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Keeping the Covenant: Taking Parish to the Next Level Paperback – September 1, 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: The Crossroad Publishing Company (September 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0824524667
  • ISBN-13: 978-0824524661
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,639,369 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Ellen Turner on August 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book provides solid management skills to any Roman Catholic Parish interested in a collaborative style of management. This style is perfectly suited to the church as we move into the 21st century, with fewer priests and less money for paid staff. The church, that is the People of God, must organize for their future and this is a great tool for that task. We bought copies for about twenty parish leaders and are reading it together as we prepare to support our pastor and our parish using this model. Thanks to Tom Sweetser for putting this information into a book we can use.
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Format: Paperback
Father Tom Sweetser is a Jesuit priest who teams with Franciscan Sister Peg Bishop in rebuilding our churches, one parish at a time. Together they direct the Milwaukee-based Parish Evaluation Project, and travel to train and to advise parishes how to survive, vibrantly meeting the needs of all parties, through their Parish Assessment and Renewal and renewal program which blends data gathering and parish planning.

They visit parishes with a long term, commited strategy. The first four months they give a self-assessment, during which they gather parish data. Then a two-week visit to the parish provides talks with individual parishioners in person and by telephone. They assess the liturgies, as well as programs and ministries. They then report what they have seen, and make their recommendations.

A parish leadership council examines the report and draw up a strategic plan, forming goals-oriented committees and regular meetings. After six months, Fr. Sweetser and Sr. Bisho return to facilitate parish renewal.

An essential key according to Fr. Sweetser is finding a "partner for the pastor who can serve as a mentor to the staff and take on many administrative functions for the pastor" since "priests are just not trained for administration." Neither are our recent crop of bishops . . .

Fr. Sweetser therefore finds effective the empowering of lay leaders.

My concern of coruse lies in finding lay leaders who were the cause of the earlier paralysis. A concerted effort must take place to find the most comprehensive and compassionate leaders available, and not simply those in political or material favor.
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Very informative and useful as we have hired Sweetser and are in the process of utilizing his model to make a number of changes at our parish.
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very easy to follow and understand, with the hope to increase our parish and take us to the next level. thanks just what we needed
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