Spiritual Reflection on: Parish Vision Component #5
On June 8, 2014, I rolled out an outline for a long-term “Parish Vision – Discovering and Living God’s Call For You.” (See website blog here). The vision contained 5 components. This week, I would like to focus on Component 5, which involved “Parish Stewardship” and update you all on where we currently stand.
Since February of this year, with the help of a consultant, The Remington Group, we began developing a 5-year, integrated facilities plan for the parish. This process involved 6 steps and was to include:
- Smaller, short- and medium-term maintenance and repair items.
- Larger, medium- and long-term capital improvements (ceilings, roofs, boilers, HVAC, parking lot…).
- Medium- long-term “strategic items” where we either enhance the facilities we have or consider new additions to address the pastoral priorities of St. Monica.
Finances for steps 1 – 5 had already been approved and budgeted by the Finance Council.
In Step 1, Remington looked at the two parish questionnaires taken in 2010 and 2013. Next they examined the “Parish Priorities” of Youth, Liturgy and Building the Parish Community as well as the major initiatives of the “Parish Vision” listed above.
Remington then came up with a list of 6 questions that corresponded with these items. The Parish Council pulled together representatives from a number of key parish groups (Youth, CYO, Finance Council, Pastoral Council, Music & Liturgy, Men (Holy Name), Women (Women’s Group), Parents with Children, Parish Staff among others), sent these parishioners the questions and forwarded the results to Remington by July 11.
In Steps 2 – 3, Remington developed an RFP, which went out to several architects, one of which (GKO Architects), was chosen last week and a contract subsequently signed.
Let me skip ahead for a moment…
In Step 5 – For roll-out by December 22 this year, Remington and GKO would like to present a (preliminary) comprehensive, integrated 5-year plan – encompassing all of the components listed above – to the parish-at-large. This would include preliminary site plan ideas, conceptual drawings (called “renderings”), preliminary cost figures and a tentative implementation schedule.
In Step 6 – On Saturday January 24th, 2015 – following the 5:00 Vigil Mass, GKO/Remington will offer to the Parish of St. Monica a final presentation with refined renderings, cost figures, potential next steps and implementation schedule.
Soon after this presentation (January – February time-frame) St. Monica will begin a parish-wide discussion to answer such questions as, “Ok, what do we need to do now? What would we like to do now and in the future? What do we feel we can do and by when?
A substantial number of inactive and partially-active parishioners come to our church during the Christmas holidays. We felt that this presented us with an opportunity to engage a significantly larger population of the St. Monica Parish Family than normally would be present, and to present them our ideas about the future of the parish. Thus, we felt that it was critical to have Step 5 completed in time for Christmas. However, in order for GKO/Remington to complete this, a significant amount of information needs to be collected, analyzed, re-worked and prepared within a VERY aggressive timeframe (10 weeks). This is Step 4 where the parish now finds itself.
Ok – Step 4. GKO will, first, re-engage parishioners from the various focus groups mentioned above in Step 1 (representatives from the various groups/organizations/ministries of St. Monica). Much information has already been collected by Remington but GKO would like to also interact with them directly before the “put pen to paper.”
Then, on SATURDAY NOVEMBER 1, GKO will host an “Interactive Workshop” from 9:30 – 12:30 in the School Cafeteria. This will allow the parish-at-large to interface directly with GKO/Remington, allowing GKO/Remington the opportunity to glean additional ideas before GKO prepares any final documents.
I would ask all parishioners to please pray for the people involved, as well as the process in which we are currently engaged, so that we would be attentive to the voice of the Lord as He leads the Parish of St. Monica through these next, important steps.