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March 15, 2023    –    Vol. 1 No. 2
An update for parishes and parishioners on Partners in the Gospel
Parishes across the archdiocese continue to pray for the renewal of parish life through Partners in the Gospel. Meanwhile, parish staff recently received a guidebook called Tilling the Soil, which outlines ways to foster community, ground people in the true mission of the Church and prepare people to participate in Partners in the Gospel. 
Watch Father Michael Dion, pastor of St. Michael Parish in Snohomish, share his perspective about Partners in the Gospel. Watch in English or with Spanish subtitles.
This month, we're diving deeper into the pillar work groups – Worship & Prayer, Community & Hospitality, Discipleship, Mission & Evangelization and Governance & Administration.

While parish life cannot be segmented into distinct parts since it is so interconnected, the Partners in the Gospel team, for planning and organizational purposes, developed distinct pillar groups to ensure no aspect of parish life was overlooked during this strategic pastoral planning process.

Each pillar group, comprised of both lay leaders and clergy from the Chancery and parishes, is researching and developing tools and resources to help guide parish families in the process of re-envisioning and becoming one canonical parish. While each pillar group is working in its area, the Partners in the Gospel team is reviewing to identify gaps, overlaps and points of integration. Here’s an overview of the work that each pillar is diving into now: 
  • Worship & Prayer – This team of five has an emphasis on Encounter with Christ in the Eucharist and all sacraments. The team will provide recommendations around the sacraments, Sunday Mass, active participation, unity and the liturgy as the source of our grace to become missionary disciples.
  • Community & Hospitality – The principle that a Christian life is founded on a relationship with Jesus guides this team of six, who will prepare tools and resources for parishes to foster hospitality, faith sharing, service, parish groups, and healing.
  • Discipleship – This team of nine recognizes discipleship is a lifelong process that begins with a call. The team will explore discipleship through formation, integration, stewardship and have a special focus on young disciples.
  • Mission & Evangelization – Everything is rooted in Christ for this team of eight, who will explore what missionary discipleship looks like in practice. Specifically, they will prepare tools to help parishes “go out” while focusing on relationship with Jesus, accompaniment, inclusion, mercy and kinship. 
  • Leadership & Governance – This team of 11 is reviewing the canonical requirements related to parish families and developing guidance on consultative leadership structures, staff structures and the strategic pastoral planning requirements for becoming a single parish.
  • Administration & Finance – This team of 10 is focused on providing parishes a clear, concise outline with recommendations, checklists and timelines related to administration, stewardship, finance, development, infrastructure, property and technology – with a special focus on what needs to happen in the first year. 


Q: Are other dioceses doing this? 

A: Yes. Dioceses across the Unites States have implemented similar initiatives.

The Partners in the Gospel Core Team has connected with many of them to hear their stories and gather recommendations. Using these insights, our archdiocesan team developed a planning and consultation model that reflects the uniqueness of the Archdiocese of Seattle. Our model is more consultative, embraces our cultural diversity and history, and reflects our large geography that includes concentrated city centers as well as suburban and rural communities. While we appreciate the guidance and insights from other dioceses, success in the Archdiocese of Seattle will come from the creativity and collaboration of each parish family, led by the Holy Spirit. 

Click here more question & answers

Click here to read the entire Prayer for Partners in the Gospel in English, Spanish and Vietnamese.

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