Strategic Plan

A Strategic Plan for St. Joseph Parish From Year Three to Year Four

I. St. Joseph Parish is an Authentic Catholic Experience in the Liturgy, in the celebration of the Sacraments, in Faith Formation and Catechesis – all rooted in and inspired by Sacred Tradition.

As a parish, we cherish and celebrate our Roman Catholic faith, making Sunday Worship and other Sacramental encounters with Jesus Christ the source and summit of parish life and faith formation. We are dedicated to handing on the Catholic faith not only in catechetical programs for the young but through ongoing formation in the faith for all.

Year Three Action Steps:
With greater awareness of the sacred encounter in the Liturgy, challenge the assembly to more engaged participation in the liturgy: in voiced song, prayer, and moving beyond the “smile and wave” before Mass to true greeting, community building, and solidarity through challenging times.

Expand the mission of hospitality at the liturgy from the work of a few to the mission of all in order to foster a parish-wide culture of welcome, encounter, accompaniment, and prayer with and for one another.

Through preaching and social media, promote a deeper understanding of what it means to be a Catholic in our modern world, and to accept the call to live a vibrant faith especially when faith is challenged. Use social media resources to share information about our Catholic Tradition, posing and answering questions such as “Why do Catholics…” or even “Why be Catholic”?

Expand our focus on digital and other resources like Formed.org to enrich our understanding of Catholic tradition and scripture to help us to deepen our own faith and to respond to challenges to our faith.

Revise the way we recruit and train liturgical ministers to make these ministries more visible and accessible for youth and young adults. Develop a more comprehensive plan to involve parish youth in liturgical music. Train current adult leadership to work and invest in youth who want to get involved.

Year Three Results:
We have continued our focus on a “Culture of Hospitality,” inviting parishioners at all the Masses to introduce themselves with their name. A Hospitality Task Force of the Parish Council was created to manage traffic at holiday Masses. Beyond traffic and welcome, we have worked to more actively engage the parish in the Liturgy on many levels. A new worship aid has been created with more contemporary “praise and worship” music for use in the liturgy. We have continued to invite and train young people for liturgical ministries. We have again invested in the Formed.org website to provide easy access to solid catechesis on what it means to be authentically Catholic. Various small groups have used Form.org, and in particular their “Into the Desert” program, as a resource for small groups, and to help their members access resources for their deeper questions.

Year Four Action Steps:
Parish Council and Liturgy Committee will continue to identify, invite and thoroughly train more youth, young adults and young families to participate more actively, competently and visibly in various liturgical ministries during weekend Masses with a goal of 5% new liturgical ministers.

Led by the Hospitality Task Force, with the Parish Council and clergy, we will continue to build a culture of hospitality from driveway and parking, through the entire liturgy, other events, and out into the world.

Led by Liturgy Committee and their “year of the liturgy,” and reinforced in the Parish Mission and Preaching, we will more intentionally focus the parish on a deeper understanding of the Mass, the Eucharist, and what it means to be authentically Catholic.

Led by the Faith Formation Staff and Committee, we will strengthen the curriculum of Faith Formation programs in order to more authentically pass on the richness our Catholic faith.

II. St. Joseph is a Welcoming and Diverse Faith Community: as part of the body of Christ that is the Church, we call together people of diverse cultures and identities, young and old, school and parish, newcomers, inquirers, and lifelong members.

As a large and diverse parish family, we grow in relationship with Jesus Christ through worship, fellowship, shared ministry, and ongoing evangelization, enriching and enhancing our spiritual lives, inspiring hope for one another and the world.

Year Three Action Steps:
Continue to find ways to engage students and families of St. Joseph School in the parish life of St. Joseph Parish, not only in Liturgy but through additional parish opportunities like service in and outside of the church, Scouts, youth ministry, parish committees, athletics, and small groups.

Embrace the ethnic diversity of our parish with a cultural heritage event that highlights our diversity and works to increase diversity in parish leadership and committees.

Bridge our English-speaking and Spanish-speaking communities by finding ways to engage members of the Hispanic Community and their leadership in more existing committees and groups in parish life as well as engage Anglo members in the Hispanic community and liturgy.

Led by the new Member Support Associate, develop a process to manage registration and update and collect new data in order to better welcome and orient new parishioners to the various parish ministries that best suit their individual needs.

Continue to develop the technological infrastructure needed to conduct a parish census that can broaden the database so it can ultimately be used to evangelize and communicate more intentionally and effectively with our diverse community.

Create a program for parish leaders to give them the tools they need to become more effective missionary disciples.

Create events and strategies to make non-practicing Catholics and the unchurched feel more welcome and included in our community.

Year Three Results:
Bonds between school and parish have continued to grow with Lunch and Learns, service projects, and athletics. Our English speaking and Spanish speaking communities have come together with a very successful English tutoring program as well as bi-lingual Masses and Guadalupe festival. Service opportunities in Lent brought together younger and older members of our parish and our youth-led a clothing drive for the whole parish in the spring. Members of the Hispanic Community have joined our Management and Planning and other committees. Our Member Support Coordinator has expanded our new member welcome to include more intentionally matching new members interests with various ministries in the community. A great deal of planning has gone into a transition to a new ministry platform database next year that will greatly enhance our ability to track and comment parishioners with ministries and events. The Alpha program was piloted and will be implemented this fall to welcome the non-practicing and unchurched along with current members of our community.

Year Four Action Steps:
Led by our Family Ministries and Faith Formation, we will more intentionally connect young families into the community post-baptism with the help of older families and empty nesters.

Our Advancement Team will focus on a more extensive “onboarding” experience and welcome for new parishioners and seekers to connect them, as well as parishioners looking to engage more fully, into the parish community with ongoing attention and contact. They will use data from the new database to better understand the diversity of our parish in order to better understand and meet the needs of all of our parishioners and insure that processes seamlessly move seekers to parishioners.

Led by the Parish Council and staff, we will reimagine ways to highlight and integrate different families and groups more effectively at post-Mass fellowship in Joe’s Café, including Saturday evenings, as well as at other expanded and reimagined fellowship events.

The Parish Council will continue to ask the question, “who does not feel welcome at our table,” and more intentionally reach out to, and program for, unengaged segments of our Church and unchurched in our community.

Members of the Parish Staff will be more present in the everyday life and work of the school to more intentionally build relationships and help bridge the gap between school and parish.

III. St. Joseph is a Spirited and Vibrant Parish, building upon over 160 years of tradition, poised for another century of growth in Faith.

As the mother church of North Baltimore County, we are continually giving birth to and creatively nurturing the faith of the next generation of youth, young adults, young families, and people of all ages. While continuing to support ongoing effective ministries with the senior leaders of our parish community, we are also committed to renewed efforts to invite and welcome new members and to encourage young people to live and express their faith actively and fully.

Year Three Action Steps:
Create intentional relationships and more ways for accompaniment between seniors and young families to help them grow together in the faith and to inspire senior members of the parish to embrace the mission of handing the legacy of faith to the next generation in our parish.

Continue to expand our safe environment training (“Virtus”) to include all parish volunteers so all members can better protect our young people and young people can serve in all ministries of the parish.

Challenge and encourage adults of all ages to get involved through ministry and invest in programs for children, youth and young adults. Show them how their gifts, passions, and faith are all tools to inspire young people to grow and get involved in parish life.

Create an NPR Storycorps style program where lifelong members share their stories of the parish in ways that could be published through social media online.

Find ways to better engage parishioners experiencing transitions such as military veterans, recent graduates, empty nesters, recently widowed, etc., in the life of the parish.

Execute a plan for consistent and effective use of digital and social media to advance the mission of the parish with an expanded website, Facebook and Instagram presence.

Create a system to prioritize parish information and messaging in print and social media so that information can flow to parishioners and community in ways consistent with our mission and vision and mission priorities and not be drowned out by an overload of messages.

Year Three Results:
Our Safe Environment Program has been expanded and we hope to have all volunteers approved to work with our young people this fall. Events like Crushes in the Courtyard and Saint Patrick’s Day brought together younger and older elements of the parish in community and fellowship. This year’s Annual Report included testimonials about parishioners love of Saint Joseph Parish and the goal is to expand that into a “story corp” style campaign through social media next year. Our new Ministry Platform database is being designed to centralize and streamline information and communication with all our parishioners.

Year Four Action Steps:
Led by our Outreach Committee and staff, we will work on ways for established members of the parish to mentor newer and less engaged members and embrace their vocation of handing the faith and the parish on to the next generation.

Led by our Director of Adult Ministry, the Alpha program will help parishioners, non-parishioners, and the unchurched rediscover and grow in the richness of our Faith, and Adult Faith Formation will continue to grow with additional small group opportunities as well as speakers and other programs.

All of our Committees and staff will move beyond a “we have always done it that way” mentality with one new or reimagined event or initiative that helps the parish to better understand the ministry they do and to bring new people into that ministry.

All of our Committees and staff will be trained to expand their social media presence and visibility in conjunction with our new website for more effective and dynamic ways of communicating with the parish in the 21st century.

The Parish Council will more intentionally communicate their mission to represent the parish and will find more visible ways to not only be present but to be a vital conduit for communication in the parish.

IV. St. Joseph Parish is a Beacon of Christian witness and mission in the local community and the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

We stand as humble and merciful witnesses to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church through service, outreach, and advocacy as a leader in the Archdiocese of Baltimore. The quality of our worship, our formation, and other programming in our community will serve as a model and an invitation to participate in the life of the Church at St. Joseph.

Year Three Action Steps:
Make our commitment to the protection of our youth and other vulnerable populations a model in the Archdiocese that we share publicly and proudly.

Develop a service and outreach relationship with parishes, programs, and schools in the inner city.

Develop strategic partnerships for international mission and service with young adults moving toward an international experience in the summer of 2019.

Increase our visibility in the community through everything from signage and exterior lighting, to name tags and logo apparel. Develop strategic ways to share the mission of St. Joseph with the community to evangelize those in our community.

Continue to grow our online presence, visibility, and outreach through our new website and more effective use of social media to share all the good things that are happening in our parish community.

Discern the next steps of our campus vision beyond the schematic design of campus improvements.

Year Three Results:
We continue to prioritize the care and safety of our young people in ways we hope will be a model to our Church. Plans have been made for an international service program in Haiti through 410 Bridge and staff will be traveling to Haiti to lay the groundwork for building this program and relationship over the next three years. Our piloting of the parishioner engagement tool has become a model for other parishes in the Archdiocese. InJoy has been hired to guide us through the next steps of our campus improvement campaign.

Year Four Action Step:
The Parish Council and Outreach Committee will create an annual signature service or another event that highlights the cultural diversity of our parish to welcome non-parishioners and non-Catholics to campus and have current parishioners bring a neighbor or friend.

Led by the Outreach Committee, we will continue to expand outreach and service opportunities in Baltimore City and internationally.

Led by the Parish Staff, our implementation of the new parishioner engagement tool, as part of the pilot phase in the Archdiocese, will be a positive example for parishes throughout the Archdiocese.

The staff will work to literally be more visible in the community with a sign on York Road sign, car magnets for every parishioner, and a renewed line of logoed apparel.

Led by our Advancement team and the Management and Planning Committee, we will take our campus renovation vision from planning toward realization.