There clear pathways to parish vitality. Thriving parishes consider the strategic questions regarding identity, capacity and purpose. To thrive, and not merely survive in the years ahead, vital parishe must remain true to identity, leverage capacity and communicate a compelling sense of purpose. These parishes will revitalize the congregations and mobilize people around an urgent and evangelizing plan of action. This conviction is at the heart of the Pathways to Parish Vitality project. Consider the resources provided at:
to obtain resources, best practices and practical strategies for: equipping leaders building organizational capacity for growth connecting, welcoming and engaging spiritual seekers fostering spiritual growth in all generations.
"Real effectiveness... less from doing more things and more from doing the right things."
The Pathways to Parish Vitality will equip parishes to accomplish two key goals for parish re-vitalization - to foster parishioner engagement and build parish capacity for mission and outreach. This can be accomplished in many ways some of these include:
Goal 1: Foster parishioner engagement:
- move parishioners from being merely involved to fully engaged
- targeted outreach in the new religious landscape (e.g. inactive Catholics, families or spiritual seekers)
- bridge the divides and create a culture of welcome through small faith communities
Goal 2: Build parish capacity:
- assess the functionality of existing parish organizations for engaging in mission
- adopt collaborative outreach strategies in a parish and parish cluster
- utilize digital technologies to enhance parish outreach and engagement efforts
BENEFITS AND EXPECTATIONS
Participation is open to ALL parishes. Some parishes will develop a plan of action and seek funding from the Foundation.
How will your parish benefit? You will receive:
- tools and needed support to revitalize your parish
- a specialized resource team designed with your particular goals in mind
- clear baselines to use in creating a plan of action with benchmarks for measuring success
- tools to accomplish the goals of increasing parishioner engagement, building parish mission capacity, strategies for evangelization, methods for strategic thinking and organizational change resources from other innovative parishes
- access to supportive web 2.0 technologies access to local learning communities
What will your parish (or parish cluster) be expected to do?
Join us on a pathway to parish vitality!
- establish a leadership team for the project representing the key areas of parish life
- assess current efforts in parishioner engagement and parish capacity for mission and outreach
- develop a plan to accomplish the project goals – foster engagement and build parish capacity
- commit to this effort as a priority for the defined period of the project
- educate the entire parish about their role in engaging people in the Church’s mission
- consider the structures, policies or procedures that will sustain positive innovations
- report progress based on benchmarks for success after eighteen months
There are clear pathways to parish vitality. To thrive and not merely survive in the years ahead, vital parishes will learn to be strategic and responsive to the signs of the times. This conviction is at the heart of the Pathways to Parish Vitality project. To obtain the necessary information and take action you only need to view the project proposal and attend a free conference at Banchetti Restaurant, 550 North French Rd., E. Amherst, NY 14228 on May 20 or 21, 2011. To register call 716-847-5501 or email email@example.com.
The planning conference will equip parishes to transform parish priorities into a plan of action. Participants will follow a strategic process for pastoral planning, and answer the issues arising from a mission-centered approach to parish vitality. Interested parishes will be instructed on the steps of the grant writing process.
In preparation for the planning conference:
- review conference materials
- consider the most significant implications - what challenges your notion of parish purpose and what gives you hope
- assemble the parish team and invite them to view the materials and videos from the last conference at this website
- choose either Friday, May 20st or Saturday, May 21st to attend the planning conference
- discuss ways to enrich parish programs to reach beyond those already engaged and address young families, Millennials and iGeneration?
- use tools in the conference materials to consider particular parish needs, culture and purpose
- assess your capacity for innovation
This initiative is made possible by the generous funding of the Foundation for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo.
CONTACT AND MORE INFORMATION
For more information on Pathways to Parish Vitality project...
Office of Parish Life - Dennis Mahaney
795 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203
Department of Lifelong Faith Formation - Mary Beth Coates
795 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203