With one heart: engagement builds community

Ed. note: This is the third article in our With One Heart series that explains each of our three parish priorities and goals.

At Mother of God, we are blessed with a dedicated group of parishioners who graciously volunteer to help with various ministries—from acting as ushers and greeters at Mass to organizing events, like the parish picnic or the annual Christmas party. Some roles are big, and some are small, but all of them are important, especially to a parish whose only full-time paid staff member is the pastor.

The Disciple Maker Index Survey we took last spring showed that 50% of people are meaningfully engaged in at least one ministry. But a closer look reveals that it’s the same small group of people who are doing most of the work, and many in that small group belong to an older demographic.

This situation is typical for many parishes, but it is certainly not ideal. Reason #1 is that it makes current volunteers vulnerable to burnout and #2, it limits the parish’s ability to provide much-needed services to its members and those in the neighboring community. Reason #3 is that the people who are not participating in parish ministries or events are missing out on the sense of community that is a natural byproduct of working together AND the parish is missing out on the unique and valuable gifts these people have to offer.

For these reasons, the third priority of the Mother of God Pastoral Strategic Plan is engagement.

Specifically, our goals are that:
  • 75-80% of registered parishioners will be meaningfully engaged in at least one parish ministry or organization by March 2025.
  • 90% of people in the parish will invite someone to at least one parish event annually by April 2025.

The Implementation Team will be looking at ways to build awareness of opportunities to get involved in parish ministries and activities. One obvious way is to promote the Parish Directory of Services that is available on our website under Parish Ministries. We also realize that people are more likely to respond to a personal invitation from someone they know. So, we want to develop stronger networks to help new and existing parishioners feel more welcome and included.

For Mother of God to be a vibrant community of disciples, we need all of us working together in service to Jesus’ name. Your participation, no matter how great or small, will make all the difference.
If you would like to help, or have ideas to share, please contact Cindy Hassan at chassan@fuse.net.