By: Fr. Timothy Gapinski
My last article here was dedicated to the purpose of this blog, but I also want to clarify a little on the scope of it. What are the issues that are going to be addressed on this website?
The short answer to that question is: pretty much anything. The long answer is a little more complicated.
You will probably notice that much of what has already been written here has had a quite broad perspective – talking more about the process of change than the actual details of change. This is due to the simple fact that a lot of the big picture pieces have not yet been finalized on a diocesan level. We are still at the draft stage of the Area Catholic Community planning. There is still much discussion about how those ACCs will be arranged and what it means to be a part of an ACC. It is hard for us to put specific pieces together to meet a goal when that goal might move.
But rather than sit around and do nothing, we have this opportunity to begin to put things in place and prepare ourselves so that when we get the word that we can begin, we can move ahead confidently rather than trying to scramble to put something together at the last minute. Even if we end up working with different groups, we will at least be able to have a solid understanding of where we are, what we would like to accomplish, and some ideas on how to get there.
The days for detail are coming. If you continue to follow this blog and sign up for e-mail notification of updates, you will be seeing those articles. We have talked about how some easier or more immediate changes might be things like having a common ACC website or shared bulletins or even do a new picture directory. There are other issues that we would like to see discussed and implemented sooner rather than later but that are more complicated like scheduling Mass times in the area and collaborating/cooperating faith formation programs. And there are some long-term questions that will have to be addressed slowly (likely over years), such as the issue of buildings and locations.
Because we would like to see those items in the second category on the calendar sooner, and the fact that they can be particularly complicated issues, there has been and will be a fair amount of focus on this site towards those subjects. You will likely see many of the Religious Education Directors contributing to this site to share thoughts and ideas and continue to build that collaborative spirit. That does not mean that this site is only for discussion of the faith formation aspect of our ACCs. Our scope here is much broader than that.
It will be good to continue to visit this site whether you are in faith formation or not; or whether you have children in faith formation or not. It is important to stay informed on all that goes on in our parishes and our Church and to still contribute as God calls us to do. Indeed, sometimes an outside perspective can see solutions that those on the ground might miss. Plus, as we go forward there will be many other items discussed that also directly impact the lives of our parishioners. Stay informed, and be sure to share your thoughts with your pastors and parishes.