Parish Lenten Retreat


“What if I am the one responsible for going after the life, the thing, I have been praying for?” – Renita Weems

The Parish Lenten Retreat was a success, as a number of us gathered to reflect, recharge, and rejuvenate at Holy Innocents last Saturday afternoon. We followed the same agenda as we had used for the Bishop’s Committee retreat last fall; this way everyone had the opportunity to work through the exercises and see what presented itself.

Here is a short version of the agenda:


Prayers, reading, silent reflection

Our Hopes And Dreams

  • 15-minute art project depicting our personal hopes and dreams
  • Sharing depictions with one another
  • Reading, silent reflection
  • 15-minute art project depicting our hopes for Holy Innocents
  • Sharing depictions

The Mission of Holy Innocents

Brainstorming and recording our ideas on newsprint – below is a running “blog” of the brainstorming sessions:

Outreach: Identifying and responding to community needs, shutins, ill and CHILDREN, Feed the hungry
Welcoming ALL, and then following up with second tier and incorporating new people
-Creating an inviting atmosphere – how do people find us, how do we look when they DO find us?
-Worship of God in the Anglican tradition and relating that to our mission: inseparable. Music.

“There is no progress without a struggle” – June Raufheisen

IMG Discussing Mission

The Ministry of Holy Innocents

Ministry TO and WITH: What are the concerns in our community?
-Personhood: the people we minister with are our peers, not dependents (example: L’Arc communities)
-Challenges: Frenetic lives, financial challenges, un- and under-employment
-Ill health, Caregiver exhaustion, Health care, Loneliness, Bullying, Gangs, Drugs, Hunger in schools, Hidden homelessness in the forest preserve, immigrants (HR bill being debated), vulnerability of illegals, disaster response. Animals (Buddy Foundation, etc.), and many of the above are problems of the working poor. Also; teens, sexual minorities.

Priorities: which of these concerns do we have a passion for?
Mark next to 3 of the above concerns with red magic marker to identify our priorities

IMG Marking Priorities

Hunger – 8 marks
Homelessness – 5 marks
Literacy – 5 marks
Animal care – 4
Childcare – 2

Next Steps Ministry

” title=”More Depictions” />

Hunger – supplemental food pantry, network with Schaumburg food pantry, expanding our program

Colleen went over some of the things we’re doing or thinking of doing – food drive at Christmas, and now how to distribute food to more people. We will be asking food pantry for referrals of 2-5 families per month for distribution out of their hours.

We will be creating a pantry up in the library
We will be writing a policy (Ginny Gibbs) on distribution
Eastertide food drive
Pat Kalicki will talk to Schaumburg Food Pantry this week regarding referrals and offer once-monthly evening distribution (6pm the night of monthly Bishop’s Committee meeting).
Scott Eiler suggests a Sunday after church food-pantry program of some kind

We will be checking with Schaumburg Township library to see if we can help with their literacy volunteer program – David Raufheisen will call them

Affordable Housing, Homelessness
Scott Eiler works for Sparrows Nest, knows some of their needs: volunteers and items for thrift shop. The shop goes towards supporting women’s shelter
PADS shelter laundry help – can we do more? Can we get together with St Nicholas to host a meal?

June Raufheisen, Ginny Gibbs, Billie
Investigating volunteer opportunities, fostering with Buddy Foundation, fundraising for their new shelter, blessing??

Evangelism of Holy Innocents

Who is waiting, hoping for our invitation?

IMG Katie's Priorities

-New People to the area
-No family in the area
-Older people
-People with young children
-People in crisis
-People of other religions
-Gays and lesbians
-Questioners trying to reconcile faith with their intellectual pursuits
-Ex offenders, people who have been in prison
-People who don’t fit the “norm” in other faith traditions
-Unmarried parents
-Special needs family member
-Physical disabilities
-Illiterate, poor reading skills
-Persons with HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses
-Persons without transportation
-Latino/a people
-Asian people
-Non-religious, unchurched people
-Highly intelligent people (Mensans, etc.)

Identifying Priorities: Who Shall We Concentrate On Welcoming?

Outcasts – offer space for meetings? Make website even more obviously welcoming
Singles, Marrieds, and Gays With Children – add content to website, scheduling conflicts,
Persons In Crisis – this is a safe place, listening, offer information, referrals for support

Critical Mass – there needs to be more than just one kind of each kind of group. How to incorporate new people?


IMG Fr Ted's Priorities

“There are lots of opportunities for ministry and evangelism” – Scott Eiler
We’ve begun to prioritize our passions
Be practical about keeping goals realistic and attainable
Shared concerns:

OUTREACH: Hunger, homelessness, literacy, animal welfare
EVANGELISM: Outcasts, people with children, persons in crisis, dialogue with persons of other faiths. We are struggling with how to welcome people in our midst and how to communicate this welcome to our larger community.

“We have to start with ourselves.” – Billie Matkov
“We have to see Christ in ourselves and in one another and the visitor in our midst.” – Pat Kalicki

What do we do next?

Monthly check-in with the larger congregation – end of Mass before dismissal
Need a facilitator – Ted, Colleen, Ginny etc. keep people informed and on track with reports

Technorati Tags: |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *