Some months ago, after speaking with the Pastoral Council and talking with the Bishop’s representative from the Diocese, we decided to move forward with a program called “Be My Witness.” Through our baptism we are all called to “witness” Christ in our lives. This works well with the third part of our mission statement: “proclaiming the Gospel.”
In a nutshell the program has two phases with the end goal of establishing “parish small groups” that foster community, prayer, and an evangelistic spirit. We are currently in phase one which consists of a core team including members of our staff, pastoral council, and a few lay leaders. We are at a point now where we are examining five different areas of parish life that will help us move forward into phase two (which will begin in April). This current part of the process will include surveys and gathering information. However, this particular program does not require sending surveys to every parishioner. There will be “pointed” surveys, which will give us accurate information regarding the diversity of the parish, but also not overburden our team with surveys. Furthermore, the survey is done in five segments over a period of many weeks with the same people, so for everyone to do this and keep on track would be extremely difficult.
At the same time, I very much want everyone to participate even in this early part of the process in some way. First is prayer. Whether you receive a survey of not, your continued prayers and specific intentions for the success of this program are invaluable. Second, there will be an opportunity for you to share your thoughts and comments. We plan to have a blog for this purpose on our website (although as I am writing this ahead of time, I cannot give you the link yet), so look there for the “Be My Witness” page. If the blog is not your preference, then feel free to drop a note or email to the rectory marked “Be My Witness” so I and our team can include it in our work. Remember there are five themes we are examining, so keep checking the website and bulletin as we progress through the themes so that your comments can be pointed and complement the surveys we receive.
This is a big undertaking, but I know with your openness, your help, and your prayerful support God will usher in a renewed spirit of witnessing Christ in our parish for our community. Thank you and may God bless you and the whole St. Paul family.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Matthew Pfeiffer