Fr. Tim's Letter - June 17th, 2018 Father's Day

Happy Father’s Day,

People of the Resurrection...

As required by the statutes of the State of Wisconsin, we held a good Annual Parish Meeting on June 5th; a small group – as they usually are in parishes - but good information, honest discussion, sincere questions, soulful sharing and genuine care for our parish family here at Resurrection. How beautiful is that!?!

Over the next 3 weeks or so, I thought to share the “New Pastor’s Impressions”, which I was asked to offer that evening.  I did so in the context of a SWOT Analysis: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

This week – strengths & weaknesses…from the perspective of a ‘dumb new pastor’ (my term; hopefully not yours) with both fresh eyes, ‘other’ experiences and very limited experience here at Resurrection – only 5 months. I think that I’ll be the ‘dumb new pastor’ for a long time.

STRENGTHS

  • A broad cross-section of age, gender, etc. in our Sunday Assembly
  • Very good participation in the Adult Generations of Disciples (GOD) Formation
  • Many & varied programs, ministries, events and offerings
  • Seasoned, well-trained staff
  • Strong financial support/base
  • We ‘tithe’ collectively as a parish family
  • Successfully launched and shared Father Allouez Catholic School
  • Participation in COTS Summer Program of St. John Homeless Shelter
  • Exceptional parish plant & campus

WEAKNESSES

  • Low Sunday Mass attendance (25%)
  • Aging Census (306 households out of 1500 households – 20% - have children ages 1-18.)
  • Low participation in Faith Formation Program (41% of eligible families participated in 2017-2018)
  • ‘Disconnect’ of many Day School Families with the Parish Family (This is common in the GRACE System parishes/schools.)
  • At ‘55’, still awaiting our first ‘priest-son’ from Resurrection. All ‘pools for ministry’ are shallow and aging these days.
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I realize that these are just ‘nuggets’.  Far from being the ‘whole story’, they are pieces which ‘stand out’ when looking with ‘new eyes’. How would you list our strengths & weaknesses? Perhaps a good exercise these summer weeks!

In all of the blessing & challenge of it, we trust…

“God will bless us...EVERY one”!