Pathways to the Future
This is a time of major change – politically, economically, socially, and within our Church. Change can be unsettling and even a little frightening, especially when it impacts on something that we love, cherish, and rely upon, like our parish communities and how we celebrate our faith. Over recent weeks, we have heard about changes that are coming to our parishes and Diocese. Changes in the number of priests in active ministry in years to come, changes in how our parishes will work together in new families of parishes, changes in the active role that lay people will play working alongside our clergy in new ministries, leadership roles and the management of our parishes. The Holy Spirit is moving within these changes, and Jesus is calling each one of us to renew and to rebuild His Church. As Bishop Donal McKeown said in his Pastoral Letter at Pentecost, “The Spirit which acted with such unexpected force and fulness in Pentecost is the same Spirit we can call upon and put our entire trust in today.”
The Pathways to the Future team is concluding its initial planning work. Further information about our new Families of Parishes, lay ministries, and new ways for our lay people and clergy to work together in the service of God and each other will shared through a series of events across the Diocese in the autumn. This will be the start of ongoing conversations that will continue within parishes and across parishes as we start to build our new parish families. As Bishop McKeown said at Pentecost, “Together we can renew and rebuild the Church. Together, we can become part of God’s amazing dream for ourselves and for the whole of creation. Like the disciples at Pentecost, let us embrace the future with confidence and hope.” In doing so, let us hear Jesus’ voice as He continues to tell each of us “Do not be afraid”.
To find out more go to www.pathwaystothefuture.org
To find out more we encourage you to read Bishop Donal McKeown’s Pastoral Letter available on www.downandconnor.org or www.pathwaystothefuture.org