The Vision for Saint Thomas More Parish

My name is Becca Arend. As the Pastoral Associate here at Saint Thomas More, I’d like to take the opportunity to share with you the exciting new vision we have for our Parish!

We want Saint Thomas More to be your spiritual home—a place where you feel like you belong, where you can encounter Christ at Mass and at our programs, where you can personally experience His love within our community, and be empowered to joyfully go tell other people in the world about God’s love. To this end, in consultation with the senior leadership team, the Parish Council, and the staff of this parish, we have developed a new statement that reflects this vision:

Come Encounter Christ, Joyfully Share His Love, Go Make Disciples

First, we want to become a place where we, along with our friends and family members, Come Encounter Christ. This encounter with God happens at Mass, or during parish events or courses. In particular, the Alpha course allows those who have no experience of God to encounter Jesus. As Pope Benedict once wrote, “Being Christian is not the result of an ethical choice or a lofty idea, but the encounter with… a Person, which gives life a new horizon and a decisive direction.”  When we encounter Jesus Christ in a personal way, it changes everything.

Next, we Joyfully Share His Love. As a parish family, we grow by coming together, learning our faith, and serving our community in love. As Christians, we are never “finished” — there are always more ways for us to grow and share! Saint Thomas More has lots of opportunities for faith formation and service.

Finally, we Go Make Disciples. These were Jesus’ last words to the Apostles before he ascended to heaven (Mt. 28:19), and they are the mission statement for the whole Church. When encounter Christ and share in His love, we then invite others to come encounter Him as well. Instead of focusing inwardly on ourselves, we become a parish that intentionally focuses on the mission of bringing Jesus to the world and vice versa.

We are excited to implement this new vision with you, and are eager to hear your ideas and have your help moving our parish from maintenance to mission.

Before I close, I couldn’t write this letter without expressing my overwhelming gratitude to all those who have spent decades generously supporting this parish with their time, talents and treasures. I pray that God may bless you and your loved ones, and reward you abundantly.

God bless,
Becca Arend
Pastoral Associate