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Social Justice and Outreach

Our Goals

 

Coordinating Parish Overarching Goals and
the Goals of the Social Justice and Outreach Commission

1) People feel personally welcomed to participate in parish liturgies and ministries:

Expectations for SJ/O: All parishioners, regardless of age, walk of life, or length of time at the parish will always feel personally invited to become active members of any STB SJ/O ministry.  It will be easy to express interest in a SJ/O ministry,  personal contact will be made promptly, and new ministry members will be made to feel welcomed and valued so that they want to actively continue in their ministries.

Strategies:

  • Parish ministry “fair” to introduce and connect people to ministries.
  • Reintroduce the ministry wide interest form that we used to hand out approximately once a year.
  • Fully utilize the parish website: include direct links to the person in charge of each ministry including an automatic copy to a SJ/O Commission member for direct and timely follow up.
  • Strive for each ministry to have someone who is charged directly with welcoming new people into the ministry and following up with them after joining to make sure they feel welcomed and valued in the ministry.
  • Develop an active recruitment process to include both SJ/O Commission and ministries.
  • Develop an active marketing program campaign – ex. use Constant Contact with a short email containing links to vignettes, to interest forms, to web page. Focus strategic use around a theme or an upcoming ministry event.
  • Connect with Parish Life Commission – better use of Welcome kiosk for Commission handouts, parish sign up forms, interest forms.
  • Connect with other Commissions/PPC  – annual updates to keep ministry interest database current.
  • Develop operation guidelines for each ministry: ex: develop guidelines for recruiting and welcoming ministry members.

2) Educational and spiritual growth opportunities energize parishioners to learn about, deepen, and live their faith.

Expectations for SJ/O: Our SJ/O ministries will provide for all members of the parish community regardless of their stage in life: educational opportunities to deepen their faith life as it pertains to the Catholic teachings of Social Justice and meaningful community outreach and social justice opportunities to allow parish members to live out the teachings of Christ on a daily basis.

Strategies:

  • Integrate existing SJ/O ministries with parish faith formation programs.
  • Provide as many educational opportunities as possible here at STB that deal directly with the issues of SJ/O.
  • As a long-term project, solicit tech savvy youth and others to possibly develop “vignettes” or “video or oral stories” that give background to the question of “Why?” for particular outreach and justice efforts.
  • Weekly bulletin section addressing SJ/O concerns right here in our Dakota county community.
  • Contact commission chairs to express interest in developing activities – determine if there is a SJ tie-in.
  • Develop and invite people to Just Faith and Just Matters programs.
  • Create movie nights – youth focused, documentaries with SJ themes.
  • Invite those interested in using social media, video, etc. to help “spread the message of the Gospel call to justice”.
  • Identify Faith Formation topics to determine SJ themes/connections.
  • Develop a retreat with a SJ theme.

3) Vibrant, prayerful worship experiences enhance spirituality, increases engagement in the parish, and inspire parishioners to be active Disciples of Christ.


Expectations of SJ/O: SJ/O will be integrated into the Liturgy on a regular basis.  By bringing in real and relevant concerns of the community into our worship, we live the message of Jesus to love one another.

Strategies:

  • Explore the use of “ministry-minutes” before the mass as a teaser for selected opportunities (speaker, video, tabling opportunity, and other Justice “challenges”).
  • Create periodic SJ themed masses tying the readings, homily, and music to a specific Social Justice issue.  Follow up with information after mass in the gathering area.

4) Middle school and High school youth are passionate advocates for our faith formation programs and are actively engaged in parish ministries.

Expectations for SJ/O: Middle and High School Youth feel that they have a role in SJ/O programs at STB, that they feel welcomed in, interested in, passionate about, and want to participate in independent of their parents.

Strategies:

  • Look closely at each of our existing ministries and examine where each could utilize the unique _        talents of our middle and high school youth.  In addition, examine the youths’ activities to determine where the SJ/O Commission and ministries can provide additional support.

 

  • Request opportunity to attend youth events – talk about SJ, ask regarding their understanding, solicit interest in helping with projects.
  • Post mission trips – encourage youth to record how their experiences relate to their understanding of global social justice, use multimedia to present their experiences to the parish as a whole.

5) Catholic Social Teachings are embedded in all aspects of Parish Life

Expectations for SJ/O: Taken as a whole, the SJ/O ministries of STB should encompass all of the Catholic Social Teachings, focusing on the real needs within our own community and the greater global community. All parishioners regardless of their age, physical, or other limitations need to be given an opportunity to actively participate in these ministries.

Strategies:

  • Review of our existing ministries: are we effectively covering all 7 categories of Catholic Social Teachings?
  • Seek out the most concise form of presentation of “The Seven Principles” – including website.
  • Develop instruction at our commission level and then expanding to the entire parish – the need to understand the difference between charity (outreach) and “justice”.
  • Each outreach ministry event will include information regarding a SJ element, i.e. identify the root causes leading people to need that particular charitable outreach.
  • Develop effective communication between ministries and SJ/O Commission: The SJ/O Commission should be used as a resource for the ministries and in turn the ministries should keep the SJ/O Commission up to date with their current activities.