By Father Michel Mulloy, Vicar General
A couple months ago, a group of parishioners for the parish clusters of Eagle Butte, Timber Lake and Faith began meeting. Bishop Robert Gruss asked that the central area of the diocese go through a process of reflecting on how to best serve the needs of the parishioners in that area. This same process was employed across the northern tier of the diocese (the parish clusters of Buffalo, Lemmon, and McLaughlin) a few years ago. The result was a renewed vision of ministry and a reorganization of the alignment of the parishes in that area.
The Central Plains Commission has met three times. There are a total of 18 lay representatives for the three parish clusters as well as three pastors. I am facilitating the process. The first order of business was to develop a mission statement, so the commission members had a clear understanding of their task. We engaged this process by looking at the Diocesan Priority Plan. Any ministry in the diocese, whether in a commission like this one, or in an individual parish, must be guided by the mission statement, values and foundational ministers of the whole diocese as expressed in the Priority Plan. The Central Plains Commission’s mission statement is:
The Central Plains Commission will use our faith, knowledge of our communities and our commitment to develop a plan for bold, effective ministry in our area of the diocese, to meet the spiritual needs of all and to
inspire and motivate their joyful living of the mission of Jesus Christ.
In addition to crafting this mission statement, the commission has begun to collect data about the 14 parishes that make up this area. This data includes the number of parishioners and their involvement in the life of their parish and the diocese. We are also trying to understand future needs.
The commission has had conversations about the faith life of the parishioners in these 14 parishes. They have begun formulating what bold and effective ministry looks like and exploring the spiritual needs of the parishes that are represented on the commission. We have also begun assessing ways the individual parishes already have meaningful ministry and where it is lacking.
The commission members are listed here. You are welcome and encouraged to visit with them to understand their work and to have your questions answered regarding creating and implementing a plan for bold, effective ministry in the central plains for all who live in that part of the diocese. Your input will be most appreciated.
Lynn Hahne, Trail City
Jim Keller, Trail City
Bryan Gill, Timber Lake
Marlene Biegler, Timber Lake
Marcia Lindskov, Isabel
Mary Harris, Isabel
John D. Lemke, Dupree
Twila Schuler, Dupree
Nila Woodward, Dupree
Bud Neigel, Eagle Butte
Dean Schremp, Eagle Butte
Sylvia Mowrer, Promise
Ryan Tate Dennis, Red Owl
Dannie Arneson, Red Owl
Deacon Larry and Valarie Brown, Faith
Bob and Jennifer Orwick, Mud Butte
Fr. Brian Lane, Timber Lake Cluster
Fr. Bryan Sorensen, Eagle Butte Cluster
Fr. Janusz Korban, Faith Cluster