Update on Trinity Mission Project
A small steering group (Father Nicholas, Father Peter, Anthony Crisci, Carlos de la Torre, and Anne Watkins) has been busy since St. Paul’s Annual Meeting in February 2016 when the receipt of a grant was announced that launched some exploration into what was dubbed the Trinity Mission Project in honor of the grant’s origins at Trinity Church, South Norwalk. A full explanation of the grant’s purpose, as outlined in February can be found here.
The logical beginning for such an endeavor lay in research and, especially, in listening. Initial focus of that listening stressed the 1st prong of the project that looks at the SONO neighborhoods and population growth among millennials. To that end, several groups of conversations have been happening, including:
- 2 focus groups of several interested St. Paul’s members
- individual dialogue with members unable to make either focus group session
- engagement with local developers in the South Norwalk and Norwalk area
- conversation with key state and local political figures
- dialogue with South Norwalk stakeholders in the not-for-profit sector
- ongoing team discussions on what we’ve heard
As might be expected, deep listening usually leads to more questions! Still, some themes are emerging, including:
- a desire to take advantage of existing events around Norwalk to increase St. Paul’s visibility which is resulting in our presence at some local summer fairs & festivals, including PRIDE in the Park on June 5 and the Norwalk InterCultural Exchange (NICE) Festival on July 9.
- confirmation that opinions about the trends and needs in Norwalk and South Norwalk are about as varied and diverse and complex as one can imagine!
- a renewed understanding that population growth among millennials in Norwalk is occuring both in South Norwalk and other Norwalk neighborhoods.
- because of this reality, our focus may need to expand beyond, rather than be limited to, the South Norwalk area, per se
- clear messages that whatever direction we feel called to explore should not reinvent any wheels already existing
- deeper understanding and acceptance that we are meant to pay attention to what we do well as it intersects with where there is need and not meant to “try to do it all”.
Stay tuned as we continue to listen, expand our presence in the wider community, and expand the steering group as listening gives way to more concrete action. Feel free to direct questions, concerns or thoughts to anyone on the Steering Group.