Lenten Greetings

Dear Fellow Parishioners:
Lenten greetings! Here we are at the midpoint of our journey. How is it going? If you are like most of us, you have had a few stumbles along the way. The good thing is that we still have time to work on our offering. Here are a few “Pastor Tidbits”:

1. Staff (including our seminarian Nathan) is in the midst of their annual performance reviews. Please keep all of us—yes, even the supervisors—in your prayers as we all work together to evaluate the good ministry here at the Church of St. Edward. This is meant to be a time of affirmation; yet, there always are a few people who get a tad stressed out. If you think of it, the next time you “bump into” one of our staff members, take time to thank them for their good work here within our parish. We are richly blessed!

2. This is also the time when our staff and parish leaders finalize our budget for the coming program year (July 2017 to June 2018). I am happy report that some great work has been accomplished. It was good to see forward-thinking as well as fiscal responsibility within our staff and parish leaders. Here are a few highlights and one lowlight:

a. The staff will be given a 4% raise in salary. For the first time in my tenure here we have been able to give a raise above the current year’s cost of living increase. In comparing our staff salaries with parishes of similar size and resources, we represent a median salary on this Archdiocesan list. I think we can and should do better. Competitive salaries and benefits are an important retention tool. This raise is a good first step.
b. We will seek to add two part time positions to our staff: a Director of Social Justice and a Director of Community Life. These two areas have not had direct staff support this past year; and, I believe all involved would agree that these important ministries have suffered. We hope to rectify this problem with these new hires. If you know of someone looking for part time work in these areas, please have them contact the Archdiocesan Job Line (www.archspm.org) or our parish office for more information.
c. The rising cost of medical and dental benefits leads us to anticipate a 10% increase in this area. We need to be prepared for this increase.
d. Monies have been set aside to help develop new Faith Formation programs; for example, a birth to pre-school ministry and various family-centered events. In addition, a Worship Commission Task Force continues to explore possible technological improvements for the church; for example, sound and lighting.
e. Our Building and Grounds Committee requested we start setting aside $50,000 each year in our Capital Reserve Fund. This would help us prepare for the day when we need to replace our parking lots, improve our church lighting and sound, etc. At this time our parish leaders and I believe that we are not able to make such an investment, although we do recognize the need to address this in the near future.

3. We have finished our work with Mary Bosscher, an Archdiocesan consultant. Mary joined us last fall, and has worked with staff and parish leaders to evaluate our administrative structure and policies. We appreciate her good work. The fruits of her work may not be visible to the public (e.g., new ways to do job descriptions, performance reviews, supervision, etc.); and yet, know that they are appreciated by one and all. We can always improve how we “do/are Church.”

Lenten blessings,

Fr. Brian
Pastor