Our Next Generation Parish

The purpose of Holy Spirit Parish is to build a diverse, compassionate and joyful faith community that is centered on a mutual love for God and committed to inspiring each member to develop a personal relationship with Jesus, Our Savior, so that we all may, through the aid of the Holy Spirit, courageously go forth and share the Good News.

One Church encountering Jesus, equipping disciples, living mercifully.

We desire to offer every person in our parish community a life-changing encounter with Jesus.

As followers of Jesus, we invite all to discipleship. We are witnesses of Christ’s love and mercy by serving others through our ministries and outreach as we proclaim the Gospel in our community and beyond.

We envision a parish in which we joyfully encounter Christ both during Mass and in the greater Lake Wales community. The journey begins with joyful liturgical celebrations that include engaging music and active participation among all age groups. By meeting people where they are and being living examples of a Christ filled community, we can attract others to this journey of faith.

Faith – We are a people of faith responding to God’s gift by growing spiritually and living accordingly. We place our allegiance, trust and loyalty in God, strengthened through both Holy Scriptures and traditions of the Church.

Examples of behavior that exemplify our values:

  • We will be familiar with the Bible narrative and constantly seek to improve our understanding of the context of readings at Mass.
  • We will share our relationship with Christ with those we meet so both our faith and the faith of others is strengthened.
  • We will deepen our faith by constantly participating in faith formation opportunities.
  • We will seek adoration and worship opportunities to strengthen our understanding of Church traditions, their significance and origins.

Love – A divine infused habit, inclining the human will to cherish God for his own sake above all things, and man for the sake of God.

Examples of behavior that exemplify our values:

  • We will honor God’s name.
  • We will pray without ceasing.
  • We will treat each other with respect.
  • We will practice forgiveness and compassion.
  • We will show people we care and believe in them.
  • We will be role models of generosity.

Fellowship – We believe we encounter Christ in every person we meet.

Examples of behavior that exemplify our values:

  • We will promote a culture that simultaneously embraces diversity and unity.
  • We will promote an inviting atmosphere to increase engagement of parishioners.
  • We will personally invite those who show interest in a ministry to become more involved.
  • We will reach out to community members, outside of the church, to communicate with them on happenings at Holy Spirit.

Priority 1: Parish Experience

The Parish Experience encompasses many areas of church life. The parish experience begins with the feeling a person gets the moment they step onto church property (both aesthetically and relationally). The experience continues with the person’s perception of the Mass or special event and then concludes with how he or she may feel upon reflecting about the experience. Relationships and engagement are key!

The Parish Experience is an important priority because it will be one of the leading ways we can make a good first impression at any given Mass or event as well as retain current members so everyone feels they belong to the joyful family of God at Holy Spirit Catholic Church.

Goals:

  1. By January of 2021, we would like to have 60% to 70% of our parishioners “strongly agree” with the statement “our parish helps me connect with a local Catholic community and makes me feel welcome and accepted.”
  2. By January of 2021, we would like to have 60% to 70% of our parishioners “strongly agree” with the statement “Sunday Mass drives people to recommend the parish and helps people to grow spiritually.”
  3. By January of 2021, we intend to improve our parish facilities based on the analysis conduct by the Finance Committee and reviewed by the Envisioning Team.

Priority 2: Faith Formation

Faith Formation ministries are one of the Church’s responses to Jesus’ command to “make disciples of all nations.” Study, exploring the Sacraments, prayer, and personal contemplation are some important ways for disciples, young and old, to encounter the risen Christ and learn His plan for salvation. Faith Formation ministries must constantly adapt presentation of these experiences to the widest spectrum of ages, languages, income, geography, and faith knowledge that comprise Holy Spirit parish and the surrounding community.

Faith Formation, like all religious education, should be a process not a program. We needed to understand our own identity and communicate our vision of faith and vocation to those people interested in becoming Catholic.

aith Formation does educate, but it should engage every part of the person. We speak of “catechesis,” “formation,” “discipleship,” “mentoring,” and “practice” in place of education. It is everyone’s job to be engaged and to celebrate our faith, not just those who volunteer.

This is a priority because we as a parish community are committed to nurturing and developing spiritual growth, theological reflection, and Catholic Christian Discipleship practices. We seek to help everyone in our parish community engage in the process of becoming more fully aware of their unique identity and God’s call.

Goals:

  1. By January 2021, we would like to have more than 45% of our parishioners ‘strongly agree’ with the statement “the parish helps them grow spiritually by forming them as a disciple of Jesus Christ.”
  2. We intend to implement a Young Adult Faith Formation Ministry that attracts at least 25 participants by October 2019.
  3. We intend to deliver 2 to 4 parish events each year starting in 2019 that provide intergenerational and culturally diverse faith sharing activities.
  4. We hope to increase by at least 15% the number of volunteers involved in the delivery of faith formation annually starting in 2019.

Priority 3: Evangelization Make a Friend, be a Friend, Bring a Friend to Christ

We desire to bring the Good News into every human situation and proclaim salvation through Jesus Christ by creating an interior conversion resulting in servanthood.

To evangelize means a zealous proclamation of the Gospel. We, as Catholic Christians, experience change in our hearts by the divine power of the Gospel and proclaim the salvation of Jesus Christ illuminating the world around us with our faith, speech, thoughts and actions. We will use the love in our hearts as a means of evangelization and hope to lead others by our example.

Goals:

  1. Starting in 2019, we plan to equip at least 8 parishioners per year to be missionary disciples; capable of encountering others, giving testimony, and extending an invitation to help someone build a relationship with Jesus.
  2. By January 31, 2021, we hope to increase the number of households registered and active in the parish by at least 15%.