TAKE THE WAY OF THE GOSPEL
REFERENCE AND ADVISORY GROUP
NOTES OF THE MEETING HELD ON WEDNESDAY 13 JULY
Two main items of business were addressed at the meeting:
- Clarity of purpose and process
The group requested further clarity of purpose and process in order to help them better fulfil their role. In summary, the broad themes of the discussion included:
- There is a compelling story but not enough detail for people to be clear about the scope of Take the Way of the Gospel, what actions they should undertake and what outcomes are being sought.
- Agreeing to the big picture, and understanding the local reality, will enable the right level of leadership and enough freedom for experimentation at the local level.
- Clarity of the scope and better communication of the vision will assist leaders to be more confident to communicate about Take the Way of the Gospel.
- The message will need to be contextualised for different groups of stakeholders, parishes at different levels of engagement and parishes at different stages of the life cycle.
- Catholic schools are critical stakeholders to reaching families. Creative ways to engage the schools and families with the parish need to be found. Reading the signs of the times is important, for example people are recognising and being called to Laudato Si and indigenous reconciliation.
- Take the Way of the Gospel is our driving purpose and direction. We need to assess how proposals from the Plenary Council might inform this direction from our local reality.
The feedback will be referred to the Steering Committee for consideration and action.
- Consultation on Parish Communication
Input was sought from the Reference and Advisory Group on communication to parishes, particularly in relation to content and channels.
Building on the earlier discussion, considerations that emerged were:
- Be clear about what we want people to know and what we want to be communicated in parishes.
- The messages need to be inspiring and motivating.
- Different messaging and channels will be needed for different audiences. Stakeholder analysis and understanding the biggest barriers in each parish might assist in developing targeted communications.
- The Plenary Council could be used as a catalyst to refresh and reset the communications.
- Many people are fearful of what they might lose in the process so the communication needs to help them see what they can gain as a community of faithful.
- Communication is a two way process. Thought needs to be given to how to hear back from parishes.
There were suggestions of parish resources that would be useful to develop. The input from the consultation will be used to develop a strategic communication plan, which will be brought back to the group for further consultation.
The next meeting is planned for Wednesday 24 August.
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