Today we continue with a guest blog by one of the Parish Priority Planning team members. We hope her post will further inspire your to serve God and "Go Deep" for our faith and parish.
St. Peter said to members of the early church: As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of Gods varied grace (1Peter 4:10). My participation on the Priority Planning team has been heavily influenced by the fact that our parish is a stewardship parish and I am a member of the Stewardship Council. So who is a Christian steward? “…One who receives God’s gifts gratefully, cherishes and tends them in a responsible and accountable manner, shares them in justice and love with all, and returns them with increase to the Lord.”
I think one of the best things we did as a Priority Planning team was to have listening sessions; those sessions gave us an opportunity to hear the needs, expectations and dreams of our parishioners. It is exciting to see our parish embrace the four pillars of stewardship – Hospitality, Prayer, Formation, and Service. But even though we do these well, during the listening sessions I heard a longing to do more and a desire to reach out to more people who have needs.
This led the Priority Planning team to develop goals that will better enable our parish and parishioners to serve each other and our community through the love of Christ. One of the three priorities identified is the need to look at our facilities and to see where we can better use both sacred, social, and educational space, or create more space to carry out our ministries. We need to be a hospitable parish that welcomes families and help form them throughout their spiritual life. Educational and social spaces to have classes, activities, or gatherings--allowing the ministries of the parish to include all who want to participate. The sacred space allows each parishioner to mature in his or her faith life and draw closer to God.
Jesus called Peter to go out and put his nets into the deep after a fruitless night of fishing. Faith is what enabled Peter to do as Jesus asked and go beyond his comfort zone. We are each asked to do just that; to share our faith and be good stewards of the gifts God has given each of us. I hope that each of you will be excited about the goals we have chosen to develop over the next 18-24 months, take an active part, and encourage others to participate.
--Diane Erbacher (fourth from left)