Faith Formation Schedule
The last year was eventful in ways none of us could have ever foreseen! With that said, however, from every difficulty good things can come for those who pay attention. I want to clearly thank all those who helped us through this difficult time, especially the level of patience shown to us at the parish offices. There were times during this when we were just as confused and at a loss as to what should be done as anyone, especially knowing that so many of you were also juggling complex realities in order to do what was best for your children. Not only were you trying to keep them safe, but you also had to consider how to keep them growing and at peace among themselves. You all deserve a big “Thanks!” for all you have done.
I mentioned above that those who were paying attention could learn things. One of the most important things we learned is that those who were in contact with others, either in person or through various electronic methods, weathered the difficulties better than those who were more isolated. This was true across the board, from our elderly to our young people. You could see the difference even brief interactions meant to people. They seemed more at peace and less affected by the anxiety that was touching us all. (Maybe you noticed this as well, when you could at least spend some time talking to friends and family.) In person was much better, but any kind of contact was better than none.
Also, during the last year it became apparent that many families are in a sometimes crazy effort to juggle schedules for the various activities and obligations they have for all their family members. This has been an issue for a long time for many families, and I don’t presume to have an answer for all of that, but I truly want to do what we can to try to help with it. With this as our motivation, we are proposing a revamping of how we do classes for Faith Formation here at St. John’s. (I do ask that you hear what we are proposing before getting stressed.) Keep in mind that we are aware that there is no “one size fits all” approach to anything, so we are open to working with you to make it work for you.
The biggest change is that we are changing our primary meeting day for classes to Sunday mornings. This is already the case for Confirmation I and II, and we hope to extend this to grades 3 through 7. Each student’s class would meet on two weekends a month from 9:00 am to 10:15 am, with the requirement that the student attend Mass with their family either before or after their class. The only grades that would meet during the week are Grades 1and 2, which are the preparation for First Communion, perhaps on Tuesday afternoons. (We are open to hearing more about this time from the parents involved.)
This is a big change for us, as I am sure it is for all of you. Our goal is to get us all better connected, regardless of what happens in the future with health issues. It would seem that families with multiple children, especially, would find it easier to focus on just one time for classes, rather than the current schedule which has children from the same family coming on various days. (I can’t imagine how you kept this organized, but you did, so Thanks!) This also allows us to bring the focus back to Mass as a foundational part of our religious activity and nourishment. So much that we try to teach is already taught through the regular and seasonal liturgies we share each week. (Advent and Lent especially come to mind here, along with the Holy Days and Major Feasts.)
Also, because this is such a major shift, we are holding off registration for this year’s classes until after we can have a Parent’s Meeting with you. You will, no doubt, have many questions, and we want the chance to answer those, which the space of a letter such as this could never really address. We have set this Parent’s Meeting for Sept. 19th, after the 8:00 am Mass at the Welcome Center. We hope many of you will be able to be there.
We really want this to work for you, as well as serve the children in their education in the practice of the faith. Think about it, pray about it, and know that we will work with you to make this work. We ask that you work with us as well. If we all work together this can not only work, but truly be a blessing for us all. Thanks in advance for your willingness to find a better way to bring Christ more fully into all our lives. God bless.
Fr. Tom and Mrs. Boucher
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