Summer Hospitality Tips

Summer Hospitality Tips

 

It seems that summer is finally making its way to Western South Dakota. For many in our Diocese, summer means the arrival of out-of-town guests and tourists to our homes and churches.  I was reminded of the young woman from Bismarck who came to Girls Totus Tuus Camp last year because of the warm welcome she and her family received at Blessed Sacrament in Rapid City while here visiting.  And I also remember the story told by Ruth Durst of St. Ambrose’s in Deadwood.  As part of their efforts to increase hospitality, they decided to have hospitality ministers stand outside on the steps of the church when the weather was good.  This proved to be very enlightening.  Parishioners watched as tourists drove around and around trying to find parking near the church. As it turns out, most visitors had no idea the church has a parking lot.  It seemed clear that better signage was needed.

 

Interested in taking a quick pulse of hospitality in your parish?

As you might remember, the Office of Stewardship is working to update our web pages.  In the course of looking over all that had been previously uploaded to our page, I found notes from a workshop at the 2016 International Stewardship Conference titled, “Parish Hospitality:  Much More Than Greeters At the Church Door”.  It is full of suggestions including:

  • Tips for the Front Office
  • Ways of Welcoming New Parishioners
  • Ways of Building a Sense of Belonging
  • 15-Point Checklist for Hospitality
  • Rewards of Generous Hospitality

If you would like to use this resource, you may download it here.

If you are interested in pursuing Generous Hospitality in a more intentional way, consider entering the Stewardship Parish process.  The Office of Stewardship is happy to guide you and provide support at each stage.  Please give us a call if you would like to learn more.

 

We’re here to help

Call us at (605) 716-5214 or fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch soon.

 

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CHANCERY OFFICE

606 Cathedral Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 343-3541

CHANCERY ANNEX AT TERRA SANCTA

2101 City Springs Rd Ste 200
Rapid City, SD 57702
(605) 716-5214

TERRA SANCTA RETREAT CENTER

2101 City Springs Rd, Ste 300
Rapid City , SD 57702
(605) 716-0925
stay@terrasancta.org

SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Click here to learn more

VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR

Barbara Scherr
(605) 209-3418

The Summit is Stewardship

The Summit is Stewardship

Sometimes people wonder how an event like the Summit is connected to Stewardship and why this office coordinates what is clearly an event whose primary goal is evangelization and time for renewal for the faithful.  However, the Summit and its goals fit perfectly into both the definition of stewardship given to us by the US Bishop’s Conference in the Pastoral Letter, “A Disciple’s Response” and in our own pillars of stewardship as outlined in the “Characteristics of a Stewardship Parish”.  A Disciple’s Response defines a Christian steward as one who “receives God’s gifts gratefully, cultivates them responsibly, shares them lovingly in justice with others and returns them with increase to the Lord” (p. 42).  One who receives God’s gifts gratefully . . . What is the greatest gift we have received from the Lord?  It is our salvation and the grace and mercy which He so generously offers us each day.  Therefore, the Summit was, for all who attended, an opportunity to receive this gift from God once again.  The Summit also provided an opportunity for many to share this gift lovingly in justice with others.  The Ambassadors in particular, intentionally invited and encouraged many parishioners to come to the Summit.

The Summit also gave us the opportunity to practice many of the aspects of our Stewardship initiative.  The Ambassador’s training in June was, among other things, an in-depth training in the art and importance of invitation (Generous Hospitality:  Welcome, Invitation, Fellowship) and the Summit, an opportunity, for those trained to develop that practice in their lives.  One of the characteristics under “Key Characteristics of an Inviting Parish” reads in part, “our parish offers . . . planned, regular evangelistic retreats and/or programs.” The Summit itself was also an opportunity to practice intentional Welcome and to look for ways to schedule time for Fellowship.  In our second pillar, Lively Faith, we read, “The fundamental mission of the Church is to lead people to encounter Jesus Christ in a way whereby they are changed and transformed into His Body.”  In our planning, this was our guiding principle, we were striving to provide a place where those who came could encounter Jesus.  Our primary reason for offering a youth track was to be faithful to the characteristic which says, “Our parish leaders conscientiously work to make parish formation opportunities accessible to young families.”

Our challenge now is to accompany those in our parishes who did have a real and concrete encounter with Jesus at the Summit.  This accompaniment is crucial to Formation.  Tony Brandt shared with the
Ambassadors on the night before the Summit that it isn’t enough to provide those who came to the Summit with a powerful experience of Jesus.  In fact, it could actually be harmful to their faith if they have a powerful experience but we fail to follow-up with them afterwards and help them to incorporate the experience into their daily life.  We run the danger of having people begin to question whether or not what they experienced was real.  We also run the danger of inadvertently encouraging people to seek one “big moment” after another in their lives, relying only on the emotional feelings attached to such an event to base their relationship with God on.  Instead, we must continue to encourage one another to teach, lead and support one another in a deeper discipleship.  I hope and pray that the Summit was a wonderful beginning for some and a true renewal for others. But it is just that and nothing more. 

The real work of “making disciples” happens now and it doesn’t happen because of any parish or diocesan sponsored “event”.  It happens in the day-to-day walk with one another; in relationship.  I am praying for all of us, that we know clearly how to return with increase the gift and graces of the Summit to the Lord. And “Do not be afraid!”  As we were reminded in the Liturgy of the Hours on Tuesday, the Feast of the Guardian Angels: “He has given his angels charge over us to guard us in all of our ways. . .Even though we are children and have a long, very long and dangerous way to go, with such protectors what have we to fear?  They who keep us in all our ways cannot be overpowered or led astray, much less lead us astray.  They are loyal, prudent, powerful.  Why then are we afraid?  We have only to follow them, stay close to them, and we shall dwell under the protection of God’s Heaven.” (Office of Readings, Sermon of St. Bernard)

 

We’re here to help

Call us at (605) 716-5214 or fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch soon.

 

3 + 9 =

CHANCERY OFFICE

606 Cathedral Drive
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 343-3541

CHANCERY ANNEX AT TERRA SANCTA

2101 City Springs Rd Ste 200
Rapid City, SD 57702
(605) 716-5214

TERRA SANCTA RETREAT CENTER

2101 City Springs Rd, Ste 300
Rapid City , SD 57702
(605) 716-0925
stay@terrasancta.org

SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Click here to learn more

VICTIM ASSISTANCE COORDINATOR

Barbara Scherr (605) 209-3418

All About “Christ Life”

This past weekend we had our Stewardship Training — Ambassadors for Christ. We had 8 priests and Deacon Zane Pekron that were able to participate in the Friday workshop and 60 parish leaders that came from 19 parishes from across the Diocese and the Rapid City Catholic Schools for the Friday evening and Saturday workshop. One of the goals of the stewardship training was to help and encourage pastors and parish lay leaders to learn how to personally invite members from their parish community to the Stewardship Summit this coming September 21 and 22.

Tony Brandt and Chris Stewart, the presenters from Casting Nets Ministries, encouraged participants to consider their own circle of influence when inviting parishioners to the Stewardship Summit. This year’s Summit is an evangelistic event designed to help and foster an encounter with the living person of Jesus and the Holy Spirit in a new way in people’s lives. The Summit this year is being designed specifically for the parishioners who are at Mass on Sunday or at least several times a month, who aren’t necessarily involved in anything outside of Mass, and yet who are thirsting for more in a relationship with Christ.

How many of us are simply content in own relationship with Jesus?  I raised this question last Saturday at the Ambassadors training and not one person raised their hand, including myself. Aren’t we all searching and thirsting for more Christ in our lives?

The desire for Bishop Gruss is that everyone in our diocese would be personally invited to the Stewardship Summit. However, with over 23,000 Catholics in our diocese it is almost impossible for Bishop Gruss to personally invite every Catholic in our diocese to the Summit. That is where we come in, to extend a personal invitation on behalf of Bishop Gruss for people to come to the Summit knowing that it is an invitation to open our hearts to encounter Christ who is alive and to come ready to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit in a new way.

It was interesting last weekend, Tony Brandt asked how me how many people fit into the Holy Cross Chapel at Terra Sancta.  I told him 525 is our maximum with folding chairs and with that said “Summit: Operation 525” was borne.

Our goal is to get 525 people to participate in this year’s Stewardship Summit for the parishes across the diocese. We need your help in reaching our goal of 525 to fill the Holy Cross Chapel to the full.

The only way I know this can happen is first by becoming a beggar in prayer before the Lord. And secondly is to personally invite those in our own circle of influences in our parishes to the Summit. I am encouraging and inviting you to pray a thousand Memorares with the intention of the Stewardship Summit — Operation 525. I have attached a card to help you to becoming a beggar before the Lord, asking our Lady to intercede for us in Operation 525.

If you are willing to participate in this and pray a thousand Memorares, please print out and fill in the boxes on the card below. When finished, please send this card to Shawna.

Making Personal Invitation Part of the Mission

This past week I have been calling pastors and pastoral leaders about our upcoming Stewardship Leadership Training on Friday and Saturday, June 15 and 16 at Terra Sancta. I have been checking in with them to see if they were planning to come to the Stewardship Training themselves, and if they were planning to send any of their lay leaders, pastoral council members, stewardship committee members, and others who are influential in their parishes.

I have some had some good conversations about the upcoming stewardship training conducted by Tony Brandt and Chris Stewart from Castings Nets Ministry.  Several conversations struck a chord with me because at the heart of stewardship is invitation. I heard several times: “The initial work has been done, the fliers are up in the parish and the announcement has been placed in the bulletin, however now the hard work begins of personal invitation to the training.” These words resonated with me as I thought to myself of the closing lines in Mark’s Gospel 12:28-34, commonly titled, “The Great Commandment.” “And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, ‘You are not far from the kingdom of God.”’  We are accustomed to putting flyers up and doing bulletin announcements, when we embrace the extra step of personal invitation, we are “not far from the kingdom of God.”

In speaking on Evangelism Pope Francis said, “Evangelism is not about programs, but people. We can have programs, but we need to evangelize one-on-one, accompanying and encountering each person.” Gretchen R. Crowe OSV Newsweekly would wager that most people can remember how and why one joined a parish ministry, participated in a service project, decided to keep a regular Holy Hour or attended a retreat for the first time — it is because someone asked them too.

Crowe goes on to say, “There is a power to inviting someone to participate. It means something to be singled out or even to be noticed among the throng of Mass-goers. This asking — this personal invitation — needs to happen more if the Church is going to succeed in its mission of evangelization.” And I would add stewardship to evangelization.  If we truly desire to become parishioners and parishes who embrace Stewardship as A way of Life then personal invitation has to be part of our mission.

Inviting parishioners to attend this leadership training is a perfect opportunity to practice this one-on-one conversation that Pope Francis is speaking about, accompanying and encountering another person in Christ through invitation. And the training promises to better equip all those who attend to continue practicing this art of invitation and accompaniment.  For parishes, it can both be a beginning and/or a further encouragement towards creating a culture of invitation in the parish.

My West River Catholic article this month focused on the Stewardship Leadership Training coming up in the middle of June. For more information on the Stewardship Leadership Training and the Summit this September please visit our website https://www.rapidcitydiocese.org/stewrdship or contact Shawna Hanson SHanson@diorc.org or Fr. Mark McCormick at 716-5214, ext. 233

More Invitations To Be Extended

Last week, Adam Johnson, a first-year theologian at St. Paul Seminary, was installed as a lector. As reader and bearer of God’s Word, Adam will proclaim God’s Word in the liturgical assembly, instruct children and adults in the faith, and bring the message of salvation to those who have not yet received it. (From the Rite of Institution of Lector)

Andrew Sullivan, who also is a first-year theologian, at Kenrick Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, will be installed as a lector in April with our Bishop Gruss presiding.

Adam’s pastor, Fr. Brian Lane from Blessed Sacrament Church in Rapid City, along with Adam’s parents, Mike and Kathy, were able to attend this celebration of the Ministry of Lector. After the celebration, I sent a text to Adam, his parents and Fr. Lane congratulating Adam and asking them to send pictures from the installation, which they did.

Fr. Lane also texted a picture of the seminarian poster for the Archdiocese of Minneapolis-St. Paul — 59 in all! A true vocation boom. I smiled as I read Fr. Lane’s text: “Why is our poster so small?”

“More work to be done. More invitations to be extended,” I replied.

One of the goals in our Diocesan Priority Plan calls for the formation of a vocation committee in each parish or parish grouping to encourage and promote a culture of vocations.

This year’s Pastoral Ministry Days, is on creating a vibrant culture of vocations in our parishes. This year we have two great speakers: Fr. James Mason, President and Rector of Kenrick Glennon Seminary in St. Louis and a priest from the Diocese of Sioux Falls, and Sr. Joseph Andrew Bogdanowicz, OP, Vocation Director for the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist out of Ann Arbor, MI.

The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist is one of the fastest growing religious orders in our country. A relatively new order that was founded in 1997 with four sisters, the order now has 96 members. The average age is 26, and more than 20 postulants are expected to enter next year; the largest group ever.

Our theme for this year’s PMD is Harvest: The Harvest is Plentiful but Laborers are Few, taken from Matthew 9:37. PMD is coming up very soon, March 18-20 but there is still time to sign up! You can register online:  www.PMD2018.com

This should be a great PMD and one that will give some concrete tools, ideas and suggestions to help all of our parishes and families build and create a vibrant culture of vocations in our diocese.