Lord, how good it is for us to be here -- Matthew 17

Browsing The Corner Office

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Jun 13, 2018

Dear Friends, 

This is the third of three articles on our Long Range plan.  A quick reminder of why we started the planning process – 

  • For the health of the parish – to keep us vibrant and encourage our next generation to take increasing ownership and leadership.
  • To prepare for the inevitable - my retirement, expected sometime in the next one to three years. 

Two weeks ago, I addressed our On-Line Assessment, filled out by 378 of you.  Last week, I talked about our Parish Input sessions, attended by over 200.  The feedback from both the Assessment and Input Sessions was collected into themes, and five sub-teams were formed to address specific themes.  Those sub -teams are

  1. Culture – led by Ron and Martha Jodoin
  2. Pastoral Care – led by Kim Fluet
  3. Communications – led by John Hennessy, Pat Vallely and Nancy Wahl
  4. Finance – led by Diane Carrol Yacoby
  5. Building and Grounds – led by Rich Gangemi

The sub-team’s job was to turn your thoughts and suggestions into goals and plans to meet those goals.  The completed plan will be comprehensive, with activities, implementation tasks and due dates, all the necessary components of a plan.  Of course, if anyone, including our teens, would like to share their talents and enthusiasm with any of the sub-teams, you will be welcomed with open arms and given meaningful things to do.

Here is a quick look through the goals each sub-team has established.

CULTURE - Your feedback was very clear, Transfiguration has a unique culture – warm, welcoming, progressive, service–oriented; and we want that to continue.  The goals for Culture focus on your feedback, especially on how to provide information on our culture to prospective pastoral candidates.   There are a few areas for improvement, especially how we welcome new parishioners.

Goals for Culture: 

  •  Articulate who we are and who we want to be as a parish
  • Grow active membership by expanding welcoming of current and new parishioners
  • Market our brand
  • Attract a new pastor supportive of our community and its spiritual and cultural demographics. 

PASTORAL CARE had the broadest assignment, so they have the largest number of goals.  Your feedback was clear in this area as well.  How do we make Transfiguration grow as a faith community, how do we encourage all to participate and share their talents? Are we offering the right programs to nurture our community and help people grow in faith?  What challenges might we face during our leadership transition, and how can we make the transition go smoothly?

Goals for Pastoral Care:

  • Nurture and grow our Transfiguration community
  • Extend and enhance the warm hospitality of our Transfiguration family
  • Engage teens and young adults as critical members of our parish and encourage their active participation
  • Encourage, affirm and engage the innate talents, gifts and charisms of all parishioners
  • Provide spiritual nourishment and formation for all seasons of life to meet relevant moral and personal challenges that enhance our personal relationship with Jesus and those we encounter.
  • Offer spiritual support for families, with a focus on improving children, teens and their families’ sense of ownership for spiritual and communal belonging
  • Support parishioners through the transition to a new pastor over the upcoming years

COMMUNICATIONS - Some of the sub-teams scope was a bit narrower.   We do have a wide variety of communication methods – from the bulletin, the pulpit announcements, website, Facebook, weekly email, quarterly newsletter, but you asked for more information on parish activities, and the results of those activities. Can we communicate more broadly in Pittsford, as other churches do in newspaper and ads?  You asked for additional means of communication, and we will be looking at how to improve, and to help the other sub-teams communicate as well.  This is an area where we need talent – not necessarily technical talent, but people willing to share their ‘Lois Lane’ and ‘Clark Kent’ talents. 

Goal for Communications:

  • Use a wide variety of communication processes and channels to deepen awareness of and engagement in church activities, throughout the parish and surrounding community.

FINANCE - Loud and clear was the message that Transfiguration needs to stay viable financially.  We had significant capital expenditures recently –the roof, the drainage, the HVAC system and the driveway repairs shortly.  The Finance team wants to develop budgets that will build our rainy day savings – literally, given the roof situation.   We also heard from you that if we do a better job telling you the financial status – more frequently and more comprehensively – you will be better able to be good stewards and respond accordingly.

Goals for Finance:

  • Assure long-term financial stability for Transfiguration so that parish goals of spiritual and social engagement can be maintained and expanded to meet current and future parishioner needs.
  • Establish platform for ongoing "health of the parish" (Financial & Other) messaging. 

BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS - Prevalent was a desire to maintain our beautiful buildings and grounds.  They are part of our welcoming atmosphere.  In order for us to adequately plan financially for upkeep, we need an inventory of our assets (including their current age and remaining ‘life expectancy’).  The Buildings and Grounds team is already progressing the development of this list, and will be working with Finance Council to ensure we have plans to keep our campus safe and able to accommodate our needs.

Goal for Buildings and Grounds:

  • Ensure our facilities are safe, useful and accommodating for all parish activities. 

This is an overview of the sub-teams and their goals.   Next week we have a Town Meeting, at which we will go a bit deeper into the sub-team goals and talk about some of the activities designed to achieve those goals.  The sub-teams will be there to answer your questions.  You will have the opportunity to volunteer your enthusiasm, expertise, and energy to an activity that speaks to you through the Holy Spirit.

Please plan to attend the Town Meeting next Sunday; we will start about 10:10 AM and finish before the 11:00 AM Mass.  I hope to see you then.

Let us continue to pray and sacrifice for peace in our world!

In peace and courage, 


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