What's new at Nativity


October 29, 2013

From time to time I like to give my faithful blog readers information on what’s new and what’s next. So, in no particular order, here goes:

Travel/Speaking Stuff

Tom and I were most recently in Dallas (second trip there this fall) presenting at a huge conference for religious educators and parish ministers. Earlier in the week we spoke at a conference conveniently held in downtown Baltimore for parish and diocesan IT people. The conferences are a great honor to be a part of, and we are grateful for the invitations. But now we’re taking a break from travel through Christmas.

Book Stuff                                                                                     

Our second book, “Tools for Rebuilding” is set for release on November 25. However, it will be available at Nativity the weekend of November 9 & 10 with some book signing going on between Masses. As with Rebuilt, all proceeds from sales at Nativity go to the building fund. Meanwhile Rebuilt continues its best selling status, but more importantly, continues to make a wide and increasingly rich impact in helping parishes across the country and even elsewhere in the world.

Matter Conference                                                                     

Our third annual conference is November 8 and it is our biggest one ever, about six times as big as last year’s. And it would certainly be even bigger if we didn’t limit tickets. Final details are currently being attended to and it is shaping up to be something very special. The music will be amazing, the video components awesome, the “fun” surprising, the breakouts solidly excellent and hopefully the key note speakers do OK too. Even the food is going to be interesting.  If you didn’t sign up in time, you can still join us, we’ll be live streaming and we recently made the decision to do it all day long. You can find the schedule on the web site, matterconference.tv

Campus Planning Stuff

We had a very helpful and productive meeting this week with our architect, Jay Brown. We are continuing to develop our master campus plan as we begin to drill down into the details. Hopefully, by the time we go to the whole parish in March, we will be able to share a detailed plan to better handle the crowds we get on the weekends now, and gain the capacity to welcome more. Ongoing appreciation to the wonderful team leading this effort.

On Line Campus Stuff

Meanwhile we continue to deal with the (admittedly) good problem of overcrowding at most weekend programs and services, especially at optimal times. That means we will not really be growing anymore until we get to our new facilities, which will be years away. However we are growing, online. Each weekend we live-stream our 10:30am and 5:30pm services and currently we are averaging 500 devices each weekend (that’s the number of PCs and phones that log in, but think about it, that is not the number of people because more than one person often watches together).  One unintended, but wonderful consequence of this project is that an increasing number of home bound, disabled, elderly, and sick people can join us.

Parish Stuff

Lastly, but most importantly, our wonderful parish continues to thrive and grow through a most beautiful fall season.

We have already finished up our first message series of the year, “Breathing Room” and are well into our second and major fall series, “Response Ability.” The series wraps up with our annual celebration of renewal and commitment to our parish November 23 & 24. It will be a great weekend, filled with fun and inspiration.

Beyond that, we are already actively preparing for the upcoming holidays. We have an all new Thanksgiving program (you can take a look now on our website) with a focus on local missions and outreach, and a really interesting, wonderful new Advent program, which will accompany our December message series, “Christmas is Coming: A Series on Hope.”  And, of course, plans are well in hand for Christmas Eve at the Fairgrounds, once again a wonderful celebration bringing together the whole parish, with all the beloved traditions and trimmings.

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  1. I’m excited about Matter 13 Conference.

    I have a question though about the new facility plans. Will there be any opportunities for the congregation to provide suggestions – we don’t need to approve/disapprove of anything but I would like to ask if the facility could be more handicapped accessible. Technically the church is right now – but in practicality, it isn’t. I’d love to bring my mother who is in a wheelchair to mass.It’s not an easy task since the area where we can drop her off with the wheelchair is not that close to the ramp and there really aren’t any good places for a wheelchair to sit in the sanctuary. I also have a friend who would love to bring her daughter who has cerebral palsy to mass or other activities at the church. But there really isn’t a restroom that can accommodate her. She needs an adult sized changing table. Many families have to split up when going to church or other community events because the child with disabilities is unable to leave the house for more than a few hours at a time because of inadequate restroom facilities. I hope those types of things are being considered in the new plans. Thanks for giving me the means to post my suggestion.

  2. I know you deliver all of the homilies, but what about when you’re on vacation? Do you celebrate all 5 liturgies each weekend?

    1. While the pastor isn’t in attendance, the presiding priest delivers his own homily and the current message in the message series is delivered by a team member at the end of Mass.

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