November 1, 2015

How do you plan a celebration that is 100 years in the making?

Creatively, thoughtfully and with lots of input from our community.

We have 426 days until January 1, 2017.  That’s the beginning of our parish’s Centennial year, a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence for our community.    Clearly this is a milestone that must be noted, but how?

Over the course of the last year, we have formulated some basic concepts to guide our planning:

This celebration needs to be more than just a party.  Parties are wonderful, but we also need to look at  the Centennial as a way to advance all of the good works we do here.  For example:

à How do we mark our Centennial in our worship?

à Can we use the Centennial to enrich our faith formation?

à How will we share and record our history? 

à Can we use the Centennial as an impetus for new outreach to our community through service?

à How will we incorporate the Centennial into our grade school and RE curriculum?

à How will we use the Centennial to make us a more connected community?

We need to try to have something for everyone.  I know that sounds a little over the top, but we need to consciously plan for singles and families, adults and children, new parishioners and founding families, youth and seniors--and everyone in between.

And, we need to pay attention to the money.  There are many ways to fund our celebration (fundraising, underwriting, the profits from one event supporting other events, etc.).  We need to be very cognizant of the expenses. 

In these very early stages of planning, we want to get some brainstorming going.   And we want your input.

We will be holding a townhall meeting on Thursday, November 19 at 7:00 p.m. in the Commons to  brainstorm on our Centennial celebration plans.  All are invited, encouraged URGED to attend.  We’ll have a lively hour to swap ideas and generate a list of suggestions.  Plus there will be snacks.

Of course this means you!  We really want a good cross section of the parish represented so that the  celebration truly represents our community.  And don’t worry, we won’t rustle you into volunteering for anything--unless you want to. 

If you cannot join us on November 19, we still need your input.  In the next few weeks a survey will appear in the bulletin and on the website.  Be sure to complete it.

We have been squirreling away ideas from other    parishes. (Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and all that…) If you know of any ideas that worked—or didn’t work—for another Centennial parish, let us know.  That kind of information is very helpful.

A few years ago, Fr. Brad attended a talk on celebrating parish milestones.  This was presented by the staff of St. James Cathedral in Seattle—where Archbishop Sartain is now.  Because of key dates in their history, their centennial celebration went on for three years.  They suggested that perhaps that was a bit too long.  We were happy to have—and will heed--that good advice!









Hope to see you on November 19!

Eileen Hooks Gutierrez,   815-722-6653, extension 242








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