At the end of January, (you can see the dates, times, and locations in the bulletin insert), I would like to host several “listening sessions” with members of the parish. I hope these will be opportunities to gather and educate your new pastor about Transfiguration Parish! I am eager to learn about you and hear your thoughts about our parish.
There will be several opportunities to gather, but all sessions will follow the same basic format. The sessions will be held at various times and in various locations, in order to accommodate the needs and desires of different parishioners. Some will be in the parish offices, some in the friary, and perhaps some in the homes of parishioners. A couple of the groups will be focused on our younger people. The size of some groups (e.g., in parishioner homes) will need to be limited due to space considerations. In order to plan, I am asking parishioners to call the parish to let us know which session you will attend. Each session will last about one and half hours.
This is the basic format we will follow:
A. Introductions of those present, so everyone will know each other.
B. Discussion of the following questions:
1. Name one thing you like about the parish
2. Name one thing that makes our parish unique – not better, just different than others
3. What drives the parish / what’s the “engine that leads the train?”
4. Name one challenge we are facing / will be facing as a parish/community/society. (These challenges do not just have to be in the parish, since community and societal issues do impact the parish.)
C. Q and A with the pastor.
Again, we ask you to call the parish office about which session you can attend. If we get lots of interest, we can schedule more! That would be a happy problem. But perhaps you can begin now to think about the questions. I don’t see us engaging in debate, but simply the sharing of ideas and experiences. I will try to process what I hear and share with you the ideas around which we seem to have some consensus. Thanks for being willing to participate. I think it will be enjoyable! Thanks for being willing to educate me!