By: Kaitlin Larson
We continued our conversations this week on communio, missionary spirit, our call to holiness, and spiritual stewardship. While talking about each of these topics, the committee looked at what we already do well as a parish community, what can be improved on, and possible ideas to consider moving forward. In each of these areas we already do many things well as a parish, but all agree more needs to be done to meet the needs in our spiritual community.
Communio and missionary spirit relate to how we welcome our parishioners, both new and established, and how we put the gospel into action by our giving back to the community. Greeters do a great job at welcoming our parishioners with a smile and getting people involved within Mass. Our parish fundraiser and coffee and donuts after Mass are also ways we show our hospitality. We show our missionary spirit through the Giving Tree at Christmas, the food pantry, and Deborah’s Place. However, we would like to expand further into the community and getting more people involved through volunteer opportunities. The committee has identified that we have a strong base to build off of but there is room for further improvement. In moving forward, we would like to have activities to target our teen population, new registrants of our parish, being more informative in what ministries and volunteer opportunities we have to offer, and a more scheduled and structured way to get volunteers involved.
We are also seeking a wider range of volunteers to partake in such activities. When considering volunteering or being involved in one of our ministries, there is a difference between doing it one or two times a year versus making it our mission and being an active participant. Fr. Larry is very supportive of new ideas from our parishioners, and encourages their participation and leadership. If you would like to get involved with something specific in our parish, please reach out to someone on the Parish Transformation committee or those who head our ministries.
Call to holiness revolves around nurturing our faith and making it a part of our everyday lives. We feel the ICSJ parishes are a place to call ‘home’ for many people and the powerful homilies set us a part from others. RCIA participants, weddings, and baptisms are regularly recognized at Mass or in the weekly bulletin. The Parish Transformation committee would like to expand on our retreats and how we can use neighboring parishes to expand out in the community and gain ideas. We also started a conversation on spiritual stewardship, or looking at time, talent, and financial considerations. It is to be continued next week.
Looking ahead to the coming weeks, two to three members of the parish transformation committee will start drafting our mission narrative, as we will start putting the pieces together in identifying who we are and what we want to be.