AVON STOUR PASTORAL AREA
DIRECTOR OF LAY FORMATION
His role in the Pastoral Area?
Fr Tom writes:
“Employing Richard Martin is an exciting and challenging undertaking. We are not the first Pastoral Area to employ a part time co-ordinator but we are one of the few. The potential and the benefits are enormous, especially if Richard receives the full support and cooperation from everybody in the Pastoral Area. I have every confidence that he will challenge us out of our comfort zone in the New Evangelisation, in the Called and Gifted Process and in all the great things happening in all our Parishes. We have a rich variety of treasures in all our Parishes with very different needs. Our people, including those involved in our Catholic Schools, are our greatest asset. Long may we be inflamed with the Spirit of Christ in all our undertakings. Everything we do is primarily Christ’s work.”
Job Description: Director of Lay Formation
Aim: To enable the formation of intentional missionary disciples across the Pastoral Area.
•to promote understanding and acceptance that all baptised people are called to be missionary disciples,
•to help the Pastoral Area to develop and implement a cohesive strategy for the ongoing formation of intentional missionary disciples, covering all ages and all stages of the faith journey.
• to discern specific formation needs across all parish communities and work with the clergy, the EST and local pastoral councils to develop and implement suitable strategies for addressing these,
• to strengthen the support offered to the Pastoral Area, individual parishes and Catholic schools through networking those working in similar ministries, identifying people with particular gifts, talents and skills and empowering them through appropriate formation, contact and support, thus building capacity for ongoing formation into the future.
Richard’s roles in the Diocesan Called & Gifted Team and in parish Music Ministry are in a voluntary/service capacity and are not part of his paid role.
RICHARD SHARES HIS VISION
I believe our mission as Christians, both as individuals and as a Parish or Pastoral Area community, can be summarised as follows, based on Jesus’s ‘two greatest commandments’ (see Matthew 22:34-40) and ‘great commission’ (see Matthew 28:16-20) Love God - Love Others - Make Disciples.
My long-term vision is of our Pastoral Area as a community of growing, vibrant parish communities of missionary disciples, rooted in the Father's love, focused on and in relationship with Jesus, and ablaze with the Holy Spirit, united in bringing the love of God to our neighbourhoods through prayer, service and witness” . Imagine how that would transform this part of the world!
In the Shorter-term, my vision is of parish communities growing in relationship with Jesus and moving more and more towards a focus and emphasis on mission and outreach, rather than maintaining the status quo and providing primarily for those already committed to parish life – a recognition and acceptance that through our Baptism we are all called to be missionary disciples.
I do not come to the role as ‘the expert’ in any sense – there are others in the Pastoral Area with greater theological insight, understanding and knowledge and more pastoral experience than I have! Not only that, but I am only part-time and working across six different parishes, so I cannot possibly come in and ‘run’ lots of things ‘for’ parishes - my role must principally be as a catalyst, helping parishes build the capacity to do things themselves by co-ordinating, supporting, coaching, resourcing, inspiring and enabling.
My Initial strategy:
A detailed strategy will emerge once I have a better picture of how God is already working in each parish and where we are being called to focus our efforts, but the following will be key elements of that strategy:
•BUILD on strengths, IDENTIFY needs,
•WELCOME – crucial to have welcoming communities,
•FAMILY reaching out to families, being a ‘parish family’ supporting each other,
•SCRIPTURE & CHURCH TEACHING - develop knowledge & understanding,
•DISCERNMENT of call (Called & Gifted Process),
•SHARING & NURTURE in small groups (variety),
•NETWORKING with people in similar ministries across the Pastoral Area,
•SHARING WITNESS with other Christians and LEARNING from each other.
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