Our Strategic Pastoral Planning has entered the next phase.  All parish listening sessions are now complete.  Last night I was in Casper for the first of five deanery listening sessions.  There was good representation from the deanery parishes.  Nearly forty people were in attendance.  The next four days I will be in Buffalo, Riverton, Green River, and wind up back in Cheyenne.  (Please pray Mother Nature behaves herself these next few days…at least in these consecutive parts of the state!)

Michael Shumway of the O’Meara Ferguson group is serving as our facilitator for these meetings.  After a brief summary of the Vision statement on my part, and an opportunity to ask any clarifying questions, the remainder of the evening was spent “listening” to the people. 

During this time that Michael is in the diocese, he is also conducting nearly forty personal interviews with diocesan leaders around the state.  Thus, between these in depth interviews and the vast amount of feedback received in the parish and deanery listening sessions, we should be able to compile a fairly accurate description of our strengths, weaknesses and the opportunities before us.  We shall also have a clearer understanding of our priorities for the pastoral plan.

In the opening session of our January Institute, the O’Meara, Ferguson group will present the analysis report.  Then, the plan is to use this time together as diocesan and parish leaders to break into task force groups to begin discussing the priorities in detail, and sketch out goals and objectives to accomplish each of the major priorities.  This should have us well underway to meeting our goal of promulgating the strategic plan by this coming June.

Thanks to all for your input!  Please keep praying that this Pastoral Plan reflects not just our desires as a local Church, but mostly, that it reflects God’s desire for us!

Happy Feast to all of Christ the King!