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Summer School

posted Jul 23, 2014, 5:23 AM by Pastor SPX
Since starting this blog, I feel like I often begin my posts by apologizing for not posting more often. I guess that's as good a place as any to start!  It would help me to know how many folks are reading this blog. So, if you do, can you shoot me an email or simply stop me and let me know? I would appreciate it. For parishes with schools attached (like St. Pius), summer lasts exactly two months and can be equally divided from about June 18 (when teachers finish) til July 18, then from July 18 until teachers return (which this year is August 18).  So we are at the midway point. But I have to confess, this has not felt like a "normal summer"....whatever that is.  I am starting to think I will never have another one of those!  As soon as school ended our parish staff began planning for next year. We had a great two day retreat at the end of June and got a lot of work done (in addition to prayer, reflection and team building). We were hard at work creating a calendar for the coming year, mapping out our message series for the next six months, and creating ways to deepen Restore!, our parish renewal plan. One of the more exciting things to come out of our retreat was the plan for an event we are calling Restore! 2014.  This will take place on Saturday Oct. 25 from 8:30a-12pm. We are issuing a special invitation to all those currently in ministry at St. Pius, but it will be open to all members of the parish. The event will include food & fellowship, opening and closing prayer services, and sessions on Welcoming & Hospitality (Everyone is welcome, because Everyone matters), Invest & Invite (Reaching Bowie Bob & Bowie Barb) and Making Disciples (our Restore! plan offers discipleship tools for all ages). Our team met this week to begin mapping out the details, but I know it will be a great day. My goal is for everyone who attends to leave firmly committed to the goals of Restore! This summer we've also begun using our screens and computer projectors in church. On Pentecost we started using them for all our announcements before & after Mass, and two Saturdays ago began using them for the entire Mass at our 5pm vigil Mass. Response has been very positive and as the presider for these first two liturgies, I can tell you it has dramatically increased participation among the congregation. It will also help visitors, guests or those who've been away for a while to participate in the Mass. In a few weeks (as summer winds down) the staff and I will attend the two-day Global Leadership Summit (sponsored by the Willow Creek Association).  I have been attending the Summit for the past five years. It is hosted at Willow Creek Church in Illinois and is beamed by satellite to locations across the country. We attend at a church in Glen Arden (about ten minutes away).  The Summit is for church leaders and offers great insights on leadership from experts in business, government, academia and religion.  At the end of August I will be attending a conference in Denver called Amazing Parish. Catholic leaders from across the U.S. will gather to share ideas on how to renew the life of our parishes. I may have a few ideas to offer!  So, as you can see, its been an active summer; time for learning and planning so that we can continue to fulfill Christ's command to "go and make disciples".