March 3, 2013
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In today’s Gospel, Jesus tells a parable about a barren fig tree and the gardener who decides to cultivate the soil so that it may produce fruit in the future. Jesus shows us that it takes planning and labor, and of course grace, to build up the Kingdom of God.
Our parish is a living body, like a field of fig trees. In order for our parish to continue producing spiritual fruit in the future, we must tend all the trees, those that are flourishing and those that are not growing. We look at the parish as a whole, seeing how each ministry affects and is affected by the others. The great news is that Religious Education has grown significantly over the last few years and has become one of the biggest trees in our St. Ambrose orchard. Through the grace of God we have added many new families and new volunteers and we plan on continuing to grow. As our tree has grown, we have pushed into the soil of other ministries, most notably Sunday Mass and the parish events that happen within and around Sunday Mass. Having Religious Education classes on Sundays overfills our already crowded parking lot and takes attention away from Sunday Mass, which must be the central event of parish life.
When a plant has outgrown its spot, it must be transplanted, and we have outgrown our Sunday morning spot. In order for the ministry to continue to grow without limiting the growth of the rest of the parish, we have decided to move our classes to another day and time. We are currently consulting with our volunteers, our students’ families, and St. Ambrose School to find a class time that best meets the needs of all involved. Every change brings with it adjustments and some difficulties, but we believe this will be the best choice for the future of the parish.
Please keep the students, volunteers, and families of Religious Education in your prayers as we search for the solution that will best benefit our entire parish family. By the grace of God, the coming years will see all of our ministries flourish and St. Ambrose produce an abundance of spiritual fruit.
Your co-worker in God’s orchard,
Director of Religious Education