Evaluation – Sunbury
In two meetings open to all parishioners, about 25 people took advantage of the opportunity to evaluate and give suggestions for future planning.
The process followed three broad questions:
1. where are we on our journey of renewal, 2. where do we want to be in a specified time, and 3. how can we get there.
1. Where are we on our journey
Achievements and efforts:
1. Worship spaces
Opportunity provided (three sessions) for formation about changes in worship space. This was very beneficial for those who took advantage of the opportunity; brief moments of formation also given during our Sunday liturgies; both worship spaces have been renovated and made more inclusive and accessible; more friendliness at Mass — we learnt from our experience in the hall and we like the togetherness; sense of pride in what we have achieved
2. World Youth Day
Cross and Icon in Sunbury; a great parish event, well-attended and well organized; the ecumenical character of the event was also well done and well received.
3. Thanksgiving Campaign (Planned Giving) was successfully carried out and with a successful result even though times are difficult.
24 NH’s were set up; some have Coordinating Teams, others just a Coordinator, and most have a network of Parish Posties. We have come a long way but still have a long way to go. Some NH’s are functioning better than others; it is a struggle to get some of them established. The efforts of NH teams were commended.
5. Parish Posties and Evangelizing Letter : There has not been a lot of feedback but what there is has been positive, e.g. feel recognised as a parishioner though I don’t come to Mass; a great initiative; given confidence to contact Parish Priest for a visit; it is hard to know the results of the Evangelizing Letter but the parish is right to make the effort to involve all in the mission of evangelizing.
6. Sacramental Programmes: The children are made known to the parish and parishioners are asked to pray for them and support them; they give energy to our parish; baptismal preparation programme expresses the fact that baptism incorporates us into the Body of Christ; the preparation of some children and culmination of the RCIA at the Easter Vigil was a powerful experience;
7. Parish Team, Parish Pastoral Council and Parish Coordinating Team: recognition of the valuable work of the parish team; good move to amalgamate the Council and the Coordinating Team
8. Christmas Appeal: good change in this appeal; targeted for a more generous and practical response, expressing a recognition of the dignity of people by giving them the opportunity to use the donation in a way best suited to their needs.
9. Social Justice: incorporation of care for the environment in their portfolio
10. Knights of the Southern Cross: more awareness of their work though they are small in number.
11. Sunday Bulletin: very good content and very informative
We are pleased with our parish and we see that we are moving forward. There is a sense of openness, no closed doors, with the opportunity to participate and dialogue. Small social groups starting up; community spirit is good and still growing; there are a lot of ordinary things going on all the time (e.g. visits to the sick) that we forget about; we tend to see just what is lacking.
No children’s liturgy at present; Mass numbers dwindling; people holding back on making a commitment; need to improve our roster system; not enough consciousness of the fact that we are all called to evangelize; some NH’s not functioning too well; after a good start things seem to have died back; services for youth are lacking; lack of communication
2. Where do we want to be this time next year
Note: the morning group preferred to look at a three-year time span
Increased participation and commitment; change involvement from just school to parish; church be inclusive of all irrespective of financial considerations, e.g. high school fees; involve newcomers with their gifts; find ways to use the talented and willing people; ten new people involved; are we cliquey: we hang around after Mass but talk to the same people; personally invite people to participate; invite people to consider changing their role
1. Liturgy: annual change-over of lectors; improve the way the readers and special ministers are organized; reinstate Children’s Liturgy; extra activities in the liturgy: should not be too many on the same weekend;
2. Communication: have a parish magazine; parish letter at Easter and Christmas; more use of parish website; display NH map; names and faces of PCT/Parish Council; name tag and their NH of those at the welcoming desk;
3. NH’s: explore possibilities for development; need for feedback; change the mindset and create awareness that we all belong to a NH and that many things should be organized at NH level; NH make contact with families after baptisms, other sacraments, in times of sorrow and special need, etc.
3. How to get there
Affirming and empowering people to take on parish work, build up confidence in doing things; personally invite people; things take time; we should not be discouraged;
Find out where people are; do a census in every NH;
Stress the importance of meetings such as these as a way of learning about the people and hopes in the parish;
Welcoming area: make it effective; use of parish directory; NH information; photos of key events; photos/names of members of PCT;
Parish Centre: to be more available to parish groups at minimal cost (finance committee)
Rosters: need to act on them; people have volunteered their services and have not yet been called on; increase participation so more are doing less;
Communication: rather than a parish magazine, make better and increased use of Website; parish letter also at Easter and Christmas;
Youth and Children: Youth Mass (perhaps 5.30 Sunday); encourage youth participation; reintroduce Children’s Liturgy; School choir occasionally at Mass;
Music Groups get together to see how to enrich our liturgies;
Cuppa after Mass
Out of all of the above, we feel that the following are the priorities for the coming year. Other aspects can be addressed if we can find the time and the people to carry out the necessary actions.
Census by NH’s (October)
Pastoral Workers/Ministry Weekend (time to be decided) This would include an introductory weekend (at the Masses), preparation of a description of each ministry, and enrolment form
Parish Assembly: on the morning of Saturday 27 February 2010; facilitator: Jill
Development of the PCT/Parish Council amalgamated body: Composition: Parish team; NH
coordinators, perhaps because of numbers, one coordinator represents 3 NH’s; nominate or elect 3
other members at the time of the Parish Assembly (not single issue people)
Gatherings of all Pastoral Workers: for their own enrichment (prayer, formation), to discuss their area of responsibility and organize their service in line with the parish planning; (gatherings could have a different emphasis: one, more geared to organizing their service; one more geared to prayer/formation; one more geared to reporting/accountability to the whole gathering
Rosters; Children’s Liturgy???
NH’s: their continued development: PCT members taking responsibility for different NH’s; encourage NH teams in their efforts to keep the “parish posties” network operating so that the common evangelization thrust can continue; decentralising of sacramental programme has already begun; others to be organized, e.g. visits to sick, RCIA sponsors, acknowledging newly baptised and other special times, e.g. a card . This means finding persons in each NH to carry out these small occasional services, and Lyn to supply the necessary information.
This year’s Evangelizing Letter to focus on the theme of Acceptance/Understanding