An Interim Period Is ....

An Interim Period Is …

  • A time of focused reflection, activity and planning

  • A customized approach based on the general mood of the parish, the way in which the former incumbent left, the level of conflict in the parish, the amount of time since the last interim period etc

  • A time of fostering relationships among the interim priest and the parish and its people

  • A time of goal-setting for the interim period that are mutually owned by the interim priest and the leadership of the parish

  • A time of increased communication via every means available (website, e-mail, Facebook, bulletin, oral announcements) about goals for the interim period, where the parish is in reaching the goals, where the parish is in the interim and canonical process, etc

  • A time to increase the participation of people in the parish to ensure the smooth running of ministry during the interim period

  • A time of paying attention to the quality and excellence of Sunday morning so that people continue to be attracted to the parish

  • A time of noticing if some critical areas (practices and policies) are in need of revision and moving forward

  • A time of helping the parish and its people converse about who they have been, who they are now, what they want for themselves in the future and the kind of partner they seek in the next incumbent

  • A time of honouring and retaining the parish’s character of worship, strengthening it (if need be in order to better “fit” with diocesan practices) in gentle ways and teaching the people why the changes are necessary

An Interim Period Is Not ...

  • A pause when nothing happens “until the new incumbent gets here”

  • A cookie-cutter, one size fits all approach

  • A time of neglecting relationships in that the interim will not be in the parish “permanently”

  • A time of just going from one task to the next in that the interim period is limited in time.

  • A time of assuming people will understand what is going on simply via monthly updates in the bulletin

  • A time to keep the work of the parish in the hands of just a few or in the hands of just those elected to specific positions

  • A time of putting aside the question of the quality of Sunday morning on account of the parish being in an interim period

  • A time of trying to “fix” everything or ignoring some obvious areas that need attention

  • A time of dusting off the information generated “the last time around” and assuming it will fit this time

  • A time of changing the liturgy to reflect the liturgical preferences of the interim priest

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