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The Synod Snapshot

Issue 3

Friday, June 8, 2012

As I discussed in last week's Synod Snapshot, when you attend a listening session you will be asked to write down your responses to three key questions on a Feedback Form. If you attend a listening session hosted by your own pastor, the same Feedback Form will be used and collected. Finally, after July 1st, the Feedback Form will be available both in hard copy and online for those who were unable to attend a listening session. The Feedback Forms will be collected and all of the data collected will be recorded and provided to the Synod Leadership Team and the Focus Synod Teams as they begin the process of discerning goals for the Synod plan. This week I would like to go into a little more detail on the Synod Focus Teams.

The Synod Focus Teams will consist of between eight and ten members each, and we expect there will be between ten and fifteen Focus Teams in total. Each team will be assigned to develop SMART goals for a specific area of ministry. What are those specific focus areas? They haven't been determined yet! As we receive feedback from the listening sessions, we will identify your priorities, and those will become the Focus Areas. Now you probably have another question: "What is a SMART goal?"

SMART stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

The Focus Teams will begin their work by studying the feedback that was collected in their specific area. They will also review current research on their Focus Area, including best practices from around the country. With that foundation, they will collaborate for five months in order to produce a set of SMART goals for that ministry area. In the upcoming weeks I will write about the next steps in the Synod process; in other words, what becomes of the SMART goals developed by the Focus Teams.

Serving on a Focus Team requires a six-month commitment, including an orientation session in September and monthly meetings from October 2012 through February 2013. There will also be substantial reading and other work to be completed during that time. This is a rare opportunity to serve the church in such a historic undertaking, and although the work will be considerable, surely the return to the Focus Team members will be just as great. If you are interested in serving on a Focus Team, please complete the application found here.

As you can see, your attendance at a listening session and your written feedback is critical to the success of the Synod. (Here are the dates of the Archbishop's listening sessions.) Your continued prayers are also needed! In next week's Synod Snapshot we will take a little walk down memory lane and look back at the first Archdiocesan Synod convoked by Archbishop McCarthy.

Rosemarie Banich
Synod Director

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