By Penni Cannova
Parish Pastoral Council currently has 16 members who each serve a three-year term. The terms are staggered so that the Council always has experienced members in addition to new ones. Dominic Sole, the new leader of the Council, explains that the Council serves to advise the parish ministries and offer suggestions to Father Jim. Parish Pastoral Council guidelines from our diocese recommend reaching decisions on a consensus basis, rather than a more formal method like Robert’s Rules of Order.
The Council Ministry or Team
The Council contains representatives from the eight St. Isidore ministries or teams. These teams are: Worship, School Board, K-6 Faith Formation, Connect Youth Ministries, Adult Formation (DEEP) Team, Human Needs, Administration, and the Hispanic Ministries. Teams report to the council periodically at its eight meetings per year. Taking a break July and December.
Joining Father Jim and these eight representatives are 5-6 Members-at-Large, who bring the perspective of the parish community to the table. Tom Norton, Pastoral Staff Director, represents the staff. The Stewardship Council advise Fr. Jim and staff on the overall stewardship culture and spirituality of our parish. It is at the same level in the parish structure as the Parish Pastoral Council.
Only members at large, like Dominic, serve as chairperson of the Council. Each week-end prior to a Council meeting, they host Meet and Greet. Members-at-large greet their fellow parishioners in the narthex to answer any questions and hear from people in the pew their feelings about the direction of the church, ideas and questions. These are then discussed at Parish Council meetings.
How do you get to be on the Council?
If you have an interest in becoming a Council member, talk to a current member or Pastoral Staff or someone at the Hospitality Desk.
Dominic and many of his fellow members like to be doers, but the Council’s role is to help the ministries move in the right direction. The Council always has a five-year strategic plan, and they have six overall goals with fiftytwo strategies within those goals the Council arrived at by working with the ministry teams. Each ministry team then goes out to work to achieve those goals, and reports back to the Council on progress of their goals. That is where the work of the Council comes in: they guide and ensure that the goals and strategies are moving forward. Dominic says, “It is really cool to see movement toward many of these goals and strategies.”
Dominic added, “I could be having the worst day at work, or the worst commute home, and say I just don’t want to go to the meeting, and then I do go and everything else falls away”. He always leaves feeling that he’s been touched and that he’s been able to touch someone.
Six Goals of Parish Council
- Improve week-end experience for all worship
- Invite all to take the next step in discipleship through evangelization, such as the upcoming Renew program, “Be My Witness”
- Connect young adults (ages 18-39) to the parish community
- Strengthen hospitality outside of the week-end experience (such as baptisms, weddings or funeral hospitality)
- Reaching more youth (on the periphery of the parish)
- Deepen our prayer life as a community