Those who work in parish ministry from across the Diocese of Trenton’s four counties attended a workshop Feb. 15 titled “Loss, Change and Resilience in Communities of Faith.” The daylong event in the Youth Hall of St. David the King, Princeton Junction, was sponsored by the diocesan Department of Pastoral Planning in support of the reorganization taking place in the Diocese based on the Faith in our Future decisions recently announced by Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M.
“We are at a time in the Church’s life where the pace of change is overwhelming and can feel dizzying,” said workshop presenter Dr. Melissa M. Kelley to an audience of nearly 200 pastoral ministers, clergy and parish staff. “The more sensitive to loss we can be, the more responsive we can be.”
Terry Ginther, executive director of the diocesan Office of Pastoral Life and Mission, noted that changes in leadership and staff, challenging financial circumstances and shifting demographics have prompted the need for parish linkages, mergers and, in a few cases, the suspension of operation at certain church sites.
“We are facing a lot of change in the Church and our parishes,” said Ginther. “People could use a little professional support, and this speaker can share ways parishes can cope with change.”