Presentation on theme: "Seeing the Forest For the Trees The Parish Pastoral Council as a Visioning and Planning Leadership Body Mary Ann Gubish, D.Min. Presenter."— Presentation transcript:
Seeing the Forest For the Trees The Parish Pastoral Council as a Visioning and Planning Leadership Body Mary Ann Gubish, D.Min. Presenter
Novus Habitus Mentis From reacting to the present to creating the future. From focusing on things, programs, committees to seeing the inter-relationships. From viewing a static snapshot to reflecting on patterns of change and what they mean. From seeing people as hapless reactors to seeing them as active participants in shaping their reality.
Everything Interrelates Reality is made up of circles of influence, we too often see straight lines. We need to use language of interrelationship, otherwise we speak fragmented views.
LUMEN GENTIUM 8 The one mediator Christ, established and ever sustains here on earth his holy Church, the communion of faith, hope and charity as a visible organization. The 1985 Synod of Bishops proclaimed the ECCLESIOLOGY OF COMMUNION as the central and fundamental idea of the Vatican II documents.
Pope Benedict XVI “It is in the concept of communion that theology in our own day has found the key for approaching the mystery of the Church…a Sacrament of intimate union with God and of the unity of the whole human race.” Dec. 12, 2007 General Audience
A WAY OF BEING The Church as communio is a way of existence, a way of being. As a baptized member we take on God’s way of being which is a way of relationship with the world, with other people, with God. John D. Zizioulas Being as Communion
A COMMUNION OF COMMUNIONS Communio is a reciprocal religious relationship to be safeguarded at all costs!
We Are All In This Together The Church is an event of communion, and that is why it cannot be realized as the achievement of an individual.
SUNDAY EUCHARIST Communio is made most visible at Eucharist, the most intensive event for the Church. Eucharist celebrates who we are: the Body of Christ…a Holy Communion. Eucharist gives us a taste of eternal life as love and communion.
Whoever enters into communion with the Lord… is expected to bear fruit! The Amen of the liturgy makes demands beyond the Kiss of Peace!
COMMUNION GIVES RISE TO MISSION The Church is missionary by her very nature. It is not that the Church has a Mission but the Mission has a Church! Communion and mission are inseparably connected. Where communion is weakened, mission suffers. John Paul II
MISSION= Why We Exist ? unchanging glue that holds us together ? leaders die, programs become obsolete ? we grow, decentralize, expand, merge, collaborate ? MISSION endures
Getting through Change = Knowing Our Mission Only organizations with a clear focus will make it through a period of change!
JESUS’ MISSION STATEMENT The spirit of the Lord is upon me… To bring glad tidings to the poor To proclaim liberty to captives Recovery of sight to the blind To let the oppressed go free… Lk.4:16-21
MISSION QUESTIONS Why are we here? Why is it important that we continue to exist? Why would anyone want to become a part of us?
WHAT MAKES US DISTINCTIVE? Who are our people? What do they hunger for? What are the issues? What are the “signs of the times?
Ministry of Pastoral Councils have a gut level belief in the mission can articulate the mission are exemplars of the mission inspire others because of belief in the mission
BE VIGILANT ABOUT MISSION
VOTING CONSENSUS majority overpowering minority forces people to choose one of two sides defend own position defeat others “efficient” body that acts together or not at all no decision is made until everyone is willing to go along with it scrutinize my own views listen with care to others
CONSENSUS IS... SEEKING THE UNITY BENEATH OUR DIFFERENCES
TRUTH... IS NOT A MATTER OF NUMBERS. TWO TRUTHS IN CONFLICT PRESS TO FIND THE THIRD TRUTH!
MINISTRY OF PASTORAL COUNCIL primary allegiance is to the future of the parish willingness to work toward consensus flexibility and openness listen, listen, listen
PLANNING MEANS... Making Choices About the Future Choosing a Direction Getting Results
PLANNING BASICS KNOW THE FACTS ASK THE FOLKS FOCUS ON THE MISSION UNCOVER THE 3-5 YEAR GOALS CREATE THE YEARLY OBJECTIVES OVERSIGHT
Data Gathering Gives Direction Information obtained through data gathering gives substance and credibility to a pastoral plan. Anecdotal or felt perceptions are not enough.
Hard Facts…Observable Trends Fiscal reports Job descriptions Parish history Census totals Sacramental stats Catechetical and School stats October Count Parish organizations Current demographics of neighborhood/city/boro Economic/social realities Public projects (sewage, highways, bridge closings) Plans of nearby parishes Ecumenical efforts
The Plan is in the People Frequent canvassing and specific surveys Parish assemblies Mini-assemblies Clipboards after Sunday Liturgies One on One Interviews Focus Groups Neighborhood Assemblies Invite yourself to the meetings of parish organizations
Parish Pastoral Planning Cycle Gather Information Focus Information Identify Concerns and Issues Engage Parish Revise & Create Goals Create Objectives Engage Parish Implement & Assess Evaluate Mission
MINISTRY OF PASTORAL COUNCIL commit to planning remain faithful to planning cycle create opportunities for parishioners to contribute to and share ideas for the future identify pastoral needs respond to these needs
NOT BY CHANCE IF PLANNING PROPOSES A FUTURE BY DESIGN, NOT BY CHANCE, OVERSIGHT GUARANTEES THAT THE PLAN IS KEPT ALIVE BY ON-GOING EVALUATING, AND MAKING APPROPRIATE ADJUSTMENTS.
OVERSIGHT MEANS Promoting ACCOUNTABILITY Taking time to EVALUATE 1. Council performance 2. Implementation groups performance 3. Impact of goals and objectives on the total parish SUPPORTING in times of difficulty CELEBRATING VICTORIES
PASTORAL COUNCIL MINISTRY communicate affirm empower practice patience put on love
SPIRITUAL FORMATION Prayer, study, reflection on Scripture and Church teachings are ways of listening for God’s direction as we identify and prioritize the ways in which the parish is being called to live out its specific mission.
PASTORAL PLANNING IS LISTENING… Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it! Psalm 127
MINISTRY OF PASTORAL COUNCIL Spiritual Formation Team Faith Sharing Discernment Annual Retreat Knowledge of the pastoral elements of parish life
PARTICIPATION… IS THE ESSENCE OF COMMUNION AND MISSION!
The Conciliar Church “Ecclesial communion implies that each local church should become a participatory church…there is a need to foster participatory structures as pastoral councils…” John Paul II
Implications of the Ecclesiology for Parish Pastoral Councils Faith Sharing Focus is on parish relationships in Christ (avoid the “activity trap”) Open, transparent consultation Leadership Body Representative Body Clergy and Laity in dialogue Mutuality, respect, reciprocity
Pastor and Council Behaviors that Match the Ecclesiology Listen, gather, invite, convene Learn conflict management, consensus building Develop “People Skills” Welcome and engage the wider community, other parishes, other denominations. Grow in your understanding of the Church as a Communion and Mission.
THE PURPOSE: To Foster Pastoral Activity In Christus Dominus 27… a) To study the life and activity of the parish; that is to research the needs, the ideas, the hopes of those whom the council ministers to. b) To evaluate the pastoral life of the parish in light of its mission. c) To recommend pastoral initiatives.
What the Council IS NOT Legislative Policy-making Decree-issuing Finance Driven Administrative Coordinating IS A mission motivated leadership body who with the pastor and in broad consultation with the parish creates long and short range goals and objectives by which the pastoral work of the church is to be accomplished.
Truly Pastoral “It may well be that we will see emerging a true pastoral council on the parish level, leaving the development and coordination of ministerial committees and apostolic lay organizations to parish staff, thereby avoiding the growing sense of boredom on parish supercouncils where the only action month after month is hearing reports from committees, commissions and organizations each having a reserved seat on the board.” Canonist Bertram Griffin Code, Community, Ministry
And the Lord Said… Write the vision down. Make it plain upon tablets, So they may run who read it! Habakkuk 2:2
Where do we go from here… With our council? With the parishioners? What are the questions we have?
THANK YOU It has been a privilege to share the good news of what leadership can attain in our Catholic Church! Please contact me for information or inspiration at