Although we don't have access to the parish membership records, we can do a simple analysis of the donations that are received weekly to make some reasonable assumptions. We simply added the contributions of envelope and cash donations figures that are published in the weekly bulletin. During the past seven weeks of Lent, contributions in 2009 vs. contributions in 2008 for the same period was up 184.67%. By observation we see somewhat the same in the attendance.
Speculating as to the reasons for this growth, we postulate that:
1) Just being in our own church and being our own self-contained parish has been very attractive to many of the new attendees and new registrants, and2) Canon Avis has truly been the spark-plug that our membership had needed. Since he arrived in September of last year he has shown just the right level of friendliness and personality in addition to his formidable gifts as a priest. Also he has shown great expertise in managing the community so everyone feels fully part of it.
It looks very bright for the future. As an example, here is reprint of a comment previously posted on this blog by a new member. We think that the sentiments expressed are pretty universal.
"Since I made my move to OSP, I can not tell you how often I thank God for leading me to this community. Events such as the bake sale, and the St. Joseph table are truly moments when we know God has blessed us all. Love abounds in our little community. Deo Gratias."