Concerns and Action Items

The Five Year Plan concerns and action items listed below are the result of the Five Year Plan’s committee meetings over a 14-month period. The plan was based on the following process:

  1. Mission Statement
  2. Strategic Planning Task Force
  3. Communication Strategy
  4. Vision Statement
  5. Current Environment
  6. Situation Analysis
  7. Goals and Objectives
  8. Implementation Strategy
  9. Monitoring and Evaluation of the Plan

Currently we are at Steps 7 and 8 of the plan. Step 7 is where we determine the goals and objectives, and Step 8 is the implementation of the plan.

Concern: the near full capacity of Wednesday night Faith Formation classes.

Prioritized Points of Action:

1 Include a 4:30 (or second) session on Mondays in addition to the 5:45 class.

2 Keep pushing and expanding the extra classes provided on Wednesdays at 7pm (4th thru 8th grades) to alleviate some of the full capacity at the 4:30 classes.

3 For the 2016/2017 registration year (and beyond), make it very clear that once a session is full, parents need to pick another session. It is important to clarify and enforce a late fee, and remind parents that they can only pick up their own packets and not packets for other children of other parents.

4 Provide more sessions on Sunday mornings. Offer optional first and second grade classes to Sunday mornings to alleviate the number of sessions on Wednesday evenings.

5 Clear out classroom 7 and use it has a classroom vs. a storage room. For this to be done, we’d need to find additional storage space for the tables and such currently stored in that room.

6 Purchase dividers and create class areas in the parish hall.

7 Rent classroom space from the Waukee school system or other nearby facility when we can no longer accommodate classes within the space at St. Boniface,. Determine if classrooms are available and at what price. Surrounding schools include: Waukee Middle School, Prairie View, Timberline School, and South Middle School.

8 Investigate the creation of a family program once a month on Sundays for those that can’t attend weekly classes. SS. John and Paul of Altoona does an intergenerational program for faith formation that families attend once a month. This could be an option for families (not just students) who wanted to attend a once-a-month program rather than the current weekly classes.  Point of contact: Patsy Carlson, Director of Faith Formation.

9 Investigate creating a teen program similar to St Theresa’s (originated in Arizona) that would include grade-school students.

 

Concern: preparing for the eventual replacement of our current priest, it is important to maintain the current message that resonates so well with our parishioners. A priest that doesn’t continue the sentiment of the parish could have negative growth and tithing effect. It seems critical to maintain the culture that Father and the parish have fostered.

Prioritized Points of Action:

1 Create a detail transition plan that would include:

  • Clearly define roles of existing staff positions.
  • Create of a Profile of Parish so the new priest would know our expectations.
  • Coach the parish through multiple forms of communications on accepting change during and after the transition.

Concern: how to maintain/increase to cover our financial obligations and put money aside for future repairs.

Prioritized Points of Action:

1 Supply tithing envelopes to parishioners who have not received them in the past due to their non-contributions. Hopefully the envelopes would work as a reminder every two months to these parishioners that the whole community needs to help support the church.

2 Provide detailed info/article on financial concerns in the bulletin and on the website. Use graphics to help make the point. To do this, we need to share our financial needs more effectively. One possibility to accomplish this would be to hire a professional financial writer.

3 Have the Finance Council create a tithing campaign. Once created we need to form a promotion plan to share the campaign.

4 Create a program to promote the convenience of the automatic withdrawal.

5 Create a "matching funds" campaign. This worked well in the past and could be repeated every couple of years with a new/different sponsor.

6 Deliver financial/value messages from Father Vince or another person on a regular schedule. Do this at the beginning of Mass.

7 Create different challenges, fundraisers, matching contributions, and other events throughout the year to increase overall tithing. Don’t refer to each as a fundraisers, but give then different names to differentiate and allow people different opportunities to donate to different campaigns. Maybe a spring fundraiser in addition to that we do in the fall.

8 On regular basis (quarterly?) shorten the homily and use remaining time to provide a brief state of our financial affairs.

9 Don’t mail tithing envelopes to those who do auto debit is a waste of money and postage.

 

Concern: The increased use of the gathering space and back of  church for seating during Mass, including lack of an adequate sound system, quieter chairs, lack of usher instructions for setting up/taking down chairs and ropes and the potential need for extra communion minsters.

Prioritized Points of Action:

1 Leave the currently roped-off area open at all times.; This will help ensure that people are not standing and blocking the aisle as others are trying to get in to be seated in the available open areas. This sentiment was voiced numerous times.

2 Announce five minutes before church starts to have everybody move to the middle of each row to make more room for people coming in.

3 In addition to the verbal announcement at Mass, address this concern in the bulletin and online to let people know this is an issue requiring everyone’s cooperation.

4 Have the ushers could do more to encourage people to move to the center. This will require additional usher training.

5 Recruit more ushers and revise the training. Go from a four usher per Mass schedule to six ushers per Mass.

6 Review usher training manual. Update it and share online.

7 Determine an exact point in Mass when people are no longer to be seated in the sanctuary. This would need to be part of the usher training.

 

Concern: create a more welcoming parish for newcomers and less-active parishioners.

Prioritized Points of Action:

1 Create a Welcoming Committee to focus on the creation and execution of communications and activities to grow this area. This could include the use of parish ambassadors. This would include reviewing our current welcoming process and possibly revising it.

2 Investigate the use of meetup.com to post events

3 Create a system that the parish office staff processes newcomer information to determine ways engage newcomers in parish groups, activities, or volunteerism.

4 Involve parishioners in a specific ministry where they would speak at the conclusion of Mass on their particular group or event. Add to the event planner schedule.

5 Create a connection group for younger parishioners (under 30) to be involved with. To accomplish this we would need a volunteer to lead.

6 Leverage the CHRP community more then we do today.

7 Assign tables at the coffee and donut get-togethers each month for new parishioners (people who have joined in the last three months). Announce this at mass and ask others to introduce themselves to the new parishioners. This would give Father Vince a chance to visit with new parishioners also.

8 Host more newcomer events such as: play dates, parent's night out, volleyball, card clubs, pot-luck dinners, potluck picnics, in-church movie nights, etc.

9 Investigate what area churches do to address this concern.

 

Concern: create a stronger relationship, presence, and visibility of the youth at St. Boniface to the church as a whole.

Prioritized Points of Action:

1 Investigate creating a new/additional position where the person would spend 75% with Faith Formation and 25% with the Youth Group.

2 Create a focus group that would look at what other churches in our area are doing to promote their youth groups and create a detailed plan of action. A majority of this group should be teenagers.

3 Create more parent/child activates. Example: Father-daughter dance

4 Create an online presence directed strictly at our youth. This could include use of social media, blogs, etc.

 

Concern: the near maximized seating and parking capacity of a three-mass schedule. (This seem to be the most pressing concern.)

Prioritized Points of Action:

Begin to move to four Masses per weekend in the next several years.

 

Additional Comments and Concerns

Possible Points of Action:

  • Separate the job of adult faith formation and music director, as the parish grows
  • Explore Mass on TV, (streaming video) for the homebound and those that miss Mass but wish to watch it later.