Mary and Joseph took Jesus up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.
My Dear Friends in Christ,
The Presentation of Jesus in the Temple by Mary and Joseph offers us an insight into the love and faith that helps us grow strong in grace and wisdom. Joseph and Mary can only offer the fullness of what God wants for their beautiful child in and through their faith. For Mary and Joseph, the faith community represented by the Temple, is a sacred and beloved home, and their child a gift from God to be raised in that home and with that faith. Such an understanding of who the faith community is called to be is the perfect opportunity to share the great news of our progress.
In this week's bulletin, you’ll find a copy of our Strategic Pastoral Plan. This document, called for by the Pastorate Process, is the fruit of over a year of discernment, prayer and study by the Pastorate Council. This is not merely meant to be placed on a shelf as we commend ourselves for jumping through the hoop. It reinforces our Mission and our Vision as the foundation of who we are and where we’re going while highlighting our goals for the next few years. I’ll be preaching on it next week as well to lay out some of the basic and guiding principles. I ask you please to read and reflect prayerfully on the enclosed document.
Part of this process is listening to and hearing from you. To that end, we are making use of the Member Engagement Survey. Designed by Gallup, this confidential survey will help us understand and measure spiritual engagement in and by the community. Gallup defines spiritual engagement as the degree of belonging each member has in their local faith community and has found that when purposefully addressed, spiritual engagement translates into positive outcomes both inside and outside the local faith community. When members feel engaged, they regard their faith community like family and demonstrate a high level of ownership for their mission and ministry. Gallup will compile the results and analyze them for us so we can have a better handle on where we are and what areas for growth may be indicated. A copy is enclosed in this bulletin for your review and we will take this in place next weekend.
There will also be two opportunities offered to solicit your direct input. You can e-mail me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Secondly, we will have two moderated Listening Sessions. The first will be at St. Mary’s after the 4:00 p.m. Mass on Saturday, February 15 and the second will be at Holy Family on Tuesday, February 18 at 7:00 p.m. in the Legacy Room.
I encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities to share the fruit of your prayer, reflection and discernment and any concerns you may have. We’ll have further details as the time approaches.
In Simeon and Anna, we see the community we hope to become: one that welcomes those who come to us and shares with them the love of God while recognizing the Christ they bring to us. What a model and image for us as a faith community in the pastorate. God will certainly bless our efforts, helping us to know how close God is and how much God loves us.