“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers (and sisters!) dwell in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)
Sometimes communications between clergy and parish councils disconnect. They talk “past” each other. They do not hear what the other party is not saying. Actions are misinterpreted. Rumors and innuendo cause undue suspicion. Sometimes this shortcoming in good governance needs to be addressed one-on-one with a specific parish council member. Yet sometimes general conversation is most useful. This exercise is designed to facilitate safe, helpful and mutually beneficial communications. Consider using this exercise to enable greater mission focus and strategic intent on parish council deliberations so that it is not personalities or failure to communicate that become the primary issues.
Parish Council and Priest Communication Exercise
(Possibly for a Parish Council Retreat)
Have parish council members gather in one group. Have the priest locate in his office or apart from the parish council. Parish council members discuss the five questions among themselves, identify a spokesperson for their group and return to share their thoughts one question at a time. The priest reflects on the five questions in the right hand column and when both parties re-assemble, shares his thoughts one question at a time. It is strongly recommended that each party practice engaged, attentive listening.