Monday, September 27, 2010

Summary online


The executive summary is now online here.

Please note that the ideas presented in the summary are the ones that SOP felt would be most helpful at this moment. It does not mean they are the best ideas, or should have precedence over the other ideas from the brainstorming session.

Right now we are still engaged in getting a fuller picture of the situation in our parish. As the picture gets clearer in the next few weeks, we will schedule another meeting.

For those who weren't able to make the parish council meeting tonight, we'll report back.


  1. Are you able to share how the meeting went? Many of us who were unable to attend were praying for good results.

  2. I heard the SOP got shot down big time by the Parish Council. Were any of you surprised? I hope you didn't expect that you'd walk in there to be met with welcome arms. We are at war according to last weekends homily and you are believed by the powers that be to be in the wrong camp. Wish you well but it's going to be an uphill climb to change not only the direction but the hearts.

  3. Wow this is amazing. I can not believe some of you people have such attitudes. Absolutely amazing! Why spread rumors, wait for the facts to be put out by the core team.

  4. Were parishioners in general, and the SOP group in particular, treated any differently than usual? No. A report forthcoming.

  5. @0937

    "Shot down"

    We came to have an open dialogue. We got nothing. Time and time again, we are coming with ideas only to be treated with disrespect. Yet we are accused of division. We come with the goal to build our parish, not tear it down. Yet our parish leaders don’t even want to interact with us. Or engage with us. And we continue to walk in the positive and try to build.

    We have never used the term “war”
    We have never used the term “terrorist”
    We have never used the term “horrendous”

    Who is fighting whom?

  6. Cynthia-
    Most all knew that this is how you would be treated. Staff members have been bad-mouthing the SOP for weeks. Very disturbing. Thanks for all you are doing. You have more support than you can imagine.

  7. Cynthia,
    I can not believe you said this. The president of the Council told you at the beginning of the meeting that there would be no discussion, the council would listen and ask questions for clarification but again no discussion. You heard that, you understood that but you wrote this, I am shocked! I demand that you retract this now....and tell everyone how the meeting really went. You know that the SOP Core team has a meeting setup with Deacon Dean and key parish committee members tomorrow to have the open discussion! Again I demand that you retract this now as it is an out and out lie!

  8. Cynthia & Gretchen,

    No, you were not treated any differently than anyone else who presents at an "open forum". The "open forum" at parish council is NOT a dialogue session. It is a forum for parishioners to come and voice opinions, concerns, ideas, etc. to the council. The council asks clarifying questions, but does not enter into dialogue. It is strictly a listening session. This is the way it works. Normal time allotted for open forum is only 15 minutes, but Steve extended that time last night to give everyone a chance to be heard. The SOP team was informed of this. I don't know what else you were expecting. There is a meeting tomorrow night where dialogue will happen between the SOP team and parish leadership. This was also known.

    After the open forum, council then goes into closed session for its normal meeting, and all "guests" must leave at that time. That is procedure as set forth by the council charter and the diocese. As I recall, Steve also promised a copy of the minutes to the SOP team. I don't know what happened last night to make you feel "shot down" by the council. Hopefully you will feel that tomorrow night is more productive.

    I am praying for a peaceful resolution to this entire situation so that we can all focus on the ministry that God has called us to do in our parish and community.

  9. Calm down, anonymous. SOP was asked to submit their questions in writing to the council beforehand so that the council would be prepared to give answers at the meeting. This was arranged beforehand with members of SOP and Steve Rossettie. Since you were at the meeting, you saw what happened. The rules were changed on us. If you would like confirmation of what I say, please contact Steve or speak to Jeff Bates.

  10. Welcome, Cory. Thanks for your prayers. We'll certainly check on diocesan guidelines for parish council meetings.

    Also, we asked the council last night if we could stay for the council meeting, and were initially granted permission. So, it was disconcerting to be told that we could not stay.

    As I'm sure you know, most meetings like city council meetings and so forth are conducted according to each state's 'sunshine laws', which advocate the public's right to know how business is being conducted on their behalf. Councils and other entities have the right to withdraw from public scrutiny during executive sessions when personnel issues are being discussed.

    While I understand that our parish council is a religious body and not a public entity, surely the mundane business of governing our parish is not something that would need such secrecy, especially since the council does not have the authority to hire or fire and so on.

    Additionally, if we are being offered a copy of the minutes, that would seem to confirm that nothing secret or inaccessible to 'guests', aka parishioners, goes on in council meetings.

    Thanks again for your prayers, Cory.

  11. No Gretchen I will not settle down. I still demand a full retraction of Cynthia's blog. I would like to know how your team was "shot down" at this meeting. I would like specific examples of this!
    As I stated before the parish council did not engage in discussion, the only discussion was generated by other parishioners in the audience that do not like the way you are handling this situation.

    I cant not believe the SOP Core team is going to support Cynthia's statements.

  12. Touching, Cory, truly touching. Wonder who helped script that diatribe..let me guess.

  13. Anonymous, as Cory stated, the council meetings are not for dialog, even though we were told otherwise. They are for questions to the council, right? Not members of the audience. But, perhaps an exception was made last night. :-)

  14. Parish Councils are OPEN meeting. The Diocese DOES NOT mandate that guests leave and that meetings be closed. Please document where you believe the Diocese states that guests must leave and that meetings are closed.

  15. I believe that the Diocese expects each faith community to submit to them a copy of their covenant. If a particular faith community has rules regarding their running of their meetings (for example, if they operate by consensus) it is to be stated in the covenant. The covenant is to be available to all parishioners. Maybe someone from the SOP Core Team could ask at the parish office for a copy of the parish council covenant statement.

  16. To anonymous 6:53 p.m. - to quote Shakespeare
    "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."
    It sounds like something was hitting too close to home.

  17. Gretchen,you are not going to answer my question about the SOP being "shot down" are you? I need you to answer the question with specific examples.

    I would like to hear from the rest of the SOP Core team around how the meeting was run, John, Kathy, Jeff, Juan do you have any comments. I can not believe you agree with Gretchen and Cynthia?

  18. Anonymous of 9/28 @ 9:19,

    Although you didn't include my name as a part of the core team (of which I am) I will respond to you.

    I don't believe Gretchen or Cynthia used the term "shot down." Cynthia just quoted from a post above.

    Check in the dictionary. A "forum" is an assembly for the discussion of questions of public interest, or, an outlet for discussion of matters of interest to a given group. As Gretchen stated, we were asked for our questions ahead of time, which we gave to the council chair, so that a response could be prepared. Why? No response was given.

    I support what Cynthia wrote. What is it that you want her to retract? What was an "out and out lie?"


    To Cory, Why is there a closed session to a Parish Council meeting? Why?


    My is SOP divisive? Which is what we were called last night. The issue of "closing a church" is divisive, some will be for it (although, I can't imagine why) and some will be against it. Why aren't we knocking on every door or calling up every parishioner and saying "Please help us save this church."

  19. To Anonymous (6:53PM and 5:28PM)
    I will retract my statement. But not because it is a lie, but because it has created such a violent reaction from you and that was not my desire. I don’t want to incite anger. I want to bring into the light the truth. “Demand”? Wow, that language is so strong. We have never demanded anything. We have simply asked for all the facts so that we can make our own informed decisions. I do ask who has given you any authority to demand anything from me.
    We were under the impression that we would be able to engage in dialogue. Clearly that was not the case. But I ask, what is so wrong with discussion? Why does the parish leadership want to shy away from engaging in a conversation with laity? The Roll-Out sessions were “listening” sessions only (I have a letter from Fr. Palumbos which explicitly states these were only “listening” sessions) where laity were only allowed to discuss ways to improve the existing plan. There were no options to give alternative ideas.
    Again we want to build, not destroy. We are trying to present solutions. It should be obvious that we cannot present anything more than ideas and what laity are willing to do to build this community unless we know explicitly where the deficits are and where we can provide the aid.
    I leave you guys with the following guidelines from
    From Diocese of Rochester Parish Pastoral Council Guidelines
    “…In forming community, council members are challenged to ongoing renewal though prayer, study, listening, and dialogue. In developing priorities and directions for the parish, the council is to become the means of achieving full participation by the whole parish community in its mission by giving all a voice in guiding and directing parish.”

    Thank you all for your prayers.
    God Bless,

  20. Kudos to the SOP. Once again you have taken the higher road. Cynthia- thank you for retracting- not because it was demanded but for the sake of peace. Clearly, the division comes from the top. The style of leadership were are experiencng is oppressive and, quite frankly, parishioners are tired of it. We must pray for change in direction and in leadership. It is time to come together for the common good of the Church.

  21. To Anonymous Sept.28 5:28 pm. For someone issuing demands, it is pretty revealing that you are hiding your identity. You called me by name and asked me if I supported Cynthia and Gretchen. I do. I won't demand you give your name because I have no authority over you. I ask that you stand behind your demand with your name.

  22. What I don't understand is if SOP knew you were scheduled for a meeting with Dean and parish leadership, what's so hard about accepting that the Council meeting was for listening? What's the fuss?

  23. Hi Bill,

    Did you read the whole thread? It pretty much explains what happened:

    Council requested our executive summary and questions ahead of time, ostensibly so they could provide answers at the council meeting.

    When it became clear at the beginning of the meeting that no answers were forthcoming, we were left with simply having to re-present the summary and questions.

    When the 'listening session' was over, we were asked to leave the council meeting.