My Dear People,
As one year turns into another, there is a natural tendency to look back and meditate on where we’ve come and to look forward to see where the new year will take us.
I’ve been at St. Luke’s for 5 months now, and in that time much has happened. I’ve done 37 house blessings, getting to know many of you (I’m still willing to do more!). We’ve added about 20 families since I started, we’ve begun to hold Masses on some Sunday evenings with the homilies focused on particular topics in theology and these Masses are growing. We’ve added adoration times, added extra daily Masses, started groups like CFM, started using the Formed catechetical tool to expand our understanding of the Catholic faith; I could go on for quite some time about the wonderful things which happen here at St. Luke’s, but other people will most likely want some bulletin space.
One thing we’ve done is run a survey and a study to learn what everyone thinks about how our growing community is doing. Based on the responses of the survey, the strategic planning committee completed a review of our facilities and came up with a design to give us sufficient room for growth over the next 5-10 years.
The feasibility study conducted in the parish, along with the parish survey we sent out earlier in the year, gave us ideas as to how we can better meet the immediate needs of St. Luke’s Parish. The biggest suggestion we’ve had from the house blessings, a suggestion echoed in the survey and feasibility study, was that we do something with the sound in the church. People are having a hard time hearing. As part of a multi-tiered approach to addressing the echo in the church and school, we have installed new carpet in our facilities. We had a sound study done in the church to determine if sound panels would help the acoustics in the church, and we are working with the installers of our HVAC system to see if there is a way we can get the HVAC to turn on and off, as the “always on” feature adds 15 decibels of sound during our Masses. We’ve also begun investigating a sound system which would allow us to lend out hearing assisting devices, which would enable people to use an earpiece to hear directly what is being said into the microphones. The carpet is the first step of a number of steps we will be taking to help create an environment where everyone can get the most out of Mass.
2018 is going to see us grow even more! Already, we’ve run early registration for the 2018/2019 kindergarten class. At the time of writing this article, we have 29 kindergartners registered for next year! We will open normal registration next month, and we anticipate receiving even more students. The number of students enrolled in our school will continue to climb as we open up our upper grades and turn St. Luke’s Parish School into a k-8 facility.
Who knows what 2018 is going to bring, but I’m sure we will continue to grow! I look forward to watching St. Luke’s continue to expand and grow closer to one another and to God. It has been a wonderful five months, and I can’t wait to see what 2018 will bring.
Thanks to everyone who has given me so many wonderful memories in my first 5 months, and thanks to all who will continue to make St. Luke’s a great place to Worship, Teach, and Care.
Blessings and Happy New Year,
Fr. Adam Westphal