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Using the parochial reports to prompt ministry and stewardship
- To: "Bishops Deputies Discussion" <email@example.com>
- Subject: Using the parochial reports to prompt ministry and stewardship
- From: Louie Crew <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2004 11:48:51 -0500
- Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2004 7:43 AM
Many have weighed in with spirited discussion on two of our diocesan lists
regarding my site http://rci.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/nwkparoc.html -- at which
I share over 22,000 bits of data on the 115 congregations in the diocese.
I culled the data from parochial reports as printed in our diocesan
JOURNAL OF CONVENTION for 1976, 1986, 1996, and 2004. I also used data
from the US census for 1990 and 2000, as well as data from the Clerical
Directory. Thereby I tracked each congregation's record across almost
three decades and calculated how each parish was doing relative to the
others. I reported which parishes have had the greatest influx of Asians
or blacks or Hispanics in the last decade..... (One person in a lily
white zip code responded, alas: "You must have too much time on your
My motive is to prompt local leadership to review ministry and stewardship
priorities. I hope we will use the data enhance servant ministry in the
communities of our diocese. I am heartened by the care and extent of the
attention many are giving to this task.
Many want to know how to report "outreach" accurately. Some congregations
report zero or other very low amounts, yet do substantial outreach --
through cdc's, through 'in-kind' services to the poor and
disadvantaged......... Are there sensible and trustworthy ways for
parishes to compute in-kind contributions to outreach without redirecting
money for such ministry into the coffers of CPAs? We're not concerned to
tell everyone how good we are, but we are concerned to give an account
that will encourage us to serve more effectively.
Some parishes report that they need almost 100% of their total revenue to
pay the priest and keep the building functioning. Does every parish
suffer spiritually when it spends all its money on itself, or is that true
only for those rich enough to have money left over?
What experience have others had with the "outreach" category in the
parochial reports? What experience have others had in using parochial
reports to enhance ministry?
Have a blessed Christmas!
Lutibelle/Louie, Newark 94, 97, 00, 03. Member of Executive Council