March 13, 2012

Washington Township parish building for the future

Pastor and Co-Chairs at SS. John and Paul Parish

Father Buersmeyer with SS. John and Paul campaign co-chairs Sue Darga‐Martino and Christopher E. McNeely.

Timing, leadership, and communication are proving to be key elements of Changing Lives Together at SS. John and Paul in Washington Township, where parishioners have more than doubled archdiocesan expectations for their fundraising campaign. “The archdiocesan goal was about $540,000 but our plans go well beyond that,” said Rev. David Buersmeyer, pastor of SS. John and Paul. More than 430 registered households at SS. John and Paul have made over $1.3 million in commitments to their parish campaign.

The $1.6 million initiative at SS. John and Paul centers on building a permanent parish life center to replace the current facility that consists of 10 trailers connected together. “We’ve been planning for a new parish life center and Changing Lives Together gave us the opportunity to get started,” said Father Buersmeyer. “When pledges are fulfilled to a certain point, and using our parish savings to some extent, we’ll be able to start phase one of the permanent center by building a gathering area, kitchen, and restrooms, with other work to be done as funds become available,” he explained. Father Buersmeyer hopes to break ground in 2015 once the three-year pledges to the campaign are completed.

Planned Parish Life Center

The planned parish life center will ultimately replace a temporary facility at SS. John and Paul. The project is the most ambitious since the parish was established in 1980.

Campaign volunteers at SS. John and Paul have been diligent in reaching out to parishioners. “We held seven parish meetings last fall to explain the details of our plans and how Changing Lives Together would help us realize them. About 20 percent of our registered households attended, which was pretty good,” recalled Father Buersmeyer. “We also reached out to all our parishioners through phone calls – the first emphasized prayer intentions, the second invited parishioners to attend one of the parish meetings on our plan, and the third welcomed parishioners to join us for a community breakfast when we launched the campaign,” he said.

Parishioners learned more about Changing Lives Together through a parish-produced campaign video and extensive content on the parish website including the campaign case for support. “About 40 percent of our parishioners are now participating in the campaign, and we’re continuing to work on the other 60 percent,” said Father Buersmeyer. “I am very pleased with the depth of generosity and involvement we are continuing to build.”

Changing Lives Together is a series of parish campaigns to generate resources to fulfill parish-developed plans and priorities. Learn more about the initiative in your parish.