Divine Renovation: Notes from 9.11.18

On Tuesday, Sept. 11th, the leadership body of our parish met to discuss the book Divine Renovation. The entire group read the introduction to the boom, and had a lively discussion about the content. Below is a list of the discussion questions and the responses that were given.

Our next meeting is on Tuesday, October 9th at 7pm in Beaven Hall, where we will discuss chapter 1, entitled “House of Prayer: Remembering Our Identity and Purpose”. To obtain a copy of the book, please contact any member of the parish staff, or visit the rectory.

Opening Discussion

What stories can be told of our parish that speak of our trust and hope in the Lord, and show us as images of God’s Love in this world?

Group responses:

Camaraderie found in Fests and neighborhood gatherings. (Benfest, Oktoberfest etc.)

Children’s Liturgy is very helpful for families.

More adult education.

There were three church buildings built and needed in 15 years of being in the community. People were coming to this area and were people of great faith.

The variety of ministries at the parish speak to this commitment.

Our outreach and awareness of community needs. (Support of Common Pantry, lunch program, Holiday Dinners that are for anyone who needs company during the season, Human concerns Commission, the Sunday Bus for Seniors)

The support parishioners extend to a parish member whose family is rebounding from loss or tragedy.

Christ Renews His Parish; the yearly retreat for women and hopefully restart for men

Hospitality after Masses

Attendance and participation in the liturgy shows our trust and hope in the Lord 

We have a generous parish.

Our support of our campus – we have improved the property and that makes it more attractive and inviting to the community

Our stain glass windows and remodeling/upkeep of the church buildings

Bluepoint Security – we care about the safety of all that come here

How are we in need of refining our parish story to meet the needs of the present day?

We need to become more inclusive. We could engage and reach out to people by learning each other’s names.

We need to make sure doors are unlocked and we are a more welcoming people.

We need to acknowledge our current environment: violence in city, sex abuse crisis, needs of others caused by migration and hunger, needs of families, a space for prayer and action.

Prioritize mass attendance.

We are a huge vibrant parish that needs to be looking out, more.

We can strengthen our relationship with our sharing parish.

We need to continue what we are doing and adapting our response as needed.

We need to be flexible and open to change.

We need to encourage more parishioners to get involved in the community.

We need more ecumenical efforts, to restart the Ecumenical group that fostered community   to people of other faiths.

We need to evangelize, invite people to our parish.

We need to increase our response to social justice concerns.

We need to bring new faces to be involved in ministries.

We need to be attentive to building up the image of the church and How we do that.

Discussion Questions Regarding “Introduction: House of Cards”

As you read this intro, does this sound familiar to you? Does this sort of confusion over purpose and use of parish buildings happen in your parish?

It seems sometimes sports take priority in using space.

Sometimes it’s difficult to reserve space for catechetical events.

Sometimes it seems it get lost that we are a parish and faith formation is  a priority.

We could use large sporting events as ways to invite people into the parish but, we do not.

We could improve on our missionary efforts. We do not do much to invite people to participate in the parish whether it is people who are regularly here or visitors to the parish who are here because their kids are in a sporting event.

Could we put a younger spin on our church motto. We have something for everyone. Younger generations seem to be searching for something. Are we doing enough to welcome this group?

Our group spoke of BINGO being gone and people being upset but, most of the BINGO attendees were not parishioners.

We need to get people more involved in the Mass and the commissions. We need to think about spreading the Word and getting people to come back to the church.

We love that Fr. Steve challenges us to think about what we can do this week, at the end of his homily.

There is always something going on – we have a lot going on to bring people together – but what is the real purpose of the buildings? Variety is good – but do we have enough based on our faith and the formation of our faith? 

The Church used to be the centerpiece – the place where everything began..it is not that way anymore.  The focus used to be more on the growing of our faith – You knew it was a Catholic school and you could tell the difference between the Catholic and public school. Parents made going to Mass a priority, but generations that came after did not have that emphasis. You could count on the fact that good values were being taught.

How would you describe this as it applies to our parish…are we an essentially a missionary church?

Outreach to the community – human concerns ministries is missionary.

Carrying out our mission can mean opportunities to evangelize and invite people to become engaged.

We are lacking in our ability to touch others spiritually – to live out our discipleship.

We feel ill equipped in the teachings of the church to be able to evangelize.

We need to help people continue their faith formation beyond getting the sacraments.

Offer more presentations to educate them in the faith – so people can evangelize.

We have to find new ways to invite and encourage people to become more engaged.