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Today at 8:30am

What is Faith Engaged and Church Engagement?


Those themes were celebration of the Eucharist as the source and summit of our Faith,evangelization of our Faith flowing from the graces of the Eucharist,  celebration of the 2000th anniversary of the birth of Apostle Paul and the Pauline Year set by our Holy Father, and finally in honor of our  unique distinction of having the  Catholic Faith present, alive and active in our region for 450 years since the landing on our beaches of Spanish explorer Don Tristan de Luna and the celebration of the first Mass on what is now the continental United States  by several priests who accompanied de Luna.

As that year has come to an end, the term Faith Engaged has taken on a more direct meaning for St. Paul Catholic Church. We have begun a process that will help our parishioners become ever more deeply engaged in their faith and in their church. This process has been called Church Engaged in other Catholic circles. So, Faith Engaged = Church Engaged.

Al Winseman’s book Growing an Engaged Church:  How to Stop "Doing Church" and Start Being the Church Again was published by Gallup Press in 2007.  Winseman's book explains well what an Engaged Church is and hence what we are trying to accomplish with our Faith Engaged process; that is, we want to help you create a more engaged church.

Winseman explains the important difference between being involved and being engaged.   Involvement is what we do in church;  engagement is how we feel about church and how we experience church. He urges us to "stop doing church and start being church." Involvement (doing) without engagement (being) leads to burnout.  Church becomes just another thing on our to-do list. Church feels less like a privilege, and more like a chore. We become unconcerned and indifferent to the real reason we attend church in the first place - to be a part of a congregation of dedicated and energized believers who are growing in their faith, and at the same time, are impacting their communities for Christ.

Another exciting component for us of our Faith Engaged process is the involvement of the renowned local consulting firm, The Studer Group .  They will be assisting us in relationship and engagement building processes like Rounding, and goal setting and are doing so free of charge.  The process of Rounding will help our parishioners become and feel more engaged in their/our church.

Behind Al Winseman's  book, Growing an Engaged Church, are years of experience investigating the spiritual health of local congregations. The Gallup Organization, through more than 65 years of asking thousands of questions to more than one million people, have identified two primary causes of spiritual health: congregational engagement and spiritual commitment.  We will take advantage of their years of research by using Gallup's congregational survey instrument, the ME25, to measure engagement and spiritual commitment.  This very brief survey will be done at all Masses on a designated Sunday.  The ME25 will give us a measure of  just how engaged our parishioners are and will help us to know exactly how to help people feel more engaged and help them grow spiritually in the Catholic Tradition.

The ME25 survey, along with Rounding, goal setting and the expertise of The Studer Group will help us reach our potential in becoming the most Faith Engaged Church we can possibly be.