The 2017 Annual Catholic Appeal, A Future Full of Hope, Passion for our Faith, Promise for our Future, Care for our Community, and Love for our family.
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Easter flowers and the church

Stewardship of Talent

Growing an Engaged Church 
 

Events / Activities of Growing an Engaged Church 

Leadership Team meets on May 2, 2017.

Find out your top 5 Strengths 

Meet other parishioners and discover your gifts. We meet for three Wednesdays in a row. Contact Moira to register or for more information at moiraschu@comcast.net

Strengths on Display

On Unity Place hallway, there are two “Tree” decals. People’s names and top five strengths are listed on each of the tree’s “leaves.” Check it out.

Engagement Banners 

Our engagement prayer at beginning of Mass is based on the twelve behaviors and attitudes of engagement. We hope as a faith community we can reflect on each of the 12 aspects of engagement with one another. Are the numbers significant? Yes! The first six lay the foundation for the remaining six. The parish leadership has focused on numbers 1-4.

Stewards of God’s Gifts 

Strengths Finder helps individuals discover the person God created them to be, and through it, we grow as individuals and as the body of Christ. When we discover and develop our talents, rather than trying to fix our weaknesses, we can find a new and powerful sense of purpose in our lives.

There are three types of membership in all parishes. They are the Engaged, non-engaged and actively disengaged. Based on the last Members Engagement Questionnaire Survey (ME25), 25% of St. Francis of Assisi community is engaged. The national average is 17%. Over the next three years, the goal is 40%.

Members feel engaged when they are supported in their spiritual practices (worship & prayer) and needs (encouragement & guidance). Our hope is that St. Francis is, and will become even more so, such a home for those who seek St. Ignatius’ insight: “It’s not what I am doing for God; rather what is God doing in me” in becoming the person God in Christ wants me to be.

Sometimes, the word engagement is used to mean “involvement”. They mean different things. Engagement is the feeling of belonging. Involvement means “faith in action” or doing various ministries. A person who feels he/she belongs is six times more likely to volunteer and is far more likely to be spiritually committed. Nationally, the percentage of engaged Catholics is 18%.
 
For engaged members, church is central to their well-being, both personally and spiritually. Non-engaged members – church is important, yet not central to their lives. What is the difference between the two groups? The former group feels St. Francis is like home and they are contributing in a meaningful way in being Christ’s Body for others. The non-engaged, not so much.

What is the difference between doing and being? Being focuses on the glue that connects people together. Doing is outward action that results from the “glue” or emotional connection to one another. Engagement is about the “glue”, or the “energy” people feel when they know they are important to the life of a faith community.

The New Evangelization? Recently, the Archdiocesan Office of Stewardship announced that growing an engaged church is the new evangelization. Why is this important? It means engagement is now something all parishes should be doing- it’s not a passing fad. And two, it affirms empirical data that shows it helps us grow spiritually. Isn’t that what all churches should be doing?

One way we can emotionally connect with one another is by "doing what we do best" (Living Your Strengths). For more details about our logo and strengths, go here.

Praise and Recognition: Leadership groups and parishioners are urged to acknowledge the Stewards of time and talents in our community. The purpose is to feed the soul, not the ego. Another way to look at it: Do you feel the love from the faith community? Does your participation in the life of this parish matter to others? If we can say yes, then people more likely will feel they belong. The stronger they feel they belong, greater is their commitment in living their faith in everyday life.

Engagement means I feel emotionally connected to people at St. Francis of Assisi. Engagement Belief #1 “I feel valuable to St Francis because I know what is expected of me and I know what I can expect of the parish.” Please see the bulletin insert for a description of these expectations.
 
Gallup research shows that the feeling of belonging to a parish community is the single most important factor that fosters spiritual commitment. Because of the positive effect on spiritual growth, the pastor and pastoral council are making Growing Engagement the top priority for the next five years.

 

Stewardship

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Stewardship of Time

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Stewardship of Talent

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Stewardship of Treasure

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