The Net

Net Issue: December 2021

Theme: Gifting talents to parish family in thanksgiving to God…

AS we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus and reflect on the Christmas story, including the visit of the Three Wise Men who went out of their way to pay homage to this special Child, giving Him their precious gifts, a number of people across the Diocese have been reflecting on the gifts/talents that they have received from God, and how they could offer (or maybe already do offer) these for the benefit of their parish, as a thanksgiving gift to God…

Online version

If you have skills you are willing to share let your parish know

As our Church moves more and more towards greater laity involvement, we will require active participation from the laity in ways that we might not have thought of in the past. My own background is in computing and IT and I’ve never really thought of that as a skill that might be useful to my parish until last year when Covid hit us and online streaming of Mass and other liturgies became a necessity rather than an option. When our parish first looked at doing this with one of the established commercial operations, the cost of doing so – both the initial setup and the ongoing fee -was prohibitively expensive. Between myself and a few other parishioners, however, we were able to set up our own streaming service at a negligible cost.

One of the things that struck me about this was that my own involvement was almost accidental, it came about through a question our priest asked, almost in passing, at a Parish Pastoral Council meeting on Zoom. I think there is a tendency that when we look at how we can play an active role in our parish, we tend to start by looking at what we see as the parish’s needs and whether we can match into them. An alternative approach is for us to simply make our priest or PPC aware of our skills and our willingness for the parish to avail of those skills – let them figure out how those skills can be used.

This particularly applies to skills that we use in our working or professional life. There are all sorts of such skills that our parishes will need in the times ahead, perhaps physical skills to do with the maintenance of the church properties or other skills such as accountancy or managerial experience or teaching experience – one particular challenge facing us is the increasing momentum to remove religious education out of schools and back into the family and the parish. And you don’t have to be actively using those skills – your skills and experience don’t disappear when you retire and using those skills to help your parish can be personally rewarding and enjoyable

If you have any skills or experience that you are willing to share, then don’t wait for someone to come asking as there is sometimes a reluctance for others to approach us to do things for free that other people may pay us for doing. Let your parish know that are available and willing.

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