Divine Word Parish Pastoral Council Meeting
Zoom Conferencing Thursday Oct 22nd at 8pm
Opening Prayer: Our Mission Statement
Through our Baptism we are called to be the presence of Jesus Christ in the world today.
We therefore seek to build a community of people aspiring to a way of life
based on the Gospel and celebrated through Liturgy and the Sacraments.
By living this way of life, the uniqueness of each individual is treasured.
Their talents and gifts are called forth for the service of all people in this place and beyond in a loving, caring and generous way.
Minutes of Parish Pastoral Council Meeting, 8pm, October 22nd
Held via Parish Zoom facility due to COVID -19 restrictions
Attendance: Fr Liam, David Ross, Eve Conlon, Declan Scallan, Margaret Murphy, Gerry Dunne, John McKennedy
Apologies: Fr Jim
Opening Prayer was read by David.
Minutes of the previous meeting, held on Thursday 1st October were read and approved.
Matters arising (discussed further in below points)
Planning for Church Liturgies
- Harvest event didn’t take place as it normally would in October
- November memorial service is due to take place on Monday 2nd November, this is being organised by the funeral and the Bethany teams. The families of those who died in the year have been contacted. This service will be shown via webcam. The lighting of the candles with the names of those who died is the central part of the service. This will be hopefully visible via webcam. There will be a special prayer for those who died of COVID 19. There will be a message in missalette this week (which is online) to draw people’s attention to this service. Any names to be include can be emailed, posted or brought to the church.
The service will be going ahead with approx. 6 people reading, reading names, carrying candles etc.
Some music would also be nice, perhaps an organist and cantor.
The full text of service to be available to download and read at home before or during service.
Joining in from home will be encouraged by having a candle or icon, lighting candles and looking at photos of loved ones, then placing candle in the window.
- Diocese are running a series of pastoral conversations, first one about memorial services, which gave ideas on this, very popular
- Advent services: will follow similar template as the November memorial service, music from the choir is also a possibility, Margaret will discuss this further with the choir
- Additional camera in church: Fr Jim and Fr Liam had a meeting about website, suggestions were made for improvements, David has a connection to review our current webcam situation
- Recording of ceremonies and events would also improve accessibility etc. Eve suggested this could be done via Facebook or Youtube at first to gauge interest for rewatching ceremonies etc. GDPR implications of this and storing images etc. was also discussed.
- Bullet point version of minutes was sent around to parish groups
- A meeting via zoom with other members of groups to have feedback about their groups would prove beneficial. A meeting between ourselves as the PPC and representatives from parish groups could take place soon, David will look into this.
Young People Planned Initiatives:
- Youth Alpha course being run through the Diocese and Eve will be acting as a facilitator. This will be a good opportunity for young people to get involved in some way with parish and diocese community, for discussion, engagement etc. This course will run between November and January. Perhaps something similar could be done on a parish level in the new year.
- Possibility of young people helping others in the parish was discussed again. John spoke to Loreto Beaufort and they would welcome this opportunity when current restrictions are lifted. This could provide an opportunity for young people to help people in the parish in many ways, for Gaisce awards etc. It would be great to have a database of names and contacts who might be interested when restrictions lift.
Donnybrook Deanery Meeting
- Deanery meeting took place on Monday 5th October. Fr Jim, Fr Liam and David attended the meeting, which took place via Zoom. Many topics in the diocese were discussed including finances within parishes. The use of social media, the webcam and using it effectively were also discussed.
- Christmas: need to start thinking ahead for Christmas, ideas of what could possibly be done, depending on restrictions, how we could link in with the school etc.
- Outdoor crib in the car park- could be linked in with the school children, a nominated charity could be chosen etc.
- How to make your own advent wreath videos on the parish website to encourage families and children, in particular, to join in and engage with Christmas services and events.
Date of Next Meeting Thursday 12th November (3 weeks’ time)
Parish Pastoral Council (PPC) Update September 2020
The PPC last met in the Parish Centre on 12th March 20. Our first Virtual occurred on Thurs 21st May and we have met very regularly since then, normally every two weeks.
Sub Group of the PPC coordinated and prepared with professional advice for the reopening of the Church. This gave rise to the formation of the Stewarding and Hygiene Groups, and we express our appreciation and thanks for the great work of both groups.
It is unfortunate due to the new three week restrictions in the Dublin and County Area that our Church needs to temporary close again for this period, in the interests of public health safety.
The current members of the PPC will stay in place until June 2020, for continuity in dealing with the many issues and challenges associated with COVID – 19. However we would like to thank Katie Keogh who has been a valued member for the last year. Katie and her family contributed greatly to our Parish but have now relocated to the other side of the city.
One of the key initiatives which Katie was closely involved in with Eve Conlon was engaging and reaching out to the Youth in our Parish. Commencing with an invitation to come along to a Pizza and Chat meeting received a very positive response. It is most encouraging that many of our young Parishioners are committed to being involved in our Parish and what we plan will include their ideas. This will hopefully happen soon when it is safe to do so.
It was very encouraging recently to see that Confirmation ceremonies took place after consultation and engagement with the school and parents. Equally Parish Baptism’s are also now taking place.
Communication is central to what we want to do as a PPC. We had the opportunity to speak about this at an address by the PPC at all Masses on weekend Sat 1st / Sun 2nd Feb 2020. We also put in place in October 2019 an Annual PPC Plan for the next 12 months, which also includes looking to the future. In the changed world we all now live in we will review our plan against what we set out to do, and with the challenges of COVID – 19 how we now need to navigate our course of direction in the coming year.
Our key Parish Communication channels are Parish Website, Webcam, Facebook, and Instagram. Not everyone of course is reached though these channels, or may need assistance to do so, so do look out for neighbours or parishioners who might need assistance.
Positive PPC engagement also took place with the Chair of the Parish Finance Committee.
Our Parish website now has a Donation facility in place which is to be welcomed.
Our planning for the near future will include:
- How do we communicate with other Parish groups through Virtual means?
- We are looking at a second camera in the Church to support our Webcam facility. This for example could assist in showing videos in the Church.
- Planning for our Annual Memorial Mass in November for deceased members of our Parish. A memorial wall for those who have died, and a service with limited numbers in the Church is being discussed.
- Other Liturgical services such as our annual Harvest Event which also has a fundraising element is being examined, in how this can be organised. Similar approach for other Liturgical events.
- Could our choir be in the Church with safe distancing or recorded singing is being examined?
Finally on behalf of the Parish Pastoral Council, and indeed on behalf of everyone who follow on our webcam Masses and other Liturgies from our Parish not only in Ireland, London and from other countries abroad, we express on everyone’s behalf appreciation and thanks to Fr Jim, Liam and Collie who from the very start of the lockdown have looked after our spiritual needs in a changed world we now live in. Keep safe and well.
David Ross (Chairperson)