by Trevor Thompson
Director of Pastoral Ministries
Many here at St. Francis of Assisi describe our parish by expressing the felt sense of family and warmth of community, the vibrancy of life in liturgy and in the parish ministries, and the down-to-earth presence and loving dedication of the friars and parish staff. These are qualities that people name when asked why they joined this parish, why they stay, and why they commit to volunteering and giving. For many, this gospel faith community is an important part of their life, and we hope that this continues.
There are others amongst us at St. Francis who are members of this parish but are less engaged in the life of the church. This third strategic initiative we are calling “Engagement” focuses the parish’s efforts on better connecting with these individuals and families in a way that engages everyone wherever they are on life’s journey. In a very large community like ours, it is so easy to remain anonymous, distant, and unsure where one belongs or is needed. We desire that all who are part of this parish community feel welcomed, feel a sense of belonging, and feel that their gifts/talents are a vital part of this community. This strategic initiative of “Engagement” will explore various ways to increase this welcome, belonging, and stewardship of gifts.
Some important strategies discussed in the initial planning of this initiative of “Engagement” include:
- A renewed emphasis on leveraging and growing our Small Church Communities.
- A more engaging baptismal and marriage preparation program with on-going follow-up in these sacramental “touch points.”
- A new and more engaging process by which one joins the parish.
We want to grow an engaged church at St. Francis, and we commit to finding strategies to make this a reality over the next few years. Trevor Thompson, Director of Pastoral Ministries, will be responsible to lead the process for this strategic initiative. Contact him if you are interesting in being part of this exciting journey at 919-847-8205×270