Pastoral Council March-May Update

From the SJTW Pastoral Council:

Here’s a summary of the past three Pastoral Council meetings.

March Report

Kerry Rogers and Kevin Schmitt presented a financial comparative review of the past fiscal year along with a budget proposal for the coming year. Currently we have an approximate $9,000 deficit.  Pastoral Council was asked to review the information and prepare to vote on the proposed budget at April meeting. Kevin Schmitt also led a discussion related to the Capital Campaign “Every Drop Counts.” The three main areas are school roof repair, tunnel repair, and replenish the standing Renovation fund. Information will be disseminated to the parish soon with the kickoff of the campaign. Initially, there has been good response from the first donors contacted.

The Council members had been asked to review the current statement, reflect on it and submit new statements to best represent what our central mission should be. The returned ones were very similar and were synthesized into four potential statements. A simple paper vote was held on the four, with an opportunity to rate the statements in order of preference for best representation. Over 50% of the votes went to “Living the Gospel of Jesus Christ as a welcoming Catholic community by building faith together through worship, faith formation and service to each other, our community and the world”.

The council discussed the Social Justice committee request to increase the $6,000 annual budgeted amount to $12,000. Much discussion took place, in light of the comprehensive giving report offered per Fr. Tom and the proposed budget that will operate with a $9,000 deficit.  Questions included: how deeply are we committed financially and in practice?  Should individual contributions (time talent and treasure) be considered as part of the total parish commitment to Social Justice? The council agrees that we need to do a better job of informing and educating the parish at large about SJ efforts which would likely increase participation and giving.

Deacon Bill provided a document outlining an overview of the operations of the Social Justice committee and related ministries as well as an overview of the status of the relationship shared with St. Therese of the Child Jesus, our sister parish in Haiti. Pastoral Council is to review the information and prepare to vote on the request to increase funds allocated to the SJ committee at the April meeting.

April Report

The proposed 2019-2020 budget was approved per Pastoral Council. Although it will operate from a small deficit, we may be able to offset some of the shortage by using shared positions with St. Columbkille’s.

A lengthy discussion regarding the request from Social Justice committee to double funds allocated from the budget took place. A motion was made and approved to increase the allocated funds by $4000.00 a year making the parish total contribution $10,000.00 per year. The PC will continue to work with the committee to develop a better understanding of our parish tithing philosophy. Do parishioners prefer to give to their own charities or do parishioners give to the parish that supports charities on their behalf?

PC charges Social Justice committee with following through on issues outlined in the Report to Pastoral Council including education, improved communication, and a structure or criteria for distribution of funds based on mission and values of the parish.  We continue to evaluate our relationship to our sister parish in Haiti. Currently this effort is sustained by a small number of individual donors.  We will continue to discuss the sustainability of these efforts and if this relationship is to be maintained, we will work to increase awareness and participation to this effort among the larger parish.

Finally, Fr. Tom provided a pastor’s report outlining anticipated shared resources with St. Columbkille’s. Currently there are six applicants for Julie Hill’s position. Alice Noethe will work with Deacon Bill to take over the pastoral care ministry in lieu of his retirement. An update on the “Every Drop Counts” campaign was presented. Currently there is $160,000 committed from selected donors.  Fr. Tom hopes to roll this out to the parish before his month-long retreat in June.

May Report

In an effort to coordinate future elections for pastoral council, a decision was made to move to a 9-person council. Currently there are 12 members. Although discussion is fruitful, meetings tend to be long. Future elections will also coordinate with FFC to align with the by-laws for pastoral council.

A sub committee has spent the last six months on the “Every Drop Counts” capital campaign to raise money for the school roof, Martin Hall tunnel as well as to replenish the renovation fund. Over $200,000 of the $400,000 needed funds have been raised by individual donors. In the upcoming weeks, this campaign will be announced to the parish community at-large.

Social Justice continues to be a focus of the pastoral council, in particular how funds are distributed. We will continue to work to develop our parish philosophy for giving that aligns most closely with our mission and the mission of the Catholic Church.

There has been much turnover among parish staff in the last few months. There are two prospective candidates to replace both Julie Hill as well as Emma Schope. Interviews are beginning to take place and we are hopeful that staff for religious education and youth ministry will be in place soon.

View the official report here Pastoral Council Mar-May 19 Report