We are blessed, and we are blessing for others. God’s Spirit truly animates the vitality, services and joy people experience through our parish. This vibrancy comes through Spirit-led leadership, clergy and lay, volunteer and paid.
Leadership plays a key role in charting direction and coordinating energies within our parish. Without Spirit-led leadership, we would be simply a Tower of Babel, rather than the people of Pentecost. In today’s Catholic parishes, pastors need committed lay leaders to share responsibility for building-up the church as the body of Christ. The faith community of St. Stephen the Martyr has been blessed by pastors who have recognized the need, called forward potential lay leaders, and empowered them to share responsibility with him for the people of God at this time and place.
What are the personal rewards? Participants in lay leadership express the rewards in many ways, here are a few: a chance to make a difference; to exercise my God-given talents; a chance to give-back; a chance to collaborate and develop my skills in a safe environment; a chance to serve; a chance to do much for many; being part of making sure that those on the margins are not overlooked.
Are participants in lay leadership needed? Yes! But, who is needed? St. Paul speaks of the body of Christ as a healthy organism made up of many unique parts, each contributing to the whole. He uses the phrase: There are many gifts, but the one Spirit. There are different ministries, but the same Lord (1 Corinthians 12:4).
Our Lord Jesus called forth very ordinary people, women and men -- trades people, civil servants, and the like – to learn and work with him, and to carry forward his mission. So the answer to the ‘who’ question is not simple. However, it is clear that a diversity of talents is needed, as is openness to God’s Spirit in one’s life. Are you called? Are you gifted to lead? Two different questions, yet perhaps the answers (or, at least clues) may be found simply. Below are links to tools to aid you in your discernment of the answers:
Discernment Prayer, a two step process
Strengths-based discernment, steps to find the ‘right fit’
Discernment: an inventory method
Discernment for Councils: a Y/N inventory method
Criteria and Qualifications for membership in commissions and councils
Additional help may come through consulting one of our Strengths Coaches, our Stewards of Talent, or our parish’s Administrator. Contact our parish office to get contact information and make an appointment.
What are the leadership opportunities? The leadership organization at St. Stephens is currently composed of two councils, eight commissions and our pastoral staff. This section is focused on volunteer lay leadership. We suggest that you pursue an area of your passion and/or interest. Yet, you may want to explore all the areas before you decide.
Christian Faith Formation Commission [data under construction ]
Evangelization & Communications Commission [data under construction ]
Facilities & Grounds Commission
Liturgy and Spirituality Commission
Parish Life Commission
Pastoral Care Commission [data under construction ]
Social & Human Concerns Commission [data under construction ]
How about staff? You will notice on the organizational overview, the Pastoral Team (staff) are inner-circle consulters to the pastor, as are the pastoral council and the finance council. Full-time and part-time paid lay leadership. From time to time openings in our pastoral staff develop and job postings appear on this web-site, in the bulletin, and in the Northwest Progress newspaper.
What do volunteer Lay Leaders do? Short answers regarding individual councils and commissions may be found through the tabs, above. For a more comprehensive vision, review Many Gifts, One Spirit: a guide to parish consultative leadership. This document has been created by the Archdiocese of Seattle to address the topic of Shared Responsibility between pastors and lay leaders. It provides theological reflections, parallels between organizational structures in the parish and archdiocese, pro forma roles for different consultative bodies that might be found in a parish, as well as sections on pastoral planning and relationships between the various bodies of a parish. http://www.seattlearchdiocese.org/Archdiocese/Policies/Documents/ConsutativeLeadership.pdf ]