HeartStone: the parish of Sacred Heart & St John Stone, Ainsdale
Living the Love of Christ: everyone welcome, everyone matters, everyone involved.
We are living our Parish Vision through commitments to
WELCOMING, OUTREACH, COLLABORATIVE MINISTRY, SPIRITUALITY and COMMUNICATIONS.
Servants of Christ’s Kingdom: RECEIVING OUR PARISH VISION
This statement of Vision has come from reflection, prayer and discernment among the listening and sharing of all participating parishioners. It is a working, draft statement for us to put into practice, building on the already good practice and strengths of our community, as appreciated and celebrated in the listening process and Discernment Team with Fr Tony.
We can review how we are doing, and the statement, at Pentecost Time next year.
Please continue to pray the Prayer for Mission in our Time and Place.
“Our community….will strive to be united in vision and mission….” This means we will try to do the work of God as Jesus did: sharing it with others, attracted and enabled by the Spirit and Word of the Father.
- During his earthly life Jesus chose helpers, taught and encouraged them, and sent them out in pairs.
- At the Ascension we see him involving his disciples in his continuing mission to the world, entrusting to them the future needs and responsibilities in his community.
- The Vatican Council has reignited the Christian vocation of all Christ’s followers to be sharers in holiness.
Each is also called to service within their own commitments and vocations. Some are called to particular service – ministry – as part of the life and mission of the Church.
Priests, on behalf of the Bishops, are entrusted with the ministry of co-ordinating the ministry of any given community, and supporting other Baptised Christians in responding to God’s call to ministry together.
That’s why we call it collaborative ministry.
To be more effective is one of the loudest cries from the Listening Process: in the parish council – lay people sharing in responsibility – involving more parishioners in Christ’s mission – reaching out to people in need, the young, and young families. There will be no fruit on this vine without real growth and commitment in collaborative ministry. Thank God there is a real hunger for it in HeartStone; the gifts and talents are there among our parishioners, and those new followers who will come – even if sometimes they are as yet hidden!
Already we have employed a full time priest, full time Pastoral Associate, part-time parish administrator, housekeeper, full time club manager, and occasional paid gardener.
Volunteers form most of the ministry undertaken so far, and among them some gifted leaders co-ordinate and encourage the teams: ministries in church and liturgy as well as in other aspects of faith.
Formation, learning and support to sustain growth and unity will be developed in practical, simple ways for our parishioners giving service, and any new volunteers whom God is calling to join in afresh, maybe with new initiatives to deliver the Parish Vision goals.
The Archdiocese has leaders to help us in the Adult Formation Dept., and they can show us practical and spiritual ways to improve our effectiveness. For example in:
- catechists for Adult Initiation and Ministry of Welcoming
- Reaching out to those in need and new parishioners
- leading spirituality and services e.g. funeral ministry
- Music Ministry and other liturgical roles
- the Irenaeus Spirituality team for opportunities in growth
- leadership roles for youth, Pastoral Plan, the Council
We began in the leadership team with Fr Tony: getting to know who is doing what, improving communication and co-ordination; clarifying the activities asked of Ministry Team Co-ordinators and seeing they have what they need. This led to a revised parish Welcome Pack.
Short formation courses will help people participate to the level they can and find out what they would like to try. Obviously giving ministry in the Body of Christ is totally wed to growing in Spirituality, another Missionary Priority.