Soon we will be embarking on a Strategic Plan for our parish. I think it is fitting that we introduce this concept during the Great and Holy Lenten season. Certainly, Great Lent is about change, specifically change in the context of spiritual growth. Similarly, the development of a Strategic Plan for our parish has the same goal in mind, the spiritual growth of all of us unto the Glory of God.
St. Peter, in his first pastoral epistle, offers the following exhortation to the persecuted Christians in Asia Minor; “Like newborn infants long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow in salvation…” (1 Peter 2:2 NRSV) The process of our growth in Christ’s Salvation begins at baptism and continues throughout our entire lives. As St. Peter reminds us, as we are walking our life’s journey, we must long for this growth. However, longing for this growth by itself is not enough. St. Peter reminds us that we must be fed for this growth to occur. The spiritual food for our growth must be present.
I think we would all agree that the birth of a child is a great miracle. Children are born and change constantly. It is this constant change that leads them to maturity in adulthood. Their birth is a miracle and so is their growth. I think we would agree, that anything that stifles the growth of a child would be unfortunate, perhaps even a tragedy. A baby is meant to grow into a child, a child into an adolescent and an adolescent into an adult. Yes, it is tragic when a child fails to develop, it is just as tragic when a person fails to develop spiritually. The book of Hebrews says in 6:1 “Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to [Christian maturity]…” Just like the goal of a child’s life is maturity, the goal of a Christian’s life is spiritual maturity, as we were not meant to remain in the same spiritual state forever, but to forever grow in Christ.
Hence, the need for a Strategic Plan for our parish! The Strategic Plan will help us identify those areas of ministry which need strengthening, or perhaps establishing new ministries which may be lacking. As I have said before, and I will say it again, my hope, my dream is for all of us to be together in the Kingdom of Heaven. Hence, our parish leadership wants to offer you all the opportunities possible, the spiritual milk necessary, to grow in your faith.
Kristina Mehas, who is a member of our Parish Council, and on our Strategic Planning Team, offers thi video presentation to the parish regarding the Strategic Plan. This same presentation was given at our last Parish Assembly. Please take the time to watch this presentation as all our parishioners will be asked to participate in this upcoming journey.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the Strategic Planning team and those parishioners who have stepped forward to help lead us through this process. We ask that you join me and the Strategic Planning team in prayer that we may, through this process continue in our spiritual growth, unto the glorify of God.
+Fr. Dean Kouldukis