So this is happening…

As I write, I am still filled with anxiety. But as a wise person (Casey Stanton) once pointed out to me, doing the work is not what’s overwhelming; thinking about the work is what’s overwhelming. So, I will begin to do…

I will become the Parish Life Coordinator by September of 2021. This year, my goal is to create and roll-out a shared leadership model for College Church. I need to clearly define my space in that model.

I will work with the pastor and the pastoral council to prepare a public announcement to the parish that there will be a new leadership model. This will happen in early August. It will include the parish’s new strategic priorities. 

I will work with the pastor and the anti-racism team on a structural audit of the parish that will help us determine how to construct a new leadership model. This will happen this summer and throughout the rest of year. 

Watching out for pitfalls…
I will be tempted to act as if this role is a parish administrator on steroids because that’s the role I know how to do. 

Others will have a difficult time letting me out of the role of parish administrator. Their habit is to call me if they need anything. 

Some will not accept or understand the new leadership structure and will only want to follow the leadership of a priest. The clearer the model and path become, the more confident people will be.

Necessary Formation
I’m not trained as a spiritual leader. I need to figure out a formation path that is realistic given my work and my family. Many of the people working with me on this transition can offer guidance and advice. Within the next two months I need to have a formation plan. 

My team: Jen Petruso, Lisa D’Souza, Aimee Wittman, Winnie Sullivan, Sara McGinnis Lee, Carl Greiner, Maurice Muia, Quang Tran, Cheryl Archibald, Dan White

A key to success will be prioritizing pastoral council meetings, anti-racism work and roll-out dates. 

My daily goal will be to have 1 interaction about big picture planning each day.

I will set Friday afternoons aside to reflect, evaluate and plan for the following week.

5 thoughts on “So this is happening…

  1. Dear Katie, You will pastor “holding” “blessing” “listening thoughtfully” “praying” “with an open heart”.
    What we all need. God bless your “yes”. Your call to bring the gospel words and apply this to real life is an answered prayer for many. Listen to all the graces God has settled in your heart. You know. Please take the time to carve out your sacred space so you can continue to feel that beautiful spirit holding you.

  2. Katie, I am so grateful for your vulnerability and honesty here. I hear your anxiety but I also see solid concrete steps and goals. You have set up your path. You know the work that needs to be done. Trust in yourself and in God. I am so excited to see where this journey takes you!

  3. Katie, I’m so glad we got to talk more about this in our small group. Remember that you know how to hold people and your community, and that is pastoral work! I hear a sacramentality in the way you talk about organization and leadership of the parish.

  4. Katie —
    Grace in your “yes” and in the balance and specificity of your planning – both practically and spiritually. It occurs to me that Mary of Magdala was blessed in both ways, In the few contemporaneous texts we have, we know she supported Jesus materially in his ministry and in a extraordinarily deep way, she “got” him. May she be your guide into Mystery and into the mysteries of leadership. That you know what you need, anticipate what you may encounter, and where your boundaries may need to be set . . . all that bodes well as you move forward. I love that you can name specific people to support you. The way may be prepared for you insofar as nothing will be as “normal” in the brave new world emerging on many fronts. Be blessed on the way.

    Resources:

    Check out “The Art of Extreme Self-Care” by Cheryl Richardson (Download from Apple Books 1.99). Three young working women with families and I have been working through it at a pace of a chapter a month, two 2-hour sessions a month. Very short chapters with simple, highly effective “homework.” Start anywhere. Sharing insights from our homework in our unique situations has made a big difference for each of us and built loving and supportive friendships. We started meeting in person and and now continue by Zoom.

    For balm to the spirit, head to the Missouri Botanical Gardens which are free and open last I heard. Were I living in St. Louis, I’d be there early and often. As it is, I must rely on Facebook pictures posted by a friend who is a guide there and who photographs changes as they unfold. Sigh.

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