Thank you to the 30+ parishioners who attended our first Parish Conversation - this one on Outreach - to help the Profile Committee articulate who we are and where we're going. We had a productive discussion, and received a number of additional write-in comments.
In attendance at the meeting were several members of the current Outreach committee and several past Outreach committee members which meant that our collective memory was pretty powerful.
What would an outsider have learned by attending?
* All Saints has a long history of serious efforts to reach out to the community. We started the Friendship Center, Little Cottage, and were part of the founding of Transition House to name a few Santa Barbara institutions.
* The work trips to Honduras, Blackfoot Idaho, Navajo Nation, New Cuyama, and Carpinteria were also mentioned as important aspects of our reaching out.
* Many other areas were mentioned such as providing a van to Community Kitchen, to Waterford Reading program, scholarships through Friends of the Episcopal Diocese in Jerusalem, Goats for Life, M-4 projects, and many others.* Several participants noted that community outreach has shifted from rector-centric projects to more parish defined and that was progress. While at least one other thought the rector should be more directly involve.
* Over the last nine years of funding through the golf tournament, the Outreach Committee has worked to improve the grant requesting process while working to keep the ability to react to surprise needs, such as Haiti, New Jersey flooding, and others. They have also worked to balance granting with parishioner interest.
* Clearly, communication about the activities and process of the Outreach Committee had the most energy behind it. It was clear that despite the regular email updates, the notices in the bulletin, etc., there were too many who felt they were not getting adequate notice of actions and meetings.
* Lastly, the challenge of sponsoring/supporting projects that attract parishioners and others to get involved with their own time and talent is one foremost on most attendees' minds. Members of the Outreach Committee explained that this is a continuous discussion within and ideas leading to more physical participation are welcomed.
One idea voiced was to measure the volunteering of the parishioners...both spiritual and church-backed as well as outside of All Saints. In our September parish-wide questionnaire, we plan to ask each to document their family outreach.
Our next Parish Conversation is July 23rd (Tuesday) on Worship and Music. We'll start at 6 PM. Please come to listen and be heard.
Other Parish Conversations to get on your schedule include:
- Sunday, July 28th, between services: Sunday School/Acolytes
- Sunday, August 4th, between services: Adult Formation
- Week of August 5th-11th, day and time to be decided: Fellowship/Social/Newcomers
- Wednesday, September 11th, after Eventide dinner:
Parish & Neighborhood Profile
Other Parish Conversations yet to be schedule are Inreach/Pastoral Care and our Campus/Parish School/Friendship Center.