Saturday, January 31, 2015

January's Convocation Notes: February 1, 2015


If you recall in last week’s newsletter, Fr. David presented his opening presentation at the first convocation session.  He stated, “To be Catholic is to be in love with Jesus Christ and to commit ourselves to a relationship with Him, a relationship involving the whole person. Forming Intentional Disciples tells us that there are 3 concurrent journeys that the disciple (or Catholic) takes:

“The personal interior journey of a lived relationship with Christ resulting in intentional             discipleship”

The “ecclesial journey into the Church through the reception of the Sacraments of             initiation.”

The “journey of active practice (as evidenced by receiving the sacraments, attending             Mass, and participating in the life and mission of the Christian community”.



Over 40 people attended the first session.  Gathering and working in small groups, participants kept the three journeys in mind as they analyzed the survey results.  Groups were asked to review the survey responses, divide them into three categories: 1.) Positives of the Parishes; 2.) Challenges; and 3.) Needs – then the groups were asked to list what they believed to be the most important responses in each category.  Here are their findings:

Positives of Parish

1.     Parish is friendly, warm & welcoming

2.     Parish fosters individuals & their desire to deepen relationship with Jesus Christ

3.     Fr. David and Parish Staff

4.     Use of technology as an outreach tool

5.     Opportunities for Personal Faith formation

6.     Homilies inspire and connect scripture to everyday life

7.     Improved music ministry provides inspiring prayer & worship and meets most people’s spiritual needs

8.     Parish is aware and responds to the needs of ill, homebound and poor

9.     Variety of ministries that serve others

10.   Fr. David’s blessing of children

Challenges

1.     Use of wing house property

2.     Making Church/Mass relevant to

a.      Families

b.     Young Adults

3.     Increase Mass attendance

4.     Cursillo/Other Adult Retreats

5.     Determining what makes people drift away

6.     Finding ways to evangelize ALL people

7.     Communicate welcome from Fr. David at Mass

8.     Getting more people involved in parish life to meet the challenges and needs

9.     Increasing number of volunteers to assist with ministries/activities

10.   Focus on the mission of the church and educating what SJE is really about

11.   Increase awareness and conversations on world challenges

12.   Establish a men’s group/guild

13.   Post-confirmation activities/opportunities for teens

14.   Electing a parish council

15.   Obtaining a Deacon

16.   Improve communication

17.   Identifying the needs of each group

18.   Fundraising and balancing budgets

19.    “Hooking” children at young age (service, altar server, passer, singer, donut helper)

20.   Collaboration among ministries where “young and old” work together

21.   More family events

22.   Church community involved in sponsored activities/sports

23.   Informing about importance of working on a relationship with Christ and church

Needs

1.     Personally invite parishioners to join/volunteer for various activities

2.     Discovering/uncovering talents and gifts of parishioners

3.     Deepen knowledge of faith across all ages

4.     Increase parish involvement/activity in the wider community

5.     Establish youth and family ministry

6.     Group for younger children outside of faith formation classes

7.     Deacon

8.     Include an evening weekday Mass

9.     Increase youth involvement at Mass i.e. Lifeteen Mass

10.   A “welcome wagon” for new parishioners

11.   Scripture sharing/bible study sessions for adults4

12.   Classes/workshops on the Mass and its meaning

13.   Better communication using various methods

14.   Discover and address needs of young families

15.   Discover and address needs of young adults

16.   Provide service and mission opportunities

17.   Establish groups for

a.      Youth

b.     Men

c.      Women

d.     Young Adults

18.   Create social events that are age-group specific

Have we missed anything? If so, please be sure to share with us!

Our next session will be held on Saturday, February 28. If you can make this session (even if you did not attend the first) we would welcome your feedback and input.  During Session Two we will break down the aforementioned needs and challenges and we will brainstorm ideas, programs and strategies to address them.  ALL ARE WELCOME AND ENCOURAGED to attend whether you are 14 or 114 years old!   

To RSVP, please contact the parish office by email office@sjeparish.com or phone 508-563-5887 so that lunch can be ordered.  You can also visit the parish center during “Coffee and Donuts” after each Sunday Mass to sign up!

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