The following Stewardship Prayer, (believed to be from the Archdiocese of Detroit) offers us inspiration and the key to making the best decision for us all:
“My church is composed of people like me. I help make it what it is.
It will be friendly, if I am.
Its pews will be filled, if I help fill them.
It will do great work, if I work.
It will make generous gifts to many causes, if I am a generous giver.
It will bring other people into its worship and fellowship, if I invite and bring them.
It will be a church of loyalty and love, of fearlessness and faith, and a church with a noble spirit, if I, who make it, am filled with these same things.
Therefore, with the help of God, I shall dedicate myself to the task of being all the things that I want my church to be.”
Planning Process News
In his Exhortation on the “Joy of the Gospel” Pope Francis reminds us that the beginning of Evangelization, indeed all pastoral planning involves “Taking the first step, being involved and supportive.”
One of the most important tasks in taking our first steps together is to listen, and particularly, to listen to the right sources of information. We hoped to accomplish this through our “Mass, Meet and Eat Gatherings,” but of course, a significant number of parish members were not able to be present at those meetings. As with any human communication, it is easy to listen from a very subjective point of view, or honestly, to hear what we want, especially if we are not hearing the information from the source.
The purpose of our gatherings was to listen to how those in attendance respond to the Council’s recommendation that the three parishes merge. To date, the response has been very positive. HOW the merger takes place, and WHAT it will ultimately look like is part of the merger process that we hope to begin in the next month. The answer to WHAT the merger will look like involves a very detailed and complex process involving many different individuals, parish members and professionals in many different fields.
At present, the latest idea making the rounds is that we are going to build a new church at a new location. That decision is far from being made. Statistics and experience tell us that this approach is often successful. However, that may not be possible in our situation for many reasons. It’s good to dream of different possibilities, and to share ideas freely. Care, however, must be taken to be sure the information we receive and share is accurate.
The concept of a new building at a new site is simply a part of the discussion at this point. When important decisions are made, you will hear it from the sources of that information and you will be asked to give us your feedback. Your involvement, support and understanding are the building blocks of any successful outcome.
Fr. Thomas, Fr. Jeff and the Tri-Parish Pastoral Staff and Council.
Results of the "Mass, Meet & Eat"