What is your parish doing for the person on the margins? That’s today’s question to reflect on. I was having a conversation with a friend about the upcoming synod and the preparation the Holy Father has asked each Diocese and in turn parish to do. Listen to those on the margins. I’m not sure everyone is seeking these people out though because we have a hard time seeing them. So let’s start with: Who do I mean when I say “people on the margins”?
Last week I shared an idea about a Podcast Club and someone commented that they have a movie club. A few hours later I saw this article from Busted Halo about some Catholic-Themed films. Thought I’d share some thoughts and ideas!
What room do you spend the most time in at your home? I’m going to guess your answer is either the kitchen or the living room (or the family room). The family room is the heart of the home where the family comes together at the end of the day to laugh, bond, talk, watch tv, play games, and more. Imagine now that your parish has a family room where you can sit to rest, catch up, and come together. What a dream!
I fondly remember family dinners as a kid … my dad worked 7pm to 7am, so we would sit down at the table those nights at 5:30 to a home-cooked meal before he headed off to work the graveyard shift. Great memories of family time, not so great memories of being forced to load the dishwasher!
One of the most common things I hear from survey respondents is “where are the young families? children? next generation?” Many times the answer is “they’re struggling to figure out where they fit in the parish in the midst of everything else.” What if every parish did one new thing to help young families this year? What difference could we all make in the Church?
Whether we’re bad with names or good with names, it’s important to know that names matter. How can we be called a family is we don’t even know each other’s names? If I didn’t know my siblings or first cousins names, would you consider me part of that family? Yet, most of us don’t know the names of the people in our parish families!
Not everyone love puns, and I’m not always very good at them – but they always put a smile on my face (even if it’s a reluctant one)! So when I heard about an event involving a pope and some eggs, I had to learn more! I wonder what came first – the pope or the egg!
As a parish family, we need activities and events that help to build community. Some families are related but never talk to one another … that’s not the family we’re trying to build as a parish. If people are going to talk to one another, we need events that get people talking! What’s better than coffee? (Maybe coffee AND donuts!)
Sometimes transformation happens when you implement a big, hard to do, but completely worthwhile initiative. Sometimes it happens when you just turn to one another and say “how can I pray for you today?”
If we want to incorporate new people into the community, then we need to think outside the box. If we always do what we’ve always done we’ll always get the same results we’ve always had. Think outside the box!