Parish Engagement is defined as “a deep sense of belonging that impacts the way people live their faith.” Saint Clement Parish is committed to “engaging” its members in a community that encourages each person to live his/her faith in every aspect of life.
Research conducted by the Gallup Organization, and related in the book Growing an Engaged Church by Albert L. Winseman shows that as people experience a deeper connection to their parish community they are more likely to:
- Deepen their spiritual life
- Increase their life satisfaction
- Become more willing to share their talents and gifts in service to others.
Engaged members feel they make a valuable contribution to the effectiveness of their churches–and feel they make a difference in the world.
Stewardship is the basic spirituality of Saint Clement and Parish Engagement is the instrument that nurtures that spirituality. As we deepen our prayer and spiritual life, we become more aware of God’s goodness in the gifts and talents God has given each one of us. In this realization of giftedness, we are moved to gratitude, and a need to share those gifts and talents, returning them to God through service to and love for others. Click here for details about the Parish Engagement Committee.
Strengths for the Journey
Gallup research also indicated that people are more likely to be engaged in their parish when they “feel that they are doing what they do best.” Saint Clement’s Strengths for the Journey is a program consisting of four sessions in which individuals are given the opportunity to discover, explore and better understand their unique God-given gifts. Using the Clifton StrengthsFinder 1.0 Assessment ™ and the book Living Your Strengths: the Catholic Edition (Gallup Press), participants identify their themes of talent, and reflect on how they can better use that strength to enhance every part of their life. Special emphasis is given to using one’s unique gifts to understand and become the person God created each of us to be. The program uses a small group format and is offered at various times during the year.
Trained Saint Clement facilitators guide small groups of 8-12 people through four 90-minute sessions. Each session builds on the previous one, so participants are asked to commit to attending all four sessions in order to get the most from the experience:
- Week 1 ---- A New Beginning: Appreciating Our Individualism
- Week 2 ---- Gifted in Christ: Celebrating Our Best Selves
- Week 3 ---- Humility and Discipleship: The Stewardship Journey
- Week 4 ---- Partners in Faith and Action: Sharing our Strengths
As a supplement to Living Your Strengths: Discover Your God-Given Talents and Inspire Your Community (p. 155-222), we have compiled this document with some examples of opportunities for using your talents in the parish, based on the strengths you discover through the Clifton StrengthsFinder 1.0 Assessment™ (also part of the Strengths for the Journey program).
February 11 Strengths for the Journey Gathering
On January 8, 2014, more than 100 parishioners who have participated in our Strengths for the Journey program came together for an evening of gratitude, reflection and sharing. The program began with dinner and fellowship, allowing former Strengths group members to reconnect and share how they have incorporated the knowledge of their Strengths into their daily lives. Each table was then encouraged to discuss how they have developed their strengths in their work lives, community and family and how they have engaged in their own spiritual life and Saint Clement after completing the Strengths program. Parishioners Chris Keller, Casey Bowles and Tom McCarthy spoke to the group about their personal experiences with the program and how they have benefited by participating in Strengths for the Journey; see the videos below. The evening was capped off with a wonderful reflection from Fr. Ken reminding us that each person is given unique gifts from God and we are all called to use those gifts in His service.