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For starters: Suggestions for improving parish vitality

Encourage vestry members and others in the parish to do some basic
research about their communities to share in a meeting or retreat, to
include minimally,

 *      Research "homework" regarding the community your parish

 1. race, income, age, and other basic data for the zip codes the
    parish serves, as reported by the US census at

 2. a sample community welcome/introduction packet from the nearest
    Better Business Bureau

 3. a photo copy of the gray pages of the phone book with red
    asterisks by resources that can connect resources in the parish
    with needs in the community

 4. a rate sheet for ads in the neighborhood newspapers and for spots
    on the community channel(s) of the cable TV that serves the
 *  Research "homework" regarding the disciples in the parish itself:
 1. A parish talent inventory:  Design a Rolodex or database
    card/form on which members of the parish might list up to five of
    their talents and rank them in terms of their
    interests/commitment to them

 2. A newsprint of the brainstorming of the vestry or other another
    parish group about the question: "What would we do in this parish
    if we knew for certain that Jesus is coming in six months?"

 3. A newsprint of the brainstorming of the vestry or another parish
    group regarding the questions::  "Whom are we not now serving who
    are the least' in our community?" and "What specific activities
    can we undertake to begin this vital ministry?"

Louie Crew, member of the vestry of Grace Church in Newark

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