The purpose of the Parish Life initiative is to Increase the engagement of our parishioners and the vitality of our parishes. It began with a Parish Life Survey conducted in March, 2019 under the direction of Fr Mitch Zygadlo. A Parish Life Committee was then formed, comprised of three representatives from each of our four Churches.
On March 28, 2019 the Parish Life Committee held their kickoff meeting. Representatives from all four Churches discussed these foundational topics: our Committee roles, using consensus as our decision-making process, member introductions, member commitments for working together, why we are here – our “compelling reason for change,” our “Hopes” – expectations about what can be accomplished, our “Fears” – doubts about making an investment to work together, as well as next steps. (Minutes of this meeting can be located in the MEETING MINUTES section.)
On May 19, 2019, at the Parish Life Committee meeting, Fr Mitch explained that after we first met as a Committee on March 28, there was a change of plans. Our original plan was to have Committee members transcribe the survey data. After reviewing this approach, the Diocese of Rochester (DOR) appointed a neutral party within the Diocese to transcribe all the numeric data and written comments and remove any negative personal comments. The overriding purpose was to ensure safety for everyone. After further consideration by the Diocese, the Diocese recommended that only the numeric portion of the survey should be transcribed. That numeric portion is now complete. The written comments have not been transcribed. The intent was that all survey sheets would be given to the new Pastor for him to read and then decide what to do. The near-term plan was to create a report with only the numeric data, and the written comments would be addressed after the new Pastor arrived. Dick Orth (Chair) and Kelley Peron (Vice chair) believed that creating a report with only numeric data would be incomplete and potentially misleading. When a report is produced, it needs to contain both the summary of the numeric results and the written comments. They requested that the comments be processed by an independent person. The DOR honored that request. That is where Shannon Kilbridge comes in. Shannon is the Associate Director, Dept. of Pastoral Services, Diocese of Rochester. She will be responsible for analyzing and summarizing the written comments. Her final report will contain both numeric and written results. Shannon has much experience with other large-scale surveys, which has given her a good background for such work. (Minutes of this meeting can be located in the MEETING MINUTES section.)