Project Description

This week I’d like to go through the section of our parish survey that deals with Hospitality & Welcome.  (I know I’ve devoted a lot of space in the bulletin columns to this over the last few months, but I think it’s important for you to know what your fellow parishioners think, especially since this will influence the direction of our parish.)  Answers were on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being Strongly Disagree and 5 being Strongly Agree.

 

  • I feel welcome at Christ the King: 4.4
  • I feel like I am a valued member of the parish: 4.2
  • I believe that families with young children feel welcome at Christ the King: 4.3
  • I believe that single parishioners feel welcome at Christ the King: 3.8
  • I believe that families without children, or without children at home, feel welcome at Christ the King: 4.1
  • I believe that people with disabilities feel welcome at Christ the King: 3.9
  • I have found opportunities to meet other parishioners: 3.9
  • I am comfortable inviting non-parishioner friends and family to come to Mass with me at Christ the King: 4.0

 

Additionally, 104 new parishioners who joined the parish within the last 5 years answered the following questions:

 

  • I felt comfortable when I first started attending Christ the King: 4.2
  • It was easy to get involved in parish ministries: 3.9
  • The pastoral team reached out to me when I registered to welcome me: 3.6
  • Other parishioners helped me feel welcome at Christ the King: 3.9
  • Christ the King is effective in reaching out to newcomers to the parish community: 3.6

 

The comments in this section revealed that different groups of people seemed to have different experiences when it comes to integrating into the parish:

 

  • Negative general comments about hospitality (40 comments to this effect)
  • Positive general comments about hospitality (35)
  • Issues/concerns related to disability (25)
  • New parishioners are welcomed well (23)
  • It is difficult to get involved (22)
  • Non-school families are left out (21)
  • Parishioners tend to form cliques (12)
  • Positive comments about how we welcome those with disabilities (7)
  • It is difficult for new parishioners to feel integrated into the parish (5)

 

In order to fulfill our mission of building the Kingdom here on earth in anticipation of the Kingdom still to come, it is important to have a sense of community in our parish.  After all, we worship God as a community of believers, not just individually.  Your survey responses show us that there is indeed a great sense of community in our parish, but that we have room for growth.  Some people find it very easy to meet people and get involved, but others find it more challenging.  In particular, these responses reveal that parishioners with a connection to the school often have an easier time plugging into the rest of the parish; and that some folks find it challenging to meet new parishioners at our social functions, since people often tend to congregate with their existing friends.  These responses have given us a lot of valuable insights that will help us keep improving the way we build community among all parishioners and integrate new members into this community.  But I hope that all of us will take the opportunity to introduce ourselves to people we don’t know, whether at Mass or at parish functions.  Your responses show that a little bit of that kind of hospitality can make a big difference!