We Belong


It is primary day here in NC and I just returned from casting my vote! Some years I am passionate about the person I am voting for and some years I seem to be choosing the lesser of multiple evils. Either way, it is important for me to vote because it connects me with my community, both local and national. I vote because I am a member of the great American family and there is no THEY deciding who runs things and how they are run, it is US who collectively make those decisions. Even when things don’t turn out how I would have wanted, I was still a part of the process and I will have to put some faith in the collective wisdom of my societal family to which I BELONG.

In the Church, a sense of belonging is fostered when people feel they have a say in the direction of their community. When talking to parishes about long-range planning, I always explain to them how important it is to provide every opportunity for people to share their thoughts, hopes, and dreams. Also, when we provide avenues for people to give of their gifts and talents for the benefit of the community we foster in them a sense of ownership in their parish. They should see the parish as somewhere they BELONG, not a place they go to on a Sunday.

During this election season, it is a good time to reflect on the ways we encourage people to be a part of US and the barriers we put up that lead people to only see the parish as THEY. Our parishes are not places to visit. They are places we should call home. For home is where we BELONG.

This entry was posted in Catholic, Christianity, Discipleship, Engagement, Faith, family, Hospitality, Pastoral Planning, Spirituality, Stewardship, the main thing, Welliver and tagged , , , , by Tracy Earl Welliver. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tracy Earl Welliver

Tracy Earl Welliver is the Director of Parish Community and Engagement for LPi and an active member of Saint Pius X Catholic Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he previously served as Pastoral Associate for 22 years. Saint Pius X received the Archbishop Murphy Award in 2009 from the ICSC. Tracy is a writer, speaker, and teacher in the areas of stewardship, engagement, catechesis, and strengths theory, and has worked with Catholic communities throughout the US, Australia, and New Zealand. You can read Tracy’s Everyday Stewardship column in LPi’s CONNECT!, a bimonthly lectionary-based liturgy preparation publication. His writing can also be read on his Nutshell Blog, The Main Thing Blog, and in contributions to Catholic TechTalk. He also serves on the faculty for the ICSC Stewardship Institutes. Tracy has theology degrees from DeSales University and Duke Divinity School. He has been married 23 years and he and his wife, Mariann, have 3 children.

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