Pastoral Council News -- October 8-9, 2016
On September 30th three members of the Pastoral Council (Marilynn Pelky, Rob Steberl, and Laura Gellott) joined over 700 people at a program at the Cousins Center, “A Vision for the Future: Evangelization and the Sunday Mass.” It was inspiring to join with so many people who care deeply about our faith and out Church.
Archbishop Listecki addressed the gathering, highlighting the themes which emerged from the 2014 Synod: Catholic Identity, Mission, and Stewardship. “Identity is who we are, Mission is what we do, Stewardship is how we do it,” the archbishop reminded us.
Keynote speakers called for parishes to move “From Maintenance to Mission.” A parish in maintenance mode does “more of the same,” “because we have always done it this way,” often relying on the same people. By contrast, the Synod identified the mission of the archdiocese: “Proclaim Christ, and Make Disciples through the Sacramental Life of the Church.” What would our parish look like, we were challenged to ask, if calendar and budget were mission-driven? As one speaker put it: “The time has come for us to be bold . . . It’s time for us …to take a hard look at how people experience our parish communities when they arrive on our front porch.”
Closely related to the themes of the keynote was a session on hospitality. Practical suggestions were offered for parish staff, as well as for parishioners. We have made some good beginnings here with the monthly “New Member Weekend” sponsored by the Pastoral Council, but more needs to be done, by all of us. Do we invite those seeking a faith community to come to Mass with us as our guest? Do we introduce ourselves to visitors to our parish at the weekend liturgies? Does our parish bulletin and other communication tools provide good information about the ministries and activities of the parish? Are parish staff members welcoming, helpful and accessible?
Valuable ideas and questions for all of us to think about as we live through this time of challenge and change in the life of St. Edward Parish.