Core Disciple Strategy Moving Forward
In early September, Fr. Mark invited parishioners to the second meeting of the Saint Andrew Core Disciples Group, continuing to call our volunteers, leaders and staff to deeper relationships with Jesus Christ and His Church.
The purpose of these meetings is to extend the reach of our ministries by strengthening and growing the number of “core disciples” at Saint Andrew: those adults, teens and families who are striving to follow Christ and engage in the life of the parish. First, we need to be sure our current core disciples are always supported in their vocations and ministries. Second, we need to help them feel called and equipped to invite others to be disciples. Too often in parishes, the same people are called upon to do more and more, because the focus is on bigger events and more people in the pews, rather than taking the approach of Jesus: starting with a small group of disciples who are called and equipped, and letting the big numbers take care of themselves through God’s grace and providence.
This building up of the core is a precursor to strategic planning for the parish, but already certain initiatives are taking shape:
- Hospitality and Welcoming: Ministry groups within the parish have stepped up to provide hospitality after the weekend Masses one weekend each month through May 2019. On hospitality weekends, those groups will also welcome worshippers as they arrive, providing new opportunities for fellowship and invitations to service and discipleship.
- Young Couples and Families: We have enlisted new married couples as mentors to engaged couples in our parish, bringing new experience and ideas to this important ministry. We are also re-examining Baptism preparation at Saint Andrew to ensure parents understand what they are asking and committing to, and to provide additional information to young families on early childhood health and learning through parish nursing and our Catholic school.
- Catechesis and Formation: Saint Andrew Catholic School and Faith Formation are working more closely together to choose religious education curricula and find ways to encourage faith sharing and sacramental life within our parish families—including new resources for families to find and share deeper meaning in the Mass each weekend beginning this Advent.
Our next Core Disciples meeting is scheduled for Monday, December 3, 6:30-8:00 PM, in the Gym. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend. The tentative agenda includes practical ways of witnessing our lived faith to others in order to draw them more deeply into relationship with Jesus and His Church. Please plan to join us and invite a friend!