By Carole Poth, Cluster Administrator
Mark volunteers at the fish fry. Cindy is a catechist. Andrew is a youth member of the parish council. We are so grateful to be blessed with leaders, followers and joiners at this parish.
But sometimes we get stuck in “doing.” We may forget the meaning behind what we do or even lose track of whether the activity is really accomplishing what it was meant to achieve.
A strategic plan helps provide direction so we can determine if and how our activities are fulfilling our mission. Many church planners describe this as “moving from maintenance to mission.” When implemented, a strategic plan focuses the energy, resources and time of everyone in the same direction. And that direction is the mission.
At Saint Sebastian, the first task was to review our mission. An ad hoc committee representing many areas of the parish was assembled to review parish processes and look at the mission and vision statements to see if they still fit. We discussed words and ideas that represent the Saint Sebastian community; got input from councils, committees and staff; and held an all-parish forum to discuss these options:
- Keeping the old statement
- Using the Archdiocese mission
- Forming a new statement
- Creating a hybrid
We went with the hybrid, taking the Archdiocesan mission statement and crafting it to represent Saint Sebastian Parish.
Now after several additional meetings to focus on the parish’s vision, the pastoral council and strategic planning committee are pleased to announce Saint Sebastian Parish’s new mission and vision statements.
Mission: Proclaim Christ and grow believers through the sacramental life of the church in an inclusive and responsive Catholic community.
Vision: A community rooted in a rich history, we aim to sustain our traditions while growing our community in faith and action. Together we will:
- Actively welcome people of all ages into a prayerful and uplifting environment.
- Celebrate the diversity of our urban neighborhood.
- Continually grow as witnesses with a contemporary understanding and practice of the Church’s teaching in the light of the Second Vatican Council.
- Act as a sacramental people called to serve and teach in response to local and global needs.
- Open ourselves to a deeper personal relationship with the Lord.
The strategic planning committee’s work is still going on as we develop a plan to address the issues brought to us through forums and surveys. Parish leadership and staff will have a caucus in June to work on the strategies of each area of the church
- Human concerns/outreach
After the caucus, we will further develop the plan and report to the parish. My job will be to work with councils and staff by monitoring our progress in living our mission. I welcome your input and feedback! Please call me at 414-453-1061 or email email@example.com.