Fr. John's Letter Archives

Enjoy re-reading Fr. John's weekly bulletin letters for the past year.

Survey Says...

11-07-2014Fr. John LettersFr. John

Dear Friends,

Beginning next Sunday (11/16) I am going to need every individual member who is over 18 to fill out a Member Engagement Survey.

Over the past year our Parish Pastoral Council has been involved in Strategic Planning for our Parish. The basic question the Council is seeking to answer is: How does our Parish best proclaim the Gospel in the 21st century? As such the Parish Council has identified six broad areas for study: How can we enhance communications with parish members and with the wider community, how do we reach the non-Churched? How can we better promote Stewardship and become better disciples? How do we re-catechize marginal Catholics or Catholics who no longer participate? Are there ways to enhance our Worship? How do we increase involvement in our ministries? How do we enhance our On-going faith formation programs for members?

Beginning next Sunday (11/16) I am going to need every individual member who is over 18 to fill out a Member Engagement Survey.

In light of that the Parish Council has partnered with the Gallup Organization to administer a parish wide survey to help us better understand ourselves and see how our Parish leadership can better serve to help us all become better disciples. Oh and did I say that I will need every individual over 18yrs old to fill out a Member Engagement Survey?

The benefit of working with an organization like Gallup is that they have tried and true ways of measuring just about every thing. While most of us know Gallup for its polling data, Gallup has been measuring and surveying and studying religious communities and other successful organizations since the 1930's. Over the years the religious landscape has changed greatly and Gallup has a treasure trove of information on the spiritual health of parishes and religious organizations. Religious involvement in the US reached its peak in the 1950's in the US with 1955 being the high water mark. Since the 1960's there has been an overall decline in religious membership yet there are many parishes and congregations who buck that trend. How do we make sure we are one of them?

The Survey is called the Member Engagement Survey or ME25 for short. And I will need every individual over 18yrs old to fill out one of these surveys! The ME25 Survey is simple. It is just 25 questions and the responses ranges from strongly agree to strongly disagree. It takes 5 or 6 minutes to fill out so every individual over 18yrs old needs to fill one out! The Survey is anonymous and confidential. The data will be collated and after we have received the results from Gallup, we will use them to start a dialogue about our parish and how we can more effectively accomplish our mission. We all have a stake in the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

The survey (which every individual over 18yrs old needs to fill out) will open on November 16 and close at midnight on December 14. The Survey will be available on-line through our website but paper copies will also be available. The easiest way is for those individuals 18 and over to fill the Survey out on-line.

Taking the spiritual temperature of a parish is tricky business. The success of this effort hinges on the completion of the survey by each one of us who is at least 18 years of age. We all share equally in our responsibility to reach the goal of 100% participation by our parish. Your opinions need to be heard.

The ME25 Survey, which every individual member over 18 needs to fill out, is a survey of all adult members of our parish that will give you the opportunity to share your opinions about some of the key aspects of our parish life. And it will also allow you to reflect on your own spiritual health and communicate that to us. While this is not a self-centered exercise, the Survey really is all about you! That is, the information gleaned will help me help you have a more engaged spirituality and active faith. In other words the Survey (which every individual over 18 needs to fill out) is the first step in helping us all grow. This is an exciting time for our Parish as we take steps to carry out the plan God has for us now and for years to come.

So if you remember anything from this letter please remember that I need every individual member who is over 18yrs of age to fill out our Member Engagement Survey beginning on Nov. 16 thru Dec 14. Don't forget to fill out the Survey! Did you remember not to forget?

To form Stewards of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through worship, teaching and service.
We commit to live as faithful disciples fostering human dignity, justice and love for all.

—Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Mission Statement

Fr. John B.