A range of ideas that communities could take inspiration from. Use, adapt, change… GO FOR IT
If you have ideas please share them with the diocese so others can be inspired.
Your communities may already be doing many of the great things outlined. Celebrate these. And remember..that every community and individual is called to grow and share faith all the time, in all ways.
These are just a few starters and certainly not an exhaustive list.
The Pastoral and Evangelisation Office produces a regular Fit for Mission newsletter showcasing wonderful implementation initiatives. Be inspired adapt, change and copy these great ideas.
Prison Fellowship – A Fit for Mission Initiative
PFNZ is an organisation full of volunteers and we want you! We have room for everyone, whether your passion and commitment lies within our Angel Tree Programme, working with families, or within prisoner reintegration – we will find you a place in our family. We are currently building the PNZ family around the country through a network of flexible, responsive, ‘clusters’ building the PFNZ family as we seek to serve. Volunteers are enriching lives by assisting with children’s camps, monthly family activities, Christmas meals, Angel Tree Christmas wrapping and delivering and simply journeying with some of the most marginalised families in your area. Or you may feel a call to prisoner visiting, assisting with practical matters such as budgeting advice, accommodation support, job seeking, or transport.
The week 19-25 June is National Volunteer Week and we are celebrating all our volunteers as well as providing the opportunity for new volunteers to join us in making a difference for people.
Now how about taking on this as an individual Fit For Mission effort?
Instead of random acts of kindness let each of us plan for the following:
Intentional Moments of Mission
Intentional Moments of Mercy
It could be holding a baby for a harassed mum in the supermarket; paying a parking fee for a pensioner, sitting with a homeless person for a chat or………..
How about making a commitment to an intentional moment at least once a week!
Go Forth: How can we reach out to our community both those within Church structures and those outside?
Feed the Need – St Joseph’s Grey Lynn
In keeping with the Year of Mercy and Fit for Mission theme, St Joseph’s – Grey Lynn adopted, as its main activity this year, to Feed the Need. On 19 December, the church hall was transformed into a dining hall where 40 special guests were invited from the streets of surrounding suburbs to enjoy a warm cooked meal with the Parish family and enjoy the Parish Christmas Concert. The special guests were the homeless in the area. It was a very enjoyable evening with the lovely homemade dishes and lively entertainment. Time was set aside before dinner to share the Gospel and the evening ended with each of our special guests being given a Goodie Bag to make their Christmas a bit more memorable. A group of the guests had the courage to get up and sing a song as thanks and appreciation for the hospitality.
Over 160 members of the Parish attended the event to support our guests and the Fit for Mission Team.
Nurture a welcoming community. Consider the following
a. Appoint a welcome coordinator to organise that
– each person is welcomed
– newcomers are identified and invited to become part of parish life
– follow up on newcomers
– ensure parish services are well publicised in Church notices and social media including the parish website.
b. Review and ensure signs throughout the parish plant – consider being bi-lingual in your signs
Develop and strengthen awareness of ourselves as mission orientated communities
a. Build opportunities for prayer and reflection into community activities
– encourage a variety of prayer forms such as lectio divina, Taize, Christian meditation
b. Consider ways that the community can support and prepare members to be disciples ‘called and sent’
– plan adult education that will give members confidence to share their faith
– promote the sharing and celebration of stories of faith, discipleship and witness of community members
Pastoral Areas: We don't have to do this by ourselves. Who are around us that we can collaborate and share with?
Community leaders including parish pastoral councils and ministry groups, schools BOT and staff, ethnic chaplains and councils, can explore how they can ‘work smarter’ to provide a compelling witness to our Church as a communion.
Some areas to consider for collaboration include:
– the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults
– social justice initiatives particularly as a form of common witness to faith
– shared adult faith education opportunities
– shared social gatherings
– sacramental preparation
… other areas of pastoral life where working together provides both witness and positive outcomes
Diocesan Brainstorm of Ideas
The wisdom and inspiration from parish leaders. The possibilities are endless…
- Adopt a Decile 1 school: providing breakfast, sewing classes, reading, household needs
- Reach out activities & fun classes widely publicised to attract people
- Outreach through St V de Paul, City Mission , Mercy Hospice, schools, CSS, other religious groups to the marginalised eg: homeless
- Include ‘Welcome any time in Church’ along with Mass times in local papers
- Have sandwich board ‘Welcome’ sign on footpath outside church when church is open
- Have got an open group Facebook page
- 5 F’s magic – Fun, Food, Fellowship, Faith, Fishing (for people)
- New Evangelisation – invite people Catholic & non-Catholic to gatherings which consist of songs, real-life sharing, prayers, simple meals
- Sing Christmas Carols outside Church or other public area – for everyone for 1 week before Christmas
- An inclusive celebratory event involving non-Catholics – make the invitations personal, use social media
- Run ‘drives’ to gather resources for distribution to those in need e.g pyjamas, toiletries
- Reach out to other local community groups to see what works for them.
- Make contact with a neighbouring parish pastoral council and plan to have a collaborative meeting
- Let God’s Word take root in our hearts through PowerPoint presentation
- Formation of more laity leaders through Religious Fun Day – Retreat, bible sharing gatherings.
- Celebrate – we have a vibrant Parish
- Pray as parish one segment of Mission prayer for each week
- Monthly Family Mass – Youth band
- Family Fun & Reflection leaflet in newsletter
- Sausage Sizzle after Family Mass
- Pastoral Area – sharing our facility with other parishes
- Reach out to people or home-bound
- Targeted efforts to attract & retain teenagers though youth friendly liturgies & other activities
- Communication – up to date database
- Parish councillors emailing two families/people we have not seen at Mass for a while
- Involve representatives of all Catholic Communities – parishes, Schools, Groups – in developing a combined approach in response to Fit for mission.
- Youth engagement – ensure that our youth are engaged with the running of our parish to develop our future leaders.
- Shoulder-tap people within your community to grow leadership – part of their mission to mentor the next wave of leadership.
Consider how the community engages with social media and the use of technology
a. Review parish websites and to ensure that they a user friendly and include such elements as:
– vision for the parish community
– an accurate list of contact details for the parish team, ministry groups,….
– Mass timetable and parish calendar
– links to on-line faith resources, diocesan agencies and services, local Catholic schools, pastoral area communities
– welcome to searchers – both those at the edge of the community and those new to the faith
b. Look at other technological ways to build and share faith including addressing the needs of young people and families this could be Face Book, Twitter, Instagram……
– include structures that ensure that these are relevant and updated frequently
– look at how these social media tools can spread the Good News as well as communicate with the community.
Explore other aspects of Communication for Mission.