I dream of a “missionary option”, that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the Church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world rather than for her self-preservation. The renewal of structures demanded by pastoral conversion can only be understood in this light: as part of an effort to make them more mission-oriented, to make ordinary pastoral activity on every level more inclusive and open, to inspire in pastoral workers a constant desire to go forth and in this way to elicit a positive response from all those whom Jesus summons to friendship with himself.Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel, 27
Bishop Berg has commissioned a Mission Team (Fr. Matthew Wertin, Deacon Dan Leetch, Dr. Seth Wright, and Fr. Carl Wertin) to begin delivering on-site support to parishes for clarifying the true purpose of our parishes, plus how to reorganize all personnel and programs around it.
Everything we do needs to be helping people cross the Thresholds of Conversion in becoming intentional disciples, which will in turn improve other vital areas of operations (i.e. Liturgy, outreach, collections, volunteers, youth ministry, etc.).
Either we will pivot hard and get things on track, or else we will be nothing more than caretakers of dying parishes with the continuing decline well underway. Based on the numbers, “business as usual” now equals failure.
In order to help accomplish this pivot, the mission team has begun offering a “Parish REBOOT.” This process includes a variety of tools, workshops, and other support designed to help parishes make this transition. All parishes in the diocese are encouraged to reach out to the Mission Team to get started on this process or for help with continuing the process.
Goals for the initial stage of a REBOOT (Mission Team member to contact for help is in parentheses):
- REBOOT initial visit with the Mission Team (Fr. Matthew Wertin or any member of the Mission Team)
- Surfacing potential candidates tool used
- Prayer Workshop (Fr. Matthew Wertin)
- First Step Process in place – recommendation: Sycamore (Dr. Seth Wright)
- Parish Leadership Team (i.e., Amazing Parish Team) off-site (Fr. Matthew Wertin, Deacon Dan Leetch)
- Parish Leadership Team (i.e., Amazing Parish Team) active, with scorecard (Fr. Matthew Wertin, Deacon Dan Leetch)
- Short, action-oriented mission/vision statement as criteria for decisions
- Inventory and Evaluation of all parish ministries and activities to align with mission
- Mission/vision cascaded to all layers multiple times
- Homily evaluation (Deacon Dan Leetch, Fr. Matthew Wertin, Fr. Carl Wertin)
- Plan for Pathways of Discipleship (Dr. Seth Wright)
While each of these elements does not have to be done in this exact order and some of them could be accomplished concurrently, this is the general chronological order for accomplishing these goals.