Institute looks to the future after Course 1


CHARLESTON — Course One of the diocesan Institute for Parish Leadership Development ended with both celebration and evaluation last week, bringing closure to a year of foundation building for the new program.

Over 300 participants met in 13 groups across the state to examine the six primary issues of the Synod of Charleston and Bishop David B. Thompson’s pastoral letter “Enthusiasm for the Faith.”

These areas included Prayer and Worship, Evangelization and Reconciliation, Christian Formation, Social Teaching of the Church, Stewardship and Building Community, as well as two additional subjects, “The Call to Leadership” and “The Leader as Manager.”

In a broad way, Bishop Thompson and the Institute Board of Directors have indicated the basis for Course Two would be six additional central issues identified by the Bishop and the Synod. They are Youth and Young Adults, Ecumenism, Ministry: Lay and Ordained, Marriage and Family, Women in the Church, and Communications. Two added areas may be “Building Small Faith Communities” and “Multi Culturalism and Diversity in the Church.”

However, the curriculum for Course Two, tentatively set to begin in September, will not be finalized until evaluation of Course One is completed.

Father Joseph Wahl, director of the Institute for Parish Leadership Development, said that individual and group feedback from Course One will be used to help organizers revise lesson plans. Workshops, such as the Jan. 30 Evangelization Conference featuring Father Patrick Brennan, will also provide follow-up to this initial section, Father Wahl said.

The final two classes of the first course included reports on pastoral projects conducted by Institute participants and completion of paperwork for diocesan Certificates of Recognition by attendees.