Visioning Committee

My dear friends,

When we had our last “fire-side chat” together back in May, I updated you on the changes to the parish pastoral council, both in it’s structure and it’s purpose. In case you missed this, I’d like to elaborate on this a bit so that all may have a clear understanding of the council’s new role and purpose in the life of our parish.

In the past, many pastoral councils were set up as a “check in” committee to review the calendar for upcoming events, update the pastor on any significant developments from the various departments and provide an opportunity to talk through any new pastoral initiatives or challenges affecting the parish. While all these pieces are helpful, the first two can be achieved easily in other ways.

What I am finding most helpful in my experience as a pastor, and of greater benefit to the parish, is a committee that can help with visioning on the parish’s mission and how to implement a vision in the day to day activities of our community. When a community does not know and understand its mission or purpose, nor have a vision for carrying it forward, it can begin to flounder like a ship without a rudder.

The fruit of our last several meetings gave us great clarity about our purpose and resulted in the refashioning of our mission statement, which better reflects this purpose:

St. Peter’s is here to bring the good news of the Gospel to all, so that every person can have a personal, life changing, life giving relationship with Jesus Christ.

The seven year vision that I’ve shared with you, which also came out of various discussions at our council meetings, is the concrete ‘how,” specific things we will do together to grow in our personal relationship with Christ and help others to encounter Him as well. While the celebration of the Eucharist and other sacraments will continue to hold their central place in our vision—for they are inexhaustible sources of grace and new life—there will also be many other initiatives and programs that will help form us as radiant disciples of Jesus, bold witnesses of New Life in Christ.

Given the pastoral council’s new, dynamic role, we will call it the “Visioning Committee.” As our seven year vision unfolds, there will be the ongoing need for prayerful reflection and discussion so that this vision truly fulfills the Gospel mission of Jesus Christ, and is addressing the various personal and cultural challenges to Faith. For this task, we have a wonderful team of servant leaders from our parish community and staff who are presently serving on the Visioning Committee. They are Paul Hirsch, Sarah Larson, Laurie Redding, Maria Schwartz, Alice Sheeler, Nancy Stanton, Joe Towle, Lisa Amos, David Dunst, Deacon Tim Hennessey, Mary Jubenville, Anne O’Keefe and Kathy Raible. Please feel free anytime to contact us or pull one of us aside if you have any comments, concerns or questions about our mission and vision in the life of our parish community.

I feel so deeply blessed to be here with you, to walk and to grow with you, and to share the joy of witnessing others coming to Christ and to a deeper faith. Let us continue to pray, “Come Holy Spirit, come and renew us, that we may be the Salt of the earth and the Light of the world.”

God love you,

Fr. Steven


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