Dear sisters and brothers,
There is always plenty to talk about when families and communities get together. So it was last Sunday when a good number gathered for our parish planning day. Excellently facilitated by Cathy See, we looked ahead and imagined what our parish community might be like in two years ahead. I was delighted by the energy and quality of conversation. As a back-drop to all this, the centenary of the first Mass celebrated in the parish will be commemorated in September, 2018. This anniversary will help concentrate our efforts.
Part of the process last Sunday was to acknowledge our current strengthens and challenges, and to envisage what possibilities the future holds for us. As a result of these discussions, we identified four priorities:
– Developing our community’s vision and clearly articulating St. Agatha’s mission;
– Promoting community engagement;
– Supporting and sustaining parish ministries;
– Establishing a communications and social media plan for outreach and evangelisation.
These priorities will form the basis for a road map into the future and shape our key initiatives. As a first step along this road map, I discussed with the Pastoral Council members a more focussed title for its activities. In the coming months, we will change the name of the Pastoral Council to Community and Mission Council. During this time, the current council will develop a clear vision statement about this dual focus of “community” and “mission”. The Community and Mission Council will aim to enhance and enrich community life through faith formation, connecting with the school community, enriching sacramental formation, encouraging social gatherings, supporting our youth ministry, and fostering of community relationships. It will also strengthen broader outreach through a clear communication strategy, develop opportunities for evangelisation and community service, and promote our commitment to social justice. The Community and Mission Council will be seeking nominations in coming months. I will also be seeking to establish a small committee that will explore options for enhancing our community and gathering spaces, but I will have more to say on that in coming weeks. I am grateful to the Pastoral Council for organising last Sunday’s gathering and to those who attended. The true mark of the success of such days is our ability to translate our words into actions, and this requires the participation and contribution of the whole parish community. It is exciting to dream. It is more exciting to see these dreams come to birth. God is the greatest dreamer there is, and as a community of faith, our task is to be open to the impossible dreams that God breathes into life through us. May St. Agatha, our patron, pray for us as we move into God’s future.
|Jun 24, 2016||4th Sunday of Easter 17.04.2016||Listen||Download|