Mark was involved with Parish Council for two years prior to becoming Parish Council Moderator. Mark originally joined Parish Council because he felt it would be interesting to see how the Parish works and to make a contribution to the administration of the parish, and he was right! Mark says that being on Parish Council does not take as much time as people may think-two meetings per month and a minimal amount of time outside of the meetings --and he would encourage parish members to give it a try. Also, every parishioner is welcomed and encouraged to attend a Parish Council meeting(s) to see what is covered in those meetings.
As a member of the Parish Council, Mark was aligned with the Spiritual Life and Worship Committee (i.e., the committee that deals with what goes on at Church--ushers, lectors, etc.). You will see Mark serving as a Lector at Mass and he still enjoys being involved in discussions and activities with the Spiritual Life and Worship Committee.
Mark was recently elected as Parish Council Moderator for a one-year term. As Parish Council Moderator, Mark oversees the monthly Parish Council meetings and ensures that the meeting agendas are followed, that the council keeps on track and adheres to timelines. He helps to direct the conversation and assists in deciding what should be discussed in future meetings. Parish Council meetings include reports from each of the seven St. Matthias Parish Committees, and a report from the Youth representative as well. Discussions during the meeting can involve a wide range of issues, such as: financial reports, planning, special events.
As Parish Council Moderator, Mark has been working toward using the Parish Council meeting time for long-range planning. One goal that Mark has for the parish is to see growth in the St. Matthias Parish family and to ensure it is a welcoming environment for all. Over the last year or so, according to Mark, a challenge for the Parish has been the absence of a permanent Priest assigned to St. Matthias. Some parishioners or potential parishioners may not feel comfortable with this arrangement, and the Parish Council is striving to find ways to alleviate these concerns. On a positive note, Mark mentions that he has seen an upturn in the number of new parishioners (especially young couples)! As a gesture of welcome, and to ensure new parishioners feel engaged, Mark reaches out to each new parishioner individually to welcome them to St. Matthias.
We are lucky to have a leader like Mark Kopplin to guide our Parish Activities and to help ensure that we are all on the same path, moving toward the same goals. Thank you, Mark, for your service to St. Matthias Parish!
Chuck Kopplin is serving his fifth (one-year each ) term as Pastoral Council Vice Moderator, which is a part of his total 5 1/2 years (so far) membership on the Pastoral Council (Chuck was previously affiliated with the Faith Formation committee while on Pastoral Council).
You may wonder, "What is the role of the Vice Moderator?" Well, the Vice Moderator is expected to participate in all Pastoral Council meetings and activities, and to fill in for the Moderator if the Moderator is unable to participate for any reason.
Chuck has been a Parish member since 1979, when he and his wife, Janice, joined St. Matthias. Janice and Chuck lived nearer to another Parish, but chose St. Matthias so they could send their three children to St. Matthias school. After their children went through St. Matthias, Chuck and Janice stayed with the Parish, as it had become like home to them. Chuck believes they belong here, and they do think of it as their Parish home. Chuck and Janice now have four grandchildren and two more on the way!
Chuck explained that the purpose of the Pastoral Council is to serve as an advisory group to the Parish Administration, to lead in setting overall strategy and direction for the Parish, and to collaborate with the Parish committees to work with them toward Parish goals. Chuck emphasizes that the work of the Pastoral Council is to set strategic goals, and then encourage the Parish committees to make progress toward those goals, while keeping things simple and doable. One example is that the Parish has a goal to continue to make the Parish environment more welcoming. The Lifelong Faith Formation Committee came up with the idea of "Nametag Sunday" which was held recently and helps to meet that goal.
Chuck stated that there are challenges at St. Matthias, such as working on increasing growth within the Parish, but he also feels it's an exciting time, especially with Jeff Van Dalen as Parish Director, as Jeff brings a high-level of enthusiasm and energy to the Parish. Also, Chuck mentioned that St. Matthias has a wonderful opportunity on Sundays to experience the four fill-in priests that we have at St. Matthias.
Chuck will be retiring from Pastoral Council in June of 2017, as he will have served the maximum allowable terms (two three-year terms). Chuck feels that the current members of Pastoral Council are a great mix as there is a cross-section of members from different age groups, but he would encourage others to get involved, too--especially younger Parish members. He emphasizes that St. Matthias really is our Parish and serving on Pastoral Council or on a Parish Committee helps the Parish be what we, as Parish members, want it to be.
Don and his wife Jennifer have a daughter Rebecca, a 2007 graduate of St. Matthias School, now attending the University of Tampa. Don has been a life member of St. Matthias, participating in many ministries. He is serving the first year of his third two-year term as a trustee.
Kathy Iggens has been a parish member for over 35 years, serving in many volunteer positions and as an employee in the school office, retiring in June 2006, after twenty-five years of service. Kathy and her late husband George have four children, all of whom graduated from St. Matthias Parish School, and are active in the parish. Kathy is serving the first year of her third two-year term as parish trustee/treasure.