The Promise is to You

Close Encounters of the Third (Person of the Trinity) Kind

“There is more!” resounded throughout the Encounter Conference we hosted, welcoming 1,000 people here from Jan. 4-6. Our God is infinite love, truth, beauty, goodness, and power. And unless we are all those things as well (obviously not), He always has more for us.

This is more than a generous offer on His part: this is a calling that lies at the heart of what it means to be baptized. The infinitely good and powerful Holy Spirit Himself lives in us. He calls us to be His hands, feet, and voice to bring others to Jesus.

Just as it was necessary for Jesus, the apostles, and the early Church to use signs and wonders to confirm the truth of the Gospel they were proclaiming, it is necessary in our skeptical, wounded culture to use them too. Jesus said, “Whoever believes in me will do the works that I do, and will do greater ones than these, because I am going to the Father” (Jn 14:12). This wasn’t just for the apostles, but for “whoever believes.” That’s us!

Fr. Mathias Thelen, Fr. John Riccardo, Dr. Mary Healy, Patrick Reis, and others proclaimed these truths and how to live them out. Some more key points:

  • Signs and wonders are not the whole Gospel, but the Gospel is not whole without them. Jesus never proclaimed the Gospel without demonstrating its reality.
  • Jesus did what He saw the Father doing (Jn 5:19). That’s the key for us – do what the Father shows us.
  • When we do the Father’s will, there’s no pressure on us. It’s up to Him to make it fruitful.
  • All fruitful ministry flows from who we are: sons and daughters of God empowered by the Holy Spirit. We need to be grounded in our identity; it’s where we get our humility and authority.
  • We have Jesus’ anointing to do even greater things than He did (Mt 10:1, 8; Lk 10:8-9; Mk 16:15-18).
  • Healing is not about us. It’s about Jesus expressing His love for His people. Compassion compels us to pray for healing and to proclaim the Gospel.
  • Many people are weeping now because so many of those who call themselves Christian are so far from having the heart of Jesus. We need to ask Him to give us His heart.
  • “If we don’t get love right, we get nothing right.” But if we love the way Jesus loved, that would convert nations.
  • Are we willing to be inconvenienced for the sake of souls? There is a cost…but it is nothing compared to the joy that lies before us.

The conference culminated on Saturday evening when worship EXPLODED. Imagine our worship times at the Easter Vigil multiplied for well over an hour straight. Imagine people jumping and dancing with uncontainable joy. Imagine all this with reverence as we came as close as possible to our Eucharistic Lord – the One Whom we love.

During that worship, I realized that this was a dream come true. Literally it was the fulfillment of a vision that other leaders of Upper Room and I received six years ago when we started praying and discerning about what then became the Upper Room ministry.

The vision was to have the church packed to capacity with people praising God, and to have prayer ministry happening all around the walls and overflowing into the rooms across the hall. This happened throughout the conference.

Significantly, there were hundreds of new people there (not only parishioners) because the purpose of the charismatic gifts is to bring people to Christ and set them on fire. Through working with Encounter Ministries, our church was indeed full of people who experienced the fire of God’s love and want to take that fire out to evangelize.

It was no coincidence that this happened at the close of 2017, which marked the jubilees of the 50th anniversary of the Catholic charismatic renewal (in the modern day) and the 100th anniversary of Our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima. The grace of this conference was born through the Renewal, and through the patronage of Our Lady, to whom we consecrated Upper Room six years ago.

The explosion of grace at this event signified that God is doing something new. Spiritually, this is a new season. He is moving in power with healings, conversions, and other miracles on a level that we have not seen before. Many Christians around the world are witnessing the same thing: God is moving in power.

A few testimonies:

  • Numerous people received physical, emotional, &/or spiritual healing. Stories are still coming in.
  • A conference attendee who does jail ministry shared that when she went to the jail after the conference, she felt led to pray over the women for a “baptism of love.” All of the women there were touched in some way through this prayer. One thanked her for taking her faith to another level. Another saw a white glow around some of the other women, signifying the presence of the Holy Spirit.
  • A 13 year old told her siblings, “Let’s go find someone to evangelize!” She began praying over all of her friends at the next prayer meeting, and saw amazing things happen.

After the conference, a boy received a vision that has since received some confirmation. He saw a forest of tall trees whose branches had all been chopped off, except for some branches at the top. A beautiful lynx walked by peacefully, and an alligator glared, ready to kill.

He was shown that we are the forest, and we have received lavish graces from the Holy Spirit, particularly through conferences like the 2013 Charism School with Damian Stayne and this conference. At the high points we’ve extended those graces to others, but we have not extended them consistently. There is a beautiful power and strength like the lynx’s when we use them, but Satan is also prowling, ready to kill.

We haven’t been given these graces just to enjoy a nice weekend retreat. They are the means God has entrusted to us to save souls. As members of Christ’s Body, we all must respond. No one is exempt.

So how do we respond to all of this?

  • Ask Jesus daily what He has for you to do. Listen to Him.
  • Step out in faith, trusting that He will be faithful.
  • Come to Upper Room’s Praise & Worship on Friday nights to encounter Him and exercise your gifts.
  • Learn from the multitude of resources here at and

Perhaps a 17 year old attendee said it best: “There’s no going back. This is the start of something big. I don’t know what that will be yet, but it’s BIG!” 🔥


By Christy Whiting, Upper Room Director

Trackbacks are closed, but you can post a comment.