Newsletter for U.S. Bishops Sponsored
by the NCCB Subcommittee on Lay Ministry
|This newsletter is developed by the NCCB Subcommittee on Lay Ministry. The purpose of this newsletter is to highlight lay ministry trends, resources, models, and other key information that may be helpful to the U.S. Bishops. Please forward suggestions and comments to:
NCCB Secretariat for Family, Laity, Women, and Youth
3211 4th Street, NE
Washington, DC 20017-1194
Six National Ministerial Organizations Collaborate on the Emerging Models Project
The Emerging Models Project, funded by the Lilly Endowment, is a multi-pronged, five-year initiative designed to discover the emerging models of leadership in parishes across the country. As parishes discover new ways to provide ministry and leadership as lay and ordained work together, this project is intended to discover and report emerging models of pastoral leadership.
The six national ministerial organizations collaborating on the project organizations are the National Association for Lay Ministry (NALM), the Conference for Pastoral Planning and Council Development (CPPCD), the National Association for Church Personnel Administrators (NACPA), the National Association of Deaconate Directors (NADD), the National Catholic Young Adult Ministry Association (NCYAMA), and the National Federation of Priests’ Councils (NFPC). Each organization offers a particular lens on parish life and has chosen to collaborate in promoting excellence in pastoral leadership.
In the first phase of the project, called “Building the Foundation,” information with be collected through research and gatherings of lay and ordained ministers. One of the first research studies will be a study of parish life coordinators, conducted by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA). Approximately 19% of US parishes do not have a resident pastor and approximately 4% are led by a parish life coordinator (or other parish leader with a canonical appointment, Canon 517.2). The research is intended to gather the statistics and information needed to understand the implications of this reality. Research is also underway on what attracts young adults to consider parish leadership positions. Regional gatherings are planned for Fall 2004 to study the results of the research.
Further info: Marti Jewell, Project Director, 202-291-4100. Subcommittee Consults with Bishops, Theologians, and Writers
On June 19-20, the Subcommittee on Lay Ministry met with five additional bishops representing related committees. as well as several theologians who had participated in their earlier consultation and the writers of the first drafts of the sections of the proposed document. The conversations among the 32 participants were facilitated by Sister Bríd Long, SSL and Monsignor John Strynkowski.
The proposed document presently consists of two main sections: Theological and Doctrinal Foundations and Pastoral Applications which includes Entry, Formation, Authorization, and Workplace. There was general affirmation of the drafts and many suggestions for revisions and refinements.
At the Subcommittee meeting which followed the consultation, the members agreed to ask all the bishops for a preliminary review of the theological section which also contains a newly developed definition/description of lay ecclesial ministry. They also agreed to a timeline which calls for written consultations on revised drafts with lay professional ministerial associations in the Fall. Once the results of that consultation are incorporated by the Subcommittee there will be a consultation with all bishops on the draft text.
In other business the Subcommittee received a preliminary progress report on the study of lay ecclesial ministers being conducted by the National Pastoral Life Center. The study is due to be completed in 2005. San Jose Graduates Establish Scholarship Fund for the Institute for Leadership in Ministry
Class of 2003 graduates from the Institute for Leadership in Ministry (ILM) in the diocese of San Jose established a scholarship fund for future ILM students. In addition to the $2003 contributed by the Class of 2003, several of the faculty also donated their stipends to the scholarship fund. As a result of their generosity, ILM was able to give partial or full scholarships to seven Latino students. The ILM tuition is $300.00 a year. Continuing the tradition, the class of 2004 contributed $2100 to the fund. Anne Grycz, ILM director, finds the scholarship fund to be a “powerful statement of the value the students place on their three years in the Institute.” From Our Tradition . . .
Dutch Bishops Urged To Support Lay Faithful in Church Roles “Especially by Offering Them Appropriate Formation and Spiritual Guidance”
“I know that many of the faithful are voluntarily serving the Christian community in catechesis, in youth chaplaincies, in service to the sick. A large number carry out a mission entrusted to them by the bishop for a specific period, working in harmony with priests and deacons. The Church rejoices in this, for she needs everyone’s help in order to carry out her mission. As bishops, may you succeed in attracting and training true leaders. Show them your support, especially by offering them appropriate formation and spiritual guidance. May these persons feel that they are sent and backed by the diocesan Church, with respect for difference and for the necessary complementarity of roles with the Christian flock whose shepherd is the Bishop.”
John Paul II, Address to Dutch Bishops on their “Ad Limina” Visit, 12 March 2004From Around the World. . .
Westminster Diocese Inaugurates Program to Stimulate Lay Ministry
More lay people could be involved in running their local parishes following a consultation about pastoral renewal in the Westminster diocese, according to Monsignor John Arnold, the Vicar General. “At Your Word, Lord” is a pastoral renewal program in the Westminster diocese which commenced in January 2004 and will not be finished until September 2005 at the earliest. Though the program is being conducted in light of Westminster’s declining number of priests, it is hoped that it will stimulate more lay involvement in administrative work and ministry. Msgr. Arnold said that Westminster has a developing lay ministry in some parishes. He also reported that the diocese would have to find the resources to train and in some cases to pay lay people to work in Westminster’s parishes. Monsignor Arnold commented, “If the laity are taking responsibility and making a commitment, we may well be looking at having salaried personnel in the parishes.”
Lay people constitute the majority of an Analysis Group which was established to produce a “Green Paper” or draft outline for the future. The Green Paper is due to be published in April 2005 and will be subject to much consultation. Following consultation, it will be revised and published in the form of a White Paper containing firm strategies for the future. The White Paper is intended to be published in September 2005. Msgr. Arnold said that it had not yet been decided who would be compiling the paper.
The Tablet, 20 March 2004From Our Jewish & Christian Neighbors. . .
ELCA Launches Website to Help Lay Ministers Find Placements
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) launched “People and Places Online,” a website to help lay ministers find new ministries within the church-- http://www/elca.org/peopleandplaces. The ELCA Department for Synodical Relations and the Division for Ministry support the website.
“People and Places Online” will post the resumes of lay ministers seeking placement and the job openings of ELCA congregations, institutions, and agencies. Only the ELCA synod staff will be able to access the website information as well as have the authority to make matches between the lay ministers and job openings.
Rev. Richard J. Bruesehoff, director of leadership support, ELCA Division for Ministry, believes that ordained ministers are not the church’s only “well-trained ministry specialists. . . . Rostered lay persons are specialists in education, youth ministry, music, administration, counseling, spiritual formation, evangelism and volunteer coordination. They may work as parish nurses, in campus ministry, community organizing or senior ministries. How can we make congregations, institutions and agencies aware of these talented people, who also have the theological training that the church expects of its leaders? How do rostered lay leaders know which congregations, institutions and agencies of the ELCA are seeking to call people who have their training and expertise? People and Places Online is designed to bring these institutions and individuals together.”
In May 2004, the Ninth Biennial Assembly of the Deaconess Community passed a resolution which asked the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC) to link its website to People and Places online. The website of the ELCIC is at http:/www.elcic.ca/
ELCA News Service, May 26, 2004