Keeping you in the Loop
“The quality of our lives is determined by the quality of our communication.”
You may remember this quote from my Christmas message to everyone; it’s a quote I learnt many years ago, and have strived to live by ever since. If I’m being completely honest, however, Catholic Parishes (as institutional identities), are sometimes a little slow at communicating information and maintaining a healthy level of transparency. I hope that over the last five months, you have experienced a healthy level of communication from both myself, Fr Ejikeme, Fr Francis and the parish office.
One of the challenges of any institution which runs on minimal paid staff and which relies heavily on the generosity of volunteers, is simply getting the right information out at the right time. To assist with this, while Eileen Roberts is taking extended leave from the parish office, together with Dawn Morrisson’s retirement, I have enlisted the help of six volunteers. While we are still in the training and induction phase with our new office volunteers, it is likely that if/when you call or visit the parish office, you will be talking to a different person each time. Once our new office volunteers are in place, we will announce them and share a photograph.
On the subject of volunteers, one of the whole-of-parish outcomes from the drafting process of our Strategic Plan, will be that in five years’ time or before, we aim to have 70% of worshiping parishioners involved in a ministry every year. This is a significant undertaking and can only be achieved by enlisting the assistance of lay leaders in the parish.
While we are in the process of forming our six ministry leadership teams – Children & Families, Youth & Young Adults, Faith & Formation, Worship, Community Life and Service & Outreach – what is perhaps just as important is that we have two lay leaders in each worshiping community; one main leader and an apprentice. These leaders, who, together, will form the Communities Council, will have the authority to lead and make decisions about their own worshiping communities. The Communities Council will meet with the Parish Priest or a representative from the Parish Leadership Team (PLT) bi-monthly or quarterly and will be a key component in promulgating and promoting the vision of the parish.
Finally, in order to promote a spirit of synodality – when listening is more than simply hearing but journeying together – I invite your continued conversation on the way forward for our parish. In an effort to be incredibly deliberate about our Mission: to be a vibrant community who accompany others to encounter Jesus, I have instigated this entire Strategic Planning Process. Our future, however, is not one in which one person makes all the decisions. My role is to share a vision for our future, while together, our role is to continue discerning what the Spirit is saying to us – in essence, asking what God’s will is for us and our community. My hope is that you see this entire process as an opportunity to not only grow in your relationship with Jesus, but to grow in your baptismal identity as someone who is called and sent on mission; to be a missionary-disciple who goes out to accompany others into relationship with our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Wishing you every peace and blessing,