Kevin Sampson is a CCO supporter and participant in the Ottawa-based Summer Institute in the New Evangelization (SINE), an innovative course offered through a partnership between CCO, Mission of the Redeemer Ministries and St. Paul’s University since 2014.

Like most participants, Kevin Sampson had loads of great things to say about the Summer Institute in the New Evangelization (SINE). But none of them stand out like the statement a friend made to him shortly after he completed the first year’s course.

“Oh, I didn’t know you were Catholic.”

Kevin was indeed Catholic, and had been for all the years he had known this friend. But it wasn’t until he had gone through SINE that he saw two things happening in his life. First: God was presenting him with more opportunities to share his faith. Second: Kevin was eagerly seizing them with confidence.

Relationships are at the heart of Kevin’s professional and spiritual life. He is a Certified Financial Planner, and has built a career on aligning people’s financial goals with their purpose in life. A simple—though not easy—question covers his purpose: “how can Christ be the primary influence in my life?”

Kevin’s spiritual life has been dramatically affected by relationships. For years, he has remained committed to close Christian friendships with fellow professionals, with scheduled meetings every two weeks. These men get together to read Scripture and pray with and for each other. “It’s the traditional prayer breakfast format… without the breakfast! We just have coffee.” Kevin knows this Catholic fellowship set him up to take the next step in faith.

That next step was the inaugural New Evangelization Summit in 2014. The passionate speakers inspired Kevin to grow in faith and leadership. As the conference came to a close, the organizers promoted SINE to all NES attendees. Fired up and ready for more, SINE immediately captured Kevin’s attention. “I gotta check this out!” he thought.

SINE’s intense curriculum drew Kevin; he was particularly interested in exploring the breadth and depth of Church teaching. Kevin also figured SINE would increase his competence as a volunteer with his parish’s RCIA program. But Kevin wanted more—he wanted a program that would challenge his faith and relationship with God. And he had a sense SINE would accomplish all those goals.

He was right. SINE challenged him intellectually and spiritually for those two weeks, and he has been reaping the fruit ever since. Participating in SINE also brought an unexpected perk—fellowship. Through SINE, he met an array of people he didn’t expect. Describing the different groups represented by his classmates—diverse cities, vocations, and ministry experiences—he remarked, “where else would I have had the opportunity to meet this variety of people, all with the same kind of commitment? With the same goals in mind?” Months after they had all returned home, Kevin was still keeping in touch with his classmates. They were continuing to encourage and support each other, united in the mission of evangelization.

Kevin is returning to SINE this year, determined to be an even more active participant than he was last year (though it sounds like he set quite the pace for himself). The second year curriculum will present new materials and learning opportunities, and he’s also looking forward to what will remain constant: the fellowship and deepening of his personal faith. For Kevin, the knowledge is important. But the relationships—with God and with his classmates—come first.

Does this kind of course interest you? SINE will run for its third year from August 8-17, 2016, with classroom and online options. Registration deadline is June 30. More details at cco.ca/sine.

 

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