The Vestry and Strategic Planning Committee updates.
Dear St. James Parishioners,
We are pleased to announce that the St. James Parish Survey is now available for your review! The survey results are extensive -- over 200 pages. The results include both answers to the 50 survey questions, and all of the comments submitted in the survey -- literally thousands of parishioners' intense and heartfelt observations about life at St. James. It is the combination of these two survey components that fully describe the current state of our church.
Click here for a copy of the St. James Survey Summary that provides quick highlights of the key findings. You are also encouraged to go to the full survey results online, where you can have an in-depth review and understanding of the results. This is available here. The password is "SJECBR" (note ALL CAPS). A few printed copies of the full survey are in the church office and are available for your onsite review.
The survey results indicate a deep and long lasting love of St. James on the part of the congregation and many other positive observations. We also have identified many areas that need our attention to better meet our parishioners' needs and grow the parish, including the need to build Christian education programs for both adults and youth that are robust, continuous, and, most of all, effective. Other areas needing attention include the challenge to grow membership and church attendance and to find more effective ways to welcome and integrate new members.
The survey responses also indicate that there is a lack of sense of unity at St. James, perhaps reflective of past social activism and/or perceived political involvement on the part of St. James. We, your Senior Warden and Rector, jointly commit to lead St. James in creating a sense of unity as we go forward. This is essential to our future and we know there is much we can do to worship and improve our community.
A Planning Workshop will be held this weekend for the vestry, clergy, Task Force leaders, and Strategic Planning Committee to begin looking at the future of St. James based on survey findings and the research of our task forces. Our workshop objective is to create a foundational vision document and expand that to a draft strategic plan with clear goals and specific objectives. Our consultant, Reb Scarborough, will be facilitating this process for us. The draft plan will be shared with the full congregation at Town Hall meetings on May 17 and May 20, 2015.
This is an exciting and promising time in our church life, and we ask your prayers as we develop a plan to grow our Christian community.
|The Very Rev. J. Mark Holland
Dear St. James Parishioners,
We now have the results of our parish-wide survey. Your response exceeded all our expectations. Over 349 parishioners filled out the survey. Approximately 250 parishioners answered 100% of the questions and wrote literally thousands of comments. The consultant assisting the Strategic Planning Committee tells us that he has never witnessed such an overwhelming response to a church survey.
The love for our church and church family is obvious as one plows through the survey answers and comments. Members of St. James wanted to speak and wanted an opportunity to provide input. We are blessed to have each other and our rich tradition. At the same moment, we see the need to look into the future, react to changing trends and set forth a plan to grow our church family and to bring more people to Christ.
What is next? The Strategic Planning Committee - with our consultant - is preparing a survey summary that will be made available to the entire parish. The complete survey will also be available online after April 1. A workshop will be held to review the survey and the work of eight hard-working task forces. From the workshop, a strategic plan will be developed that will then be presented at Town Hall meetings for the entire parish on May 2 and 6.
The above is only the beginning. Implementation of the plan will take place over the following months and years.
Thank you for your wonderful cooperation. The committee has heard your voices and appreciates your passion for St. James.
In closing, I want to thank the hard work of our committee and especially the leadership of its chair - Lolly Martin. Lolly is not only a pro in the field of planning, she also loves St. James as do our committee members:
Nancy Jo Poirrier
Dear St. James Parishioners,
The Vestry of St. James Episcopal Church is very interested in hearing from YOU! We want to gain a clear sense of our parish priorities and to understand the needs and expectations of our members. For these reasons, we invite you to participate in this survey to assess the current state of St. James and to share your views on our future opportunities. The results of this survey will be an integral component of our recently launched strategic plan and will be shared with the parish later this spring.
The survey will be available from February 1– 21 and will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. Everyone in your household 18 years or older is invited to complete an individual survey. The surveys are anonymous and results will be consolidated by our consultant, Scarborough Consulting Services. You are strongly encouraged to complete this online version of the survey, and you may begin by clicking the link below at any time. If you prefer a paper copy of the survey, please contact the St. James Episcopal Church office by clicking here, or by phone at 225-387-5141.
Thank you in advance for your thoughtful and prayerful responses,
Lee Griffin The Very Rev. J. Mark Holland
Sr. Warden Rector
In the next few days, all parishioners will be receiving an introductory letter from Senior Warden, Lee Griffin, inviting you to participate in Strategic Planning for the future of St. James. You will also receive an online introductory letter with a link to the online survey for The Strategic Planning for St. James Episcopal Church.
This survey is the opportunity for you to express your ideas as to what you think are the best choices St. James can make for our future health as a Christian community living out our mission: We proclaim Christ crucified and risen, and invite you to join with us in ministry together in His name.
You are urged to participate. If you are unable to take the survey online, we will have volunteers in the parish hall to use their laptops taking your survey for/with you on Sundays, February 8 and February 15 during the coffee hour at 10:00 a.m. If you have no computer and need a hard copy, call the church office at 225-387-5141 after the survey opens on February 1.