This weekend, on the Feast of Pentecost, we chose new members for our Parish Pastoral Council here at St. Peter and St. Paul. We are doing this at the 8:00 am and 10:00 am Masses and selecting the names by “drawing lots.” The “drawing of lots” is a practice used by the Early Church when selecting important members for positions of leadership to be filled. By drawing lots or (pulling the names out of a hat) the early Church understood that God, the Holy Spirit, is the real force in charge and that drives our life in Christ. The early apostle wanted to allow the Spirit to move and guide them as much as possible with less human interference. In the Acts of the Apostles (1,15f), when Judas betrayed Jesus and was no longer with them, the Apostles “drew lots” to see who would replace his position. The person drawn was Matthias who completed the Original Twelve and was commissioned and given authority (the same authority) to preach and teach, to baptize and effect the Sacrament of the Eucharist with them.
So, as you see this method of selection has real biblical roots and understanding for us. The revised By-laws for both our Pastoral Councils allows us to draw names, leaving the real decision up to the Holy Spirit as to whom God chooses and needs for our parish communities for the years to come. This is especially important as we transition into our new Area Catholic Community (ACC). The St. Cloud Diocese actually encourages us to use this method of selection, since it does away any sort of election or popular vote which at times can be a very limiting way to lead or govern. The names selected are the ones we believe God wants at this time, and I believe they will do an excellent job.
Finally, I do want to say “Thank you” to those members of both our Parish Councils whose terms are up. From St. Peter special “Thank you” to: Steve Gottwalt, Judy Blommel and Lorraine Jungels. From St. Paul “Thank you,” to goes to John Horn, Wendy Rysavy, and Dan Hesterman. These people have done a wonderful job, and now it’s time for someone else to be chosen to replace them!
Being a member of either Pastoral Council is a great honor and good learning experience for anyone. One learns a lot about what it takes to operate a parish with all its responsibilities, coordination, activities and programs it does. In the future, you might consider dropping your name in the hat! I am sure God could use your gifts and talents as well.