Beginning this past July 1st 2019 the Churches of St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Michael, and St. Joe are now officially joined in what we call an “Area Catholic Community” as mandated by our bishop and Diocesan Planning Board. What this means is that our 4 parishes will now begin working together on many levels to share our strengths and resources with regard to liturgies, to programs, to staff, to ministries, to building space, etc. We do this so we can be more effectively do our ministry and our work in Christ. The full impact of this new partnership will not be felt for about 1-2 years as it is still ‘on paper’ only. However, by 2021 we hope to have much of our plans in place and be fully engaged in collaboration and mission as new ACC Community in Christ! Our hope is to create a new culture, identity, and understanding between our four parish communities and do so in very concrete and spiritual ways!
At present, each of our 4 parishes will maintain their separate Corporate identities, Finances, and Finance Committees as well as Parish Councils. Some of these areas will remain the same, while others we hope to move more forward toward unified change: For example, having some Joint Parish Council meetings so we can work together in certain ways would be a great step in the right direction. We are already well underway in creating one, unified Faith Formation
Program which will begin this Fall of 2019. At present we have two priests and two deacons as well as our current parish staffs, yet by necessity some of this may also have to change over the next several years.
We have an ACC Transition Council/Team of 13 people appointed by Fr. Timothy and myself, consisting some of the Parish Trustees, Parish Council members, regular parish members, and parish staff to help guide our direction and decisions. We have just completed our first two ACC meetings in which we set up some goals and are gathering individual parish information so that we can make the best decisions. The parish information is what we call our “Parish Matrix” which is simply a list of all staff, activities, dates, programs, special ministries, special events, etc. that each parish has going on throughout the year so that we can consider these things as we have our discussions.
Our first goal as an ACC Council/Team is to create a new ‘Branding,’ or come up with an appropriate ACC name and logo from which we can begin to launch many of our activities. An ACC brand name would be the first step before creating a unified Parish Website, Bulletin, and other items. This is still in process as more information will be forthcoming. Please be sure to watch for our “Area Catholic Community News” column in our bulletin to keep informed and abreast of what is currently taking place. No one really knows what the future holds, yet we do know that it is best to be prepared and have good things in place. In the meantime, may God bless and anoint us with His Holy Spirit to govern and guide all our discussions and decisions in Christ!