Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house. Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.
St. John Neumann’s Facilities Planning Committee Update
Indeed St. John Neumann has been a light shining before others, and the number of those we shine our light before is growing. In 2003, when we broke ground on the first version of the “new” Church building, the parish was home to some 540 families. In 2012 when we opened the new Faith & Family Center, we were just over 1,000. Today we have over 1,700 families in our parish, praise God! It’s important to remember that this growth is despite a major recession, which essentially halted new homes being built in the area for several years beginning in late 2008. Today in this area of Delaware County the signs of housing, shopping, and entertainment growth are all around us. There are already plans for neighborhoods to our east and south, and plans for more roads to connect these neighborhoods to the shopping and entertainment that is springing up.
With the growth in families comes a need to support parents in their quest to teach the faith to their children. Typically 25-28% of the families in our parish have children enrolled in some form of religious education from Pre-K to 8th grade. The graph illustrates that these numbers have grown over the last 15 years, as well.
With the understanding that the growth of the parish is going to continue and in order to fulfill our mission of witnessing to Jesus Christ in sacrament, word and deed, the Needs Assessment survey undertaken earlier this year was designed to guide Fr. Noble and the parish to move forward in a comprehensive way. The parish responded to the survey, took part in Town Hall Meetings, and now a group of parishioners has formed to help guide the direction and best use of current and future facilities.
The Committee and Its Plan
Volunteers on the Parish Facilities Planning Committee include April Ruffing, Elizabeth Badowski, Nancy Brown, Kandi Smith, Jacci Asbury, Charlie Beecroft, David Pifher, John Kutys, Chip Stalter, Rick Bowman, Kim Brown, Al Brehl, Julie Baker, Bob Scott, Father Noble, and Jackie Sutton. These are parishioners who have been at SJN a few months, a few years, and even a few decades, providing a well-rounded perspective.
The committee is culling through all the ideas provided in the survey and is attempting to create a priority of needs, a list of wants, and a plan to accommodate these in a prudent, cost-effective manner. The needs assessment survey that you participated in generated clear direction on a number of items.
With a growing population of children, our PSR programs will need to keep up, and from the survey it is clear that families would prefer not to have to come in on multiple nights based on the ages of their children. This is recognized by the committee as a major stumbling block to aiding in the catechesis of our youth. It is not just about the children, though; many comments were submitted that the adult programs need to be robust and accessible, as well, and finding space for these two valuable programs to co-exist is necessary.
The committee is currently reviewing the items generated from the survey, visiting other churches and organizations to get ideas on space utilization and gathering information from the local government regarding growth projections and facility development, with the goal of presenting a development plan to Fr. Noble in early November.
What We Need from You Now
As the committee works to develop the plan, we want to ensure we are looking at all possibilities while developing the priorities for the parish. We would like to hear from parishioners who may not have had the opportunity to participate in the formal survey, or those who may have come up with a new or different idea since the survey closed. While not every idea is one that can be accomplished on our own (building a Catholic high school is a diocesan decision, for example), we do want to make sure the voice of the parish is heard as the plan is developed. Please feel free to email the committee at firstname.lastname@example.org. The entire committee will be able to view your emails and incorporate them into our planning and prioritization.
With your help and support St. John Neumann will be ready for the future to live its mission as a welcoming community committed to witnessing to Jesus Christ through sacraments, word, and deed.
In Service to Our Mission,
St. John Neumann’s Facilities Planning Committee
Click here for a summary of the Town Hall Meeting Updates; Town Hall Meetings were conducted in the summer of 2018.
Click here to access the Needs Assessment Survey results report.