SAINT BARBARA PARISH PASTORAL PLAN

2018-2019

Foreword

Our parish mission is this: In response to God’s call to love, we are a faith community that strives to live the gospel life in prayer, formation, evangelization, outreach and stewardship in the Franciscan tradition.

This parish mission is in alignment with the vision for Old Mission Santa Barbara (parish, friary, archives, Mission). All four entities share in:

In the humble spirit of St. Francis, we foster reverence, care and joy for all creation (people, creatures, environment) through ministry, service and study by offering a gathering place where pilgrims, visitors, scholars, and communities can grow and thrive in God’s goodness.

To that end, this document announces a parish pastoral plan, guided by the Holy Spirit, to further educate, inspire and engage all – especially parishioners – to a deeper relationship with God and each other in these areas: Liturgy, Faith Formation, Community Building, Stewardship and Communication.

 

What does it mean to be Franciscan?

St. Francis shows us a way to imitate Christ and honor our Catholic faith in our modern lives by:

  • Praising all creation as a gift of joy and goodness from God
  • Preaching the gospel in the wider community with and without words
  • Serving the poor and marginalized in our community
  • Living simply
  • Practicing humility, demonstrating mercy and forgiveness.

 

When Pope Francis was elected in 2013, he took the name Francis to refocus the church more toward love, mercy, and services to “the poorest, weakest, and least important.” Why? To lead the global church to follow Christ more closely.

 

Purpose of the Plan

This strategic planning document charts the future of St. Barbara Parish, building more intentionally on our response to the gospel as an engaged faith community, on our Franciscan heritage, and on our welcoming role as a church that attracts visitors from around the world. In a word, our primary goal is to foster “discipleship.”

Our regional bishop, Robert Barron, notes:

“Our own journeys might be characterized at times by questions and uncertainty, by fits and starts, by mysteries. I wonder what God’s role is in my spiritual life … and what is my role? How can I know how to discern the ways of God’s grace in my life? … What signs should I follow? How do I know when to move, when to stand still, when to speak, when to be silent? … Francis shares a hint, one hint, at least.

It’s this: Francis does not sit around. He doesn’t wait for a perfect moment to be confirmed in his spiritual intuitions. His life is so deeply prayerful, but see this: anchored by the still place where he meets Christ, Francis moves. Francis knew that to follow Christ means, first of all, to follow him. To let Christ in, we simply have to let him in, and since Christ is love, we let him in by loving in his name, loving the difficult, loving the unlovable, loving when we are exhausted. We let him in by touching when we would rather draw back, smiling when misery tempts us to turn away and giving when we think we have nothing left — or when we would really like to just hold on to what we have. But we can do this because it is God, inexhaustible in love, who is at work in us.

This document also serves as an outline for an operational plan that details the plan’s steps, resources, people responsible, timelines, and indicators of success to actually implement the plan’s goals. As part of the discernment process, a review will be done each Lent by the pastoral leadership to see how the pastoral plan is unfolding and what should be the plan for the following year.

 

St. Barbara Parish

Like many parishes around the country, there are considerable resource challenges amid the secular pressures of increasingly busy family schedules, digital distractions, and declining young adult attendance.

To address these challenges, our plan places a strong emphasis on expanding and deepening liturgy, faith formation, community building, stewardship and communication. We aim to further educate, inspire and engage all – especially parishioners – to a deeper relationship with God and each other. How this plays out in individual lives will differ, but we are all united in God’s love for us, our love for God, and our Catholic faith.

This plan builds on the many blessings of St. Barbara parish. We are attached to a large and active Franciscan Mission and Friary with a newly located Novitiate on the Mission grounds. Our Franciscan heritage shows us a way to live a Christian life and honor our Catholic faith. As a national and state historical landmark, the Mission and church receives thousands of visitors each year. The Mission has been under the continuous guidance of the Franciscans since it was established in 1786. We also have superb traditional liturgical music with the oldest continuous tradition of choral singing among any California mission.

Our biggest blessing, however, is the parishioners, which was readily apparent during a year of severe environmental challenges: the Thomas fire and a once-in-a-century flood and debris flow that killed 23 residents and injured many others. We responded by reaching out to the larger Santa Barbara community with special liturgical healing services, welcoming a parish whose church was inaccessible, opening our homes to needy neighbors, and holding a half-day seminar with community leaders called “How We Heal.” This illustrates the foundation and fabric on which this plan was created.

 

Background

Fr. Dan Lackie, OFM became pastor of Saint Barbara Parish in October 2017 with a clear vision to create a Franciscan Center of Evangelization. Since then, an energized planning process has been underway involving many parishioners.

The plan, guided by the Holy Spirit, was developed with input from Fr. Dan and Fr. Larry Gosselin, OFM, Associate Pastor; the nine-member Pastoral Council, ex-officio Finance Council chair, five task forces led by Pastoral Council members, approximately 45 parishioners engaged in various ministries, and the results of a parish survey on faith formation. With guidance from the Pastoral Council, Fr. Dan had final approval.

Our planning process coincided with the strategic planning process of Old Mission Santa Barbara for the same period, 2018-2021. Thanks to a collaborative process with Fr. Dan Lackie OFM, Fr. John Hardin OFM, Guardian of the Friars; and Monica Orozco, Executive Director of the Mission, a single unifying vision was developed for all of us as the “Greater Santa Barbara Mission.” This collaboration will result in better coordination and stewardship with the Mission, Franciscan Friary and Archives-Library. That said, this plan focuses solely on the parish.

 

The Pastor and Pastoral Council Members, October 16, 2018

 

 

 

 

OVERVIEW OF PASTORAL PLAN

The vision we share with Old Mission Santa Barbara, the Friary and the Archives:

In the humble spirit of St. Francis, we foster reverence, care and joy for all creation (people, creatures, environment) through ministry, service and study by offering a gathering place where pilgrims, visitors, scholars, and communities can grow and thrive in God’s goodness.

This shared vision addresses our parish needs by the following:

In the humble spirit of St. Francis,

What we do
– We foster reverence, care and joy for all creation
How we do it
– through ministry, service, and study by offering a gathering place where all
Why we do it
– can grow and thrive in God’s goodness.

 

St. Barbara Parish Mission Statement

In response to God’s call to love, we are a faith community that strives to live the gospel life in prayer, formation, evangelization, outreach and stewardship in the Franciscan tradition.

This addresses our parish needs by the following:

Why we do it
– In response to God’s call to love,
Who we are
– We are a faith community that
What we do
– strives to live the gospel life in prayer, formation, evangelization, outreach and stewardship
How we do it
– in the Franciscan tradition.

 

Overview of the Pastoral Plan

This plan intends to inspire and engage all – especially parishioners – to a deeper relationship with God and with each other by:

1. LITURGY: Supporting the joyful celebration of the Liturgy and providing pastoral care that serves our parishioners, visitors and the greater community. This will include:

  • Directing a Sunday liturgy to families with children
  • Developing a program of on-going formation for liturgical ministers
  • Continuing training for ministries to the sick, homebound and grieving.

 

2. FAITH FORMATION: Presenting multiple opportunities to embrace and grow in the Catholic faith by committing to personal spiritual growth, deepening the understanding of the Franciscan tradition, and learning about the church’s teaching on social issues. This will include the weekend celebration of the Feast of St. Francis and:

  • Seminars on the meaning of Franciscan spirituality and identity
  • Seminars on Catholic social issues
  • Training for catechists
  • Ongoing Bible studies for Advent and Lent
  • Study and implement Religious Education for parents and children.

 

3. COMMUNITY BUILDING: Offering occasions to develop meaningful relationships with fellow parishioners. Evangelization begins with building a strong parish community. This will include:

  • A calendar of events
  • An annual parish picnic
  • Social gatherings
  • Outreach to new parishioners.

 

4. STEWARDSHIP: Developing God-given talents and putting them to work for others. This will include:

  • Volunteer recruitment, discernment and appreciation process
  • A Ministry Fair
  • Financial planning for the sustainability of the parish and its ministries
  • Development of all ministries for outreach.

 

5. COMMUNICATION: Furnishing timely and complete parish information. This will include:

  • Merging the parish website with the Old Mission website
  • Improving the parish bulletin design and content
  • Creating channels of direct communication between pastoral leadership and the parish (e.g. email capability, surveys)
  • Leveraging social media platforms.

 

Operational Plan to Implement the Pastoral Plan

The following details will serve as a roadmap to implement the Pastoral Plan and will allow us to track if we are on plan and on budget. If not, “course corrections” should be made to the plan.

YEAR 1 (July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019)

GOAL: LITURGY

Supporting the joyful celebration of the Liturgy and providing pastoral care that serves our parish family, visitors and the greater community.

 

 

Objectives:

 

Date to be completed

1. Directing a Sunday liturgy to families with children

 

Implemented for 9:00 am Mass on October 7, 2018
2. Developing a program of on-going formation for liturgical ministers. November 2018
3. Continued training for ministry with the sick, homebound, and grieving. January 2019
4. Altar server families’ recognition Mass completed
 

FAITH FORMATION:

Presenting multiple opportunities to embrace and grow in the Catholic faith by committing to personal spiritual growth, deepening the understanding of the Franciscan tradition, and learning about the church’s teaching on social issues

 

Objectives: Date to be completed
1. Schedule seminars on the meaning of Franciscan spirituality and identity

 

Occurred: Sept. 6/7, 13/14, 20/21, 27/28
2. Schedule seminars on Catholic social teachings

 

Already calendared; November 2-3
3. Training for catechists Already calendared
4. Ongoing programs for Advent November 2018
5. Ongoing programs for Lent February/March 2019
6. Study and implement Religious Education for parents and children  

October 28, 2018

 

COMMUNITY BUILDING:

Offering occasions to develop meaningful relationships with fellow parishioners. Evangelization begins with building a strong parish community.

 

Objectives Date to be completed
1. Consolidate current volunteers who serve coffee after Mass with volunteers on the Hospitality Committee  

 

Under review

2. Assure that all events planned by either the Old Mission or by a parish ministry is on a single calendar for easy reference.

 

September 2018
3. Support the annual parish picnic in October October 2018
4. Consider moving Mass refreshments to end of portico nearest the steps and recruit more volunteers to implement at two Sunday Masses. No later than January 2019
5. Plan monthly parish social events As often as possible
6. Expand outreach to new parishioners – welcome letter, announcement in bulletin, introduction at parish social events, follow up on volunteering, including intentions at a Mass Ongoing
7. Create a system to track assets and supplies used for parish social events

 

As soon as possible
 

 

 

STEWARDSHIP:

Developing God-given talents and putting them to work for others

 

Objectives: Date to be completed
1. Planning for a Ministry Fair, with volunteers to spearhead a ministry May 2019

Pentecost Weekend

2. Collect job descriptions for ministry fair March 2019
3. Thank you notes sent to donors for parish donations and continued support for Together in Mission Ongoing
4. (a) Volunteer recruitment, discernment and appreciation process –

 

· redesign of registration card

January 2019
4.

(b)

Volunteer recruitment, discernment and appreciation process –

 

· follow up to volunteers and create reporting process to monitor results/needs

 

January 2019
5. Designate Ministry Heads for all parish ministries/groups. Secure agreement from those asked to serve and provide information that will help all leaders with communication, volunteer training, recruitment and appreciation.

Prepare summary job descriptions for each leadership role.

 

 

 

November 2018

6. Ongoing study of developing parish Recommendations regarding program due by June 30, 2019
7. Financial planning for the sustainability of the parish and its ministries Review in 2018
8. Financial reports to parish; possible “Stewardship Sunday” Annual report in October 2018
9. Explore ways for developing ministry with The St. Vincent DePaul Society Recommendations due by February 1, 2019
10. Plan a Book drive for detention ministry – and provide information about the needs of those served and opportunities for volunteers.

 

After May 2019 ministry fair
 

COMMUNICATION:

Furnishing timely and complete parish information.

 

Objectives: Date to be completed
1. Merging the parish website with the website of OMSB

 

Spring 2019
2. Improving the bulletin design and content

 

 

In process

3. Managing the parish database Ongoing
4. Identifying/hiring a web administrator Person is identified and engaged
5. Adding ministry information to website

 

By May 2019
6. Adding event/calendar information on the web Ongoing
7. Wedding info update on the web By December 2018; in process
8. Expand the capacity of the parish management database system to manage aspects of parish activities and communications – possible use of parish giving module

 

Data management tasks ongoing with recommendations on new modules due by mid-April 2019
9.

(a)

Creating channels of direct communication:

 

· phone system, after hours messaging

Work with Greater Mission leaders to develop plan and identify resources required – by May 30 for implementation starting in July 2019
9.

(b)

Creating channels of direct communication:

 

· email system, surveys

Work with Greater Mission leaders to develop plan and identify resources required – by May 30 for implementation starting in July 2019
9.

 

(c)

Explore improved communications delivery systems:

 

· livestreaming capability

Work with Greater Mission leaders to develop plan and identify resources required – by May 30 for implementation starting in July 2019
10. Review of staffing structures to include a communications manager Staffing Recommendation due no later than March 1, 2019 for planning and budget analysis