Archbishop Thomas J. Murphy
“Thank you to everyone who made our Lenten and Easter celebrations so special … our ‘office angels’ who stuff bulletins and fold music sheets, ushers, lectors, musicians, hospitality team, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, participants in the Via Crucis, our Soup & Stations volunteers, parking lot helpers (Thanks, Knights of Columbus!), those who helped with Holy Thursday adoration, everyone who helped decorate, and ALL those who worked behind the scenes. And, special thanks to everyone who joined us for our celebrations. We are indeed blessed by your presence! ” Father Tom Ferguson, Easter 2012
5. Empowering and Engaging Use of Parishioners' Gifts
a. Parish has dedicated Volunteer Coordinator or Stewardship Director (full or part-time) to serve as gifts discernment leader, coach, and ministry coordinator. Every Ministry Director serves as an ambassador of the Stewardship message to their volunteers. Through their direct relationship, Directors assist volunteers in discerning their particular gifts, how they are best utilized, and continue to form and grow their talents in service to the parish and community. Working as a Team, Directors assist volunteers in transitioning from one ministry to another. In the RCIA, our Faith Formation Director and Catechists work with the Neophytes to determine where their gifts can best be used.
b. Parish offers a gifts discernment process to help parishioners identify their gifts and discern where best to use them for the benefit of the parish community and beyond. Stewardship is a frequent topic in homilies, leading parishioners to reflect upon their gratitude for the gifts they have received and how they can best use those gifts to support the parish and Church. Ministry Spotlights give parishioners the opportunity to consider how their gifts and talents are best utilized within a specific ministry. Focusing on one ministry allows parishioners to consider the depth of service opportunities within the ministry. During the Faith Formation spotlight, for example, parishioners learn lesser-known roles that might fit their schedule: Retreat assistant, Hall Monitor, Baking Brigade for Faith Formation events, or Families in Action for those who want family activities.
c. Parishioners are aware of expectations of parish membership (what do I get as a member of the parish; and what can I expect to get from the parish?). Expectations are communicated through bulletin articles, pledge cards, covenant/stewardship prayers, challenging stewardship-themed homilies, welcome packet materials. The parish publishes Quarterly Reports highlighting aspects of Stewardship, answering common questions, and providing updates on parish finances. In the 3rd Quarter FY14 Report, we specifically address what it means to be a member of the parish and how parishioners can get involved. Our website lists ministry opportunities including requirements, time commitment, and points of contact.
d. Parishioners are regularly recognized for using their gifts to serve the community. Maintaining our practice of subsidiarity, Ministry Directors handle recognition and appreciation events at the Ministry level. In Faith Formation, catechists are given a gift at the end of the year; appreciation events such as pot-luck dinners emphasize the hospitality and community aspects of volunteer service; and parish youth place their handprints in the Youth Center honoring their years of participation and activity. The Annual WorkCamp Dinner and Auction combines stewardship (by highlighting the WorkCamp ministry) with recognition and appreciation (for WorkCampers, chaperones, and those who support them with prayers and financial contributions) as well as hospitality. (photos of parishioner recognition)
e. Ministry descriptions are used to effectively communicate expectations for serving in ministry and indicate term limits. Term limits are strongly encouraged to refresh ministries and ministers. Ministry descriptions are included on our website. The Parish Pastoral Council, Finance Council, and Liturgical Ministers have published and acknowledged term limits. The newly formed Baptism Ministry Team specifies the required time commitment and duration of service.
f. Leaders of Ministry are formed in Stewardship and effectively follow-up and welcome parishioners as they indicate interest (either through ministry fair or other contact opportunity). Ministry Spotlights are hosted by the volunteers and supported by the Director, so personal contact begins immediately. If the individual has questions or requests further information, the personal relationship has been initiated, making follow-up more meaningful. Our Book of the Month, particularly in this Year of Mercy, creates unique opportunities to form parishioners in all aspects of their faith, including Prayer and Stewardship as evidenced by two recent books: Return of the Prodigal Son by Henri Nouwen, and Living the Mass by Joe Paprocki.
GSCC Application (Main page)
8. General assessment
9. Supporting Materials