Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We are members of the Church because we have come to know Jesus Christ and the transforming power of his love. He has freed us from sin and blessed us with salvation and everlasting life.
As we embark on a strategic planning process that will help guide important decisions that will shape the next five years of our life as a diocese, it is important that we make a good beginning, so that our efforts will bear good fruit. And so, we begin with Jesus Christ, our crucified and risen Lord, who tells us in John's gospel that we must remain in him if we are to bear fruit. How do we do this? By entering into and being active members of His Body, the Church.
I ask for your prayers and active participation as we begin this strategic planning process. Our common efforts will only produce good fruit if Jesus Christ and the well-being of his Church are at the heart of what we do. Our work together to develop a set of strategic plans for coping with our current and future challenges will require sacrifices from us all. Firmly grounded in Christ, we can take heart, however, because the Lord will be with us to show us the way.
As we do our strategic planning I would like us all to keep four important things in mind:
I am committed to a strategic planning process that will have two hallmarks: transparency and planning on the local (deanery) level. On this site you will find a timeline and some frequently asked questions about the process. This effort will ask us to find new ways to work together. My fervent hope is that whatever pruning we have to do will be done because it will help us grow stronger and be more effective in making Jesus Christ known and loved in our beautiful corner of the world. Please join me in praying for God's blessing on this important effort.
Sincerely in Christ, Most Rev. Paul D. Sirba Bishop of Duluth January 2011