This past week we had another finance council meeting. We first looked at the financial reports from the previous month. There really were only a very few discrepancies from budget, and these were small. One council member gave her report on the internal audit she did, using the diocesan process and forms. Then we went over next year’s budget line-by-line. That budget has been turnd in to the Diocese. We noted the ending terms of Joyce Parish and Shawn Dooley on the Finance Council. We are grateful for their service these past few years. Then we looked at upcoming projects. Some we have already noted in the last meeting, so I won’t repeat them here. We looked at three quotes for the Payne parking lot. The middle (cost-wise) quote, at about $75,000 looked most reasonable. But somebody recommended another company from our last meeting, and we have yet to get a quote from them. Once we do, we’ll make a decision and send a letter for permission from the Diocese. We expect to repair the Payne parking lot this summer. We have $22,241 already donated for the parking lot, and we can receive additional donations, earmarked for this purpose. We looked again at some of the projects for the parish rectory in Paulding. We think we have solved the basement water problem by filling in the cistern and fixing eaves troughs and downspouts, such that there is very, very little water leaking into the basement right now. This will save us a ton of money (i.e., not have to trench around the outside of the rectory to lay drainage tile). Still we have the other projects we have already mentioned previously. The upcoming rectory open house to celebrate my 20 years of service as a priest will also hopefully bring in some funds for rectory repairs (siding, bathroom shower repair, painting of some rooms, etc.). Finally, we are going to create a cemetery advisory committee to help us consider all facets of our two cemeteries. Those are the primary new points from our finance council meeting.
This past week we started implementing the new protocol for communication in the office. We want to be more efficient and effective in our communication; and sometimes I end up being the “middleman”, if parishioners contact me on my cell phone for stuff that actually has to be handled at the office. If somebody needs to get in touch with me during the day, please feel free to call the parish office, and phone calls can be transferred either to my office in the center, or to the rectory. If you are calling outside of parish office hours, you can listen to prompt options, and press the extension for the rectory to get to me. If there is a definite emergency outside of normal office hours, there is even a prompt option that will get somebody in touch with me directly, even if I am not in the rectory. So, this new approach will still be able to meet everybody’s needs; and, it will be a bit more efficient and effective as well.
As we start setting this communication structure in place in the parish office, it will end up dovetailing perfectly with the work of the Volunteer Life Committee to analyze and diagram the volunteer life happening in the parish now, and suggest a structure to make our volunteer life more efficient, effective and complete. Although I am always willing to help persons with questions of any sort, it will be most efficient for people to contact the following staff leadership members with questions regarding their specific responsibilities: for anything regarding finances, the buildings or grounds, you can contact Dianne Jones; for anything regarding youth or adult religious formation and education, you can contact Theresa Conley; for anything regarding parish social communications, the bulletin, funeral luncheons and arrangements, or other parish events, you can contact Darlene Herber. Eventually we will publish a volunteer life structure that will enable people to know who is handling what areas in our parish. This will make communication even more efficient.
In preparation for a Fall ALPHA course at our parish (to which you can invite fallen-away Catholics, and even unchurched people), I want to make you aware of another ALPHA training day nearby. On Saturday, June 10th, in Warsaw, IN, at Sacred Heart Parish, our own Alan Badia from the Diocesan Office for Parish Life and Evangelization will be the keynote speaker. Please continue to prayerfully consider if the Lord is calling you to be part of this outreach opportunity at our parish. I think we need a regular program/class/fellowship opportunity to which we can invite people who might not yet be ready to join an RCIA class or come to Mass. There will be another training for ALPHA in our diocese on the weekend of July 8 or 15. Details will be forthcoming. When the ALPHA Course happens in our parish this coming fall, it will be pretty heavily advertised, even in the newspapers. We really would like a team of people who can step up to the challenge and be a part of the Lord’s transforming work in guests who have been somewhat distant from Him for one reason or another. If we get enough people even to run simultaneous ALPHA courses on each campus, no problem! This course can even be run out of somebody’s home – if, for example we had a few couples who wanted to team up and invite a handful of people to the course. These ALPHA Training opportunities are perfect for anybody interested in helping to make the ALPHA experience happen at our parish. Please call Theresa Conley with any questions. The ALPHA course seems to have been pretty helpful at other parishes, and it has been recommended by our Bishop. I am pretty hopeful about how it will add to the dynamic of our own parish.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,