Pastoral Council Discernment

St. John the Evangelist is seeking nominations for additional membership on the Pastoral Council.

Nominations are due by June 12, 2023.

The council is a visioning and planning body of parishioners who foster full participation of the entire parish in the life and mission of the church.

We are searching for new Pastoral Council members who exhibit the following attributes:

  • Have knowledge of St. John’s history and tradition
  • Embrace the congregation’s diversity and St. John’s role in the Interfaith Centers and community
  • Have a vision of what St. John’s can become consistent with its mission
  • Support the implementation of the Pastoral Plan
  • Lead a spiritual life of prayer
  • Be willing and excited to serve St. John’s and the extended community
  • Be committed to the Roman Catholic Church

What happens next?

St. John the Evangelist, like many parishes around the country, has moved to a discernment process for adding new Pastoral Council members each year:

  • Nominees will be invited to attend an Information Night where they will learn more about the work of the Pastoral Council. They are encouraged to consider and pray over what they have heard and, if they still feel called, to come to the Discernment Night.
  • The actual Discernment of new Pastoral Council members involves prayer and the naming of the gifts that an individual brings to the parish community that resonate with the context of the issues facing the parish. At the end of the process, each nominee, along with the group that has been gathered, will discern who should come on the Pastoral Council at this time.

What is “Discernment?”

Discernment is a process of listening with openness for the guidance of the Holy Spirit – to that still, small voice – in our prayer and in our communal considerations for the good of the parish.

The process involves calling upon the Holy Spirit to be present, being open to input from the community, and providing the opportunity for prayer and reflection.

Why Discernment?

One of our greatest challenges – and greatest benefits – is the choice of pastoral council members. In the past, council members were nominated and then elected by our parishioners. In many cases, people nominated and voted for people they didn’t know very well, but whom they saw often at the parish. And parishioners didn’t have a clear understanding of the role of the council. No more elections!

Our new process, called Discernment, brings the power of prayer and openness to God’s Spirit to the process of selection of members. Rather than counting votes, discernment reveals where there is a growing consensus about who is best suited to serve on the pastoral council at a particular time. This process requires open minds, open hearts, and clear information about what is involved in being a member of the pastoral council.

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