ADVANCING OUR MISSION
Four years ago my predecessor, David Elsey, began laying the groundwork for an Advancement program to provide for the future success of the mission of the Saint Isaac Jogues Parish Community “to proclaim the Gospel through joyful, active worship, lifelong education, nurturing fellowship and compassionate Christian Service” and to educate our school children in a “Christ-centered environment.” We are approaching a critical juncture in our future as a parish community when we must begin looking at the overall health of the mission.
How we can improve on that health? A concerted effort by all of the parish membership to contribute their time, talents and treasures to advance that singular mission is necessary. St. Paul in the first letter to the Corinthians said, “The body of Christ is made up of many different members, who perform various functions, yet we are one body and we need each other.” Each of us has something to contribute, beginning with something so simple, yet so powerful and that is to say something good about St. Isaac Jogues parish or school.
First and foremost, we should be inviting our relatives, friends and neighbors who have left the church for whatever reason to come and listen to the positive message found in the gospel and more importantly in the mystery of the Eucharist. Through this simple act of evangelization, we can continue to strengthen and help increase our parish community.
For our school parents, grandparents and relatives, taking advantage of the school referral program will insure the viability of our school for years to come. The youth of the parish are its future and the future of the whole church.
Our program needs to continually be focused on a number of areas – communications (our web site and bulletin), public relations, school alumni, marketing (particularly for the school), major fundraising, and planned giving. All of these activities have one purpose and one purpose only: to advance the mission of St. Isaac Jogues Parish and School. Our job is to help every parishioner, school family, and school alumni to see that our mission is worth their time, their involvement, and their sacrifice.
If we are to survive and thrive for the long-term, we need to shift our focus - that what we do (our mission) - is worth a gift. To that end, we need to be mindful of the focus of our fundraising efforts using the following criteria:
- Are they mission-centered? Do the actions we take not only support our mission by raising funds but reflect our mission and allow us to share it with others?
- Do our fundraising activities allow us to segment our approach to different donors?
- Are we building community and relationships? Are we raising friends and not just funds?
- Are our efforts sustainable for the long haul?
- Do we get good value for the time and energy expended?
Advancing our mission in the community is hard work and it is not magic. We need to do the best we can to support the St. Isaac Jogues Parish mission and the educational mission of St. Isaac Jogues School. If we settle for anything less, we are selling short ourselves and our students - present and future.
Thank you for your support!