On October 30, twenty-six parishioners* joined with Leif Kehrwald to spend the day charting a post-pandemic, post-construction course for the parish community. See pictures below!
The specific purpose of the day was stated thus: Since March 2020, St. Charles has been operating in "crisis" mode, dealing with COVID-19, managing construction chaos and welcoming De La Salle onto campus, and navigating the challenges of priest transition. While these issues are still with us, it's time to move out of "crisis" mode and into "mission" mode, from survival mindset to thrive mindset. It's time to look further ahead than just day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month. Through prayer, conversation, input, sharing food (safely) and time together, let's set our sights on a new vision for St. Charles Parish.
Scripture, Prayer, Song
Throughout the day, we sang and prayed together, relying on these Scripture passages to guide and inspire us: Isaiah 62:1-2 and Luke 4:16-21. From the Breaking Bread hymnal we sang “Day of Peace”, “Open My Eyes”, and “City of God.”
Morning Question: What’s the heartbeat of our parish today.
Participants were asked to reflect on this question, engage in one-to-one conversations, and then bring their “headline” responses to the large group. After bountiful sharing and discussion, participants prioritized the “headlines” as such:
(8 stars) We need to practice personal invitation in all matters
(7 stars) We are struggling, but we are blessed and loaded with potential and endurance
(6 stars) We are dedicated to caring for and serving others
(5 stars) We are the people of God (Vat II parish)
(5 stars) It’s all about the people => in relationships with each other => leads to relationship with God
(4 stars) We are wounded and tender, and need healing
(4 stars) We are non-judgmental and accepting of all
(3 stars) We provide healthy enrichment
(2 stars) We are reawakening
(2 stars) Our heartbeat is healthy and full of energy
(2 stars) We need to diversify our core of leadership
(1 star) We need to recognize and reach out to inactive parishioners, particularly the elderly who feel undervalued
(1 star) We rely on our historical persistence in the midst of challenge
(1 star) We are always creative in response to crisis
(1 star) We are grateful for loving leadership
- We need to move from crisis mode to mission mode.
- We are grateful for the core leadership base of the parish.
Afternoon Question: What should our priorities be to chart our next course?
Participants were asked to reflect on this question, engage in small group discussion, and then bring their “headline” responses to the large group. After bountiful sharing and discussion, participants prioritized the “headlines” as such:
(12 stars) Gain a better understanding of how other cultures meet, work, and make decisions
(7 stars) Survey – listening process on what people want (in different languages)
(7 stars) Engage in relational conversations
(6 stars) Create opportunities for expanded relationships
(5 stars) Find ways to respect and support those not able to come to Mass (elderly)
(4 stars) Build informal multi-dimensional relationships
(4 stars) Put relationships before tasks
(3 stars) Have Name Tag Sunday regularly
(3 stars) Create faith mentoring relationships
(3 stars) Question current leadership structure
(3 stars) Personally ask specific questions about what works and what doesn’t – really listen!
(2 stars) Bless the new Commons as our place for Sunday Hospitality
(2 stars) Provide regular faith formation for youth of all grades
(2 stars) Do ‘with’ instead of do ‘for’
(2 stars) Reinstate Children’s Liturgy of the Word
(1 star) Engage in leadership development
(1 star) Expand our horizons
(1 star) Find common goals with De La Salle (DLSNC)
- Attend services with De La Salle (DLSNC)
- Bring back Welcoming Committee
- Market our new priest
- Flatten the leadership structure
- Reimagine . . . don’t have to do what we’ve always done
- Keep our identity (signage)
The day concluded with a promise from Leif to share the summary of the day with key leadership group and the parish as a whole. Pastoral Council, Admin Council, Liturgy Committee, Multicultural Committee, Care 4 Creation Team, along wit others, will all be involved in acting on the key “headlines.”
* Those who attended include:
Fr. Jerry Graham, SJ will be our part-time priest through the end of the year, and perhaps through June 2022. He will serve as our Sacramental Minister: presiding and preaching at weekend masses, on holy days, and church feast days. He will provide the Sacrament of Reconciliation on Saturday afternoons, and will participate in liturgical planning with the Liturgy Committee. While collaborating closely with me on administrative matters, Fr. Jerry will be with us primarily on the weekends, and will not have regular office hours during the week. Fr. Jerry has been a Jesuit for 30+ years, has served as parish priest at St. Patrick's in Tacoma and St. Aloysius in Spokane. He has done mission work with Native Americans, and served as chaplain for the Gonzaga-in-Florence program in Italy. He is an accomplished poet.
In August, it was announced at Mass that we had been directed by the Archdiocese to make a change in our liturgy on the Sundays when either Sr. Phyllis or Leif was scheduled to share the Reflection on the Word. We were told that on those days, the Reflection must be given just after Communion. Why? Liturgical law dictates that one must have preaching faculties to give the Homily at Mass, which is the message delivered immediately after the Gospel is proclaimed. Only an ordained priest has preaching faculties. Therefore, to avoid confusion, and to make it clear that what Sr. Phyllis or Leif offered was a Reflection on the Word, not a Homily, it was to be delivered just after Communion time.
However, on September 13, we received an updated directive from Archbishop Sample which makes it quite clear that any form of Lay Reflection on the Word at any time during Mass is not acceptable. Parish leadership (Pastoral Council, Admin Council, Liturgy Committee, and Staff) discussed the letter on September 15 and decided to make it available to all in the community. See the Archbishop's letter posted here. We will comply with the directive, and we are exploring options for lay reflections outside the celebration of Mass.
Your comments on this directive are welcome. Use the comment feature on this page, or write directly to Leif Kehrwald at email@example.com.
Updated September 2021. When you come to St. Charles for worship or any other purpose:
Thank you for journeying with us through the pandemic. We have kept each other safe throughout, and we pledge to continue to do so. Your comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome. Contact Leif Kehrwald at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-351-9889.
On Sunday, April 18, Oscar Leong, President of De La Salle North Catholic High School gave a presentation at Mass updating our community on the progress of construction, renovation, and moving in. Renovation of the old school building should be complete in July, and the new building (kitchen, commons, gym) should be completed by the end of September. School will start the usual time in the Fall. De La Salle has about 270 students, with plans to grow to 360.
Watch the video of Oscar's presentation here.
On Sunday, March 28th, the Confirmation group had our "virtual/ at home" service day. We took an hour to pick up trash in our neighborhoods! We focused on the waste we all produce as a society and took notice where the litter was accumulating around our own areas. Next the Confirmation group will have their retreat on April 11th, gathering together for the last time to prepare for their big day!
We have resumed Sunday Mass and Lenten worship in the church. All COVID precautions are being followed carefully: hand sanitizing, mask wearing, physical distancing, and various worship protocols (see details below). You do not need to sign up in advance, but please arrive a few minutes early in order to hand sanitize and to be ushered to your seat.
Mass on Sunday is at 10:00 am and Lenten Evening Prayer occurs on Wednesdays at 7:00 pm during Lent, with the Parish Reconciliation Service on March 10, 7:00 pm. The Zoom connection is https://zoom.us/j/98155735623 or dial in by phone 253-215-8782, Meeting ID: 981 5573 5623. We look forward to seeing you.
Caution! Those who are vulnerable, at-risk, or otherwise concerned are encouraged to stay home and attend Mass via Zoom Liturgy of the Word. Those who are sick, feverish, coughing or with other symptoms, must stay home and are not allowed in the church.
What to expect when you come. The campus is undergoing major transformation to make room for De La Salle North Catholic High School. When you come for Mass, please enter from 42nd Avenue. At the church door, drop off any persons who have trouble walking. Limited parking is available on campus near the church entrance and along the Killingsworth driveway. You are allowed to park in the PCC lot at the corner of 42nd and Killingsworth. You might also find parking on Emerson Street and 42nd Ave.
Entrance to the church will be available only through the northwest doorway. Please wear a mask (required for all those five years old and up). Use hand sanitizer upon entry. Someone will greet you and check you in. You will be escorted to your seat.
During Mass. While in Church and during Mass these restrictions apply:
· masks worn at all times, except to receive Communion
· no holy water in fonts
· no hymnals or bulletins
· no cry room
· singing allowed with masks on
· no holding hands during the Lord’s Prayer
· exchange of peace at a distance
· collection via basket available in back
· no Communion cup
· pews and all touch points will be sanitized after each Mass
To receive Communion, you will approach the front of the altar using either side aisle (not the middle) and return to your seat using the far side aisle. Please maintain six feet of distance from others.
When Mass concludes, please exit through the door you entered or through either of the Emerson Street doors. Due to construction, the gym doors are not accessible. We ask you not to congregate in the church after Mass.
We welcome your questions and comments. Call the Parish Office at 503-281-6461, or contact Leif at email@example.com.
This year, Ash Wednesday (Feb 17) will be unlike any other we have ever celebrated.
The application of ashes is an important part of this first day of Lent. We want to make blessed ashes available to you in advance of Ash Wednesday. On Sunday, January 31, we will bless ashes during our Sunday Zoom Worship Service. Then, beginning Feb 1, we will have small containers/baggies of ash available for pick up or delivery. This way you will have ashes in hand and will be able to apply them to your own forehead during our Ash Wednesday Zoom Service. (If we have Ash Wednesday Mass in the church, ashes will be sprinkled on the head--no touching.)
If you would like to receive blessed ashes prior to Feb 17, please complete this form. We'll be in touch.