Monday Message, April 19, 2021

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It’s time to pause and reflect. Before you open registration for the fall (even if you’ve already done that), take a day or so to meet with your team.

Don’t have a team? We should talk about that.

Ask yourself what we’ve lost in the last year. Time with friends? Marking the rituals of our lives? Being in the presence of our young people? Yes to all of these. It’s important to stop and consider what we have lost before moving forward. What was possible before may not be possible for some time – if ever.

Ask yourself about the assumptions we once had. Many of our old assumptions no longer hold true. If we do not acknowledge the truth of this, we will make decisions that are inappropriate for the next season of ministry. We need good questions to unfreeze some of our old assumptions and expand our consciousness.

Finally, ask yourself what you want to emerge. Do you wish to simply go back to the way things were? If so, ask yourself if those things were every really that effective.

Now, take out a piece of paper and divide it into three quadrants on the front and three more quadrants on the back.

In each quadrant, ask yourself:

1. Make a list of what worked and didn’t work in faith formation pre-COVID with age groups, families, and all ages together.

  • What were you doing in physical settings?
  • What were you doing in online settings?
  • What were you doing in hybrid settings that blended physical and online?

2. Write down your vision and goals for faith formation and make sure your new plan for faith formation is focusing around that vision and goals. If you don’t have clear vision and goals, I cannot imagine you will accomplish much more than checking off who shows up and who doesn’t.

3. Think through what worked and didn’t work during COVID.

  • What worked or didn’t work in faith formation in online-only settings?
  • What worked or didn’t work in faith formation in physical settings?
  • What worked or didn’t work in faith formation in hybrid settings?
  • What works for both a physical and digital setting?
  • What did you start that you want to continue?

4. Identify what you have learned from the challenges you faced and are facing?

5. Identify the new opportunities that are now present to you and your parish?

6. Make a list of the ways that you are innovating. Then identify ways that you can continue innovating in 2021-2022. What areas (challenges, opportunities) are ripe for innovation?

It sounds like work and it is, but our young people are worth the effort.

Have a blessed week.

– pjd


P.S. The photo above is the only tulip the deer didn’t eat.


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