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June 8, 2015 | Volume 90 Number 16

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photo: The Diocese of Richmond had its debut of "live streaming" at the Sullian Conference session at the Diocesan Pastoral Center May 29 when Dr. Elaine Kiziah spoke to both participants in Richmond and a much smaller group at Jubilee House retreat center in Abingdon. This allowed participants at both meeting sites to hear the same message and break into small groups at the same time. Dr. Kiziah repeated the same session at St. Gregory the Great in Virginia Beach and at Our Lady of Nazareth in Roanoke the same week.
The Diocese of Richmond had its debut of "live streaming" at the Sullian Conference session at the Diocesan Pastoral Center May 29 when Dr. Elaine Kiziah spoke to both participants in Richmond and a much smaller group at Jubilee House retreat center in Abingdon. This allowed participants at both meeting sites to hear the same message and break into small groups at the same time. Dr. Kiziah repeated the same session at St. Gregory the Great in Virginia Beach and at Our Lady of Nazareth in Roanoke the same week.

Setting goals said key to enhanced ministry

I n its effort to reach as many as possible, the diocesan Office of Christian Formation for the first time used “live streaming” in its recent Sullivan Conference connecting those gathered at the Pastoral Center in Richmond with a small group at Jubilee House retreat center in Abingdon.

This “first” allowed participants living in far southwest Virginia to attend the diocesan conference without having to travel to Roanoke which, for some, would have required a three-hour journey on a different day. The program was also held at St. Gregory the Great in Virginia Beach and Our Lady of Nazareth in Roanoke.

The purpose of the gatherings were to help the staff of parishes and Catholic schools plan a strategy to establish long-term goals and objectives by methodically taking various steps. They were led by Dr. Elaine Kiziah, who has a doctorate in counseling pyschology from Virginia Commonwealth University.

With many distractions in daily life, Dr. Kiziah said long-range planning can sometimes get pushed aside.

“Making time for this is intentional,” she said. “It's so easy to get caught up in the daily grind.”

She further added that “We must make sure all the voices are part of the conversation.”

With responses from participants at both Jubilee House and the Pastoral Center, each group was able to view the other setting in both Abingdon and Richmond.

Strategic planning in the far southwestern part of the Diocese of Richmond is needed to achieve the goal of having a learning center in Abingdon as part of the Living Our Mission capital campaign, said Melanie Coddington, Regional Minister for Christian Formation.

She envisions the center as helping train people in lay ministry “to bring their energy and faith to the parish.”

“I think in this context we have to ask ‘Where have we been? Where are we now? and where are we going?’” said Ms. Coddington, suggesting that those “folks find it helpful to review” a mission statement if there is one.

“The long-term vision is important,” Ms. Coddington said.

“The pastors in far southwest Virginia are spread thin. We will be energizing and training the lay people to be in partnership with the pastors”

While change takes time, Bradley Mathisen, campus minister at University of Virginia–Wise , said “we must keep realistic when things move real slowly.”

Mr. Mathisen also serves as pastoral associate for the four parish cluster of St. Anthony, Norton; Sacred Heart, Big Stone Gap; Holy Spirit Catholic Community, Jonesville, and St. Joseph's, Clintwood.

Dr. Kiziah made a distinction between management and leadership, attributing a quote from Peter Drucker, American management consultant who was born in Austria.

“Management is doing things right," Mr. Drucker said. “Leadership is doing the right thing.”

Leadership involves creating a vision which looks to the future with set goals and target dates, Dr. Kiziah said. Management involves the day-to-day work which seeks to achieve the vision.

Among those who attended the Richmond class was Father James Glass, Catholic Campus Ministry chaplain at the College of William and Mary. He felt the session was helpful.

“The Sullivan Conference was very applicable to ministry with college students who are the next generation of Church leaders,” he said.

“We were taught that in helping students grow, you need to consider each person's ability, willingness and confidence. Students with less experience need more direction and coaching, where as more experienced students just need clear delegation and support.”

With so much of campus ministry being led by students, the talk on ‘when to lead and when to manage’ was right on target for campus ministry.

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