Over the past two weeks, we have been sharing some details of the work our parish leadership team has been doing so that we may bring clarity of the purpose and mission of our church to everyone engaged in Holy Family Parish. This work revolved around six key clarity questions: Why do we exist? – How do we behave? – What do we do? – How will we succeed? – What is most important right now? – Who does what? This week we look at:
QUESTION 2: HOW DO WE BEHAVE?
More than anything any of us can say, or write or explain, it is through our actions and how we behave that others know who we really are and what we really value. With the support of a facilitator from the Amazing Parish team, we worked through an exercise to help us define our core valued behaviours.
When we think of all the parishioners of Holy Family, there is a great diversity of the members in age, culture, length of time in the parish, family and other demographics. There is also a continuum of participation in the different activities, programs and aspects of the church, and we are all at varied stages of understanding and growth in our faith. While considering all of these factors, we generated extensive lists of the types of observable behaviours that are part of our community. When these lists were analyzed through the lens of our mission statement, we were able to clarify three core values that are most desirable for all of us to embrace and be able to carry on with the implementation and service of our Parish Mission. These essential core values are: hearts for service, selfless collaboration & sharing our faith.
Hearts for Service – Simply put, this behaviour is demonstrated by people who willingly and generously give of their time and talent in service of the needs of the church and others. It is about doing what you can to help with what is needed without thought of reward, visibility or status. It is about others, not self. “…and your Father, who sees what you do in private, will reward you.” Matthew 6:4
Selfless Collaboration – When we are able to work in cooperation with others and reconcile differing opinions or ideas based on the overall goal of our parish mission, and not our own agenda, then we are operating with selfless collaboration. “To conclude, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit;” 1 Peter 3: 8
Sharing our Faith – Perhaps the most challenging aspect of our mission for many of us is the idea of evangelization, of sharing our faith with others. There are many different ways of doing this. Something we can learn from programs such as ChristLife and Alpha is that we begin by discovering all we can about Christ to know him in our minds; then through following his teaching we come to experience him in a real way in our lives and our hearts; so that through the example of our lives and our experience of his loving presence, we are then able to speak of our relationship with Jesus to others, and what it means in our life. “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” 2 Corinthians 5: 20
Through our work of reflection, thoughtful responses and discernment in view of our Holy Family Parish Mission to: love God, love others, and make disciples, these three behaviours have been identified as essential to living our core values in fulfillment of the mission that Jesus gave us.