In 2017, Guardian Angels Parish celebrated its 125th anniversary. As part of that celebration, the Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) appointed a committee, called the “Q Group,” to help develop a vision for Guardian Angels’ future so that the parish can continue to grow in faith and enrich the spiritual lives of its members for many years to come. The members of the Q Group have now completed their work and reviewed it with the PPC. Today, I share it with you along with thoughts on how the PPC will use it to strengthen our parish.
Before doing this, I want to thank the Q Group and members of the parish for sharing their experiences and insights. The Church cannot thrive unless we all take personal ownership of our faith and we come together in community. We all know that we can’t do this on the shoulders of a few.
As the PPC reviewed the insights from the Q Group, we saw this as a call to action. While there is a lot to feel good about, there is an opportunity to do more. We cannot afford to stand still. We must provide an atmosphere that allows us to grow closer to God and rejuvenate parishioner enthusiasm and involvement.
It will take us time to evaluate and address every idea in this report; however, we are establishing several short-term goals because we think there are some changes we can implement soon. This includes continuing to meet and work these topics through the summer.
- We will revitalize the Worship Board. We will seek diverse representation on this committee that includes those who attend Mass less frequently, and youth who have recently completed Confirmation. We want to keep many great parts of the Guardian Angels experience, while improving the experience so our parish thrives, and our parishioners can grow closer to God. This could include options for child-care, the repair or renewal items in the church like kneelers, and leveraging our greeters, Deacons, and ushers to improve our Mass experience.
- We will enhance our efforts to welcome new parishioners by renewing our outreach processes. Our first engagement with potential parishioners is a critical part of drawing people to our community of faith, and we believe there is opportunity to have more fellowship events. We will be looking for volunteers to help here, and I will ask for your personal help to reach out and introduce yourselves to new faces.
- In parallel with the first two points, we will renew our PPC committee design. We are considering changing the composition of our PPC, which currently included five Boards. For example, our Ed/Faith committee bears a large scope of responsibilities. It might be necessary to separate some of those responsibilities so we can devote sufficient time to each. Underneath these Boards, we have a large number of Parish Service Organizations (PSOs), many of which are undermanned with no succession planning. We will review this inventory, consolidate responsibilities where appropriate, prioritize those most critical to the mission of the Parish, and the PPC will help resource their efforts.
- We will provide the parish more visibility and access to the PPC. We will more visibly share opportunities to get involved which includes holding a Stewardship Fair in September of 2019. We will also ask committee leaders to regularly review their committee’s priorities with the congregation. We think this will foster more awareness and input into their efforts.
On top of these short-term goals, we will also be developing long-term action plans. This will take longer and will require new ways of thinking. If parishioners are interested in doing more, we would love to hear more from you.
I have included the current members of PPC and their current role. Please feel free to contact them at any time. They would be happy to assist in any way possible and continue to work with all parishioners in making Guardian Angels the best it can be.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Reverend Thomas King
Pastor, Guardian Angels Parish