ST JOSEPH WORKSHOP

St Joseph Workshop is a ministry of St Mary Magdalene Catholic Community, Corona, Ca. The ministry purpose is to maintain the church facilities with a preventative maintenance plan, a scheduled maintenance plan, and an emergency maintenance plan. We come together once a month for 5 hours in fellowship to pray and work using the talents our Heavenly Father has blessed us with. Everyone is welcome, and all talents are put to good use. If interested contact the parish office or sjworkshop@smmcorona.org

Determine the need:

While repairs and maintenance issues will arise, is there a need for a maintenance ministry at your parish? If you have a full time general maintenance person on staff, the major projects may be contracted out. As a matter of fact, the Diocese may prefer contracted labor versus volunteer. Consult your Diocese Office of Construction for their hand book and guidelines.

Coordinator(s):

One of the most important choices for success is the Ministry Coordinator. This may be one person, two or a committee. I would suggest one person, unless two very compatible people can mesh as one. A committee as a coordinator will still need a chairperson, revealing that one person is most likely the correct choice.

The coordinator must have construction/maintenance experience, have management qualities, know how to work with a volunteer group, and encourage them to participate. The coordinator must be a leader. The ministers must respect the coordinator and freely want to give of their time and talent. The coordinator should be capable of speaking in public, at mass, in front of a gathering, and inspire parishioners to join the ministry. The coordinator should be a spiritual leader also, attend mass and receive sacraments, lead the ministry in prayer, have insight to the bible, be involved in a small faith group.

The coordinator must be passionate, dedicated and committed to this kind of ministry, put his ministers first, and keep the focus on the ministry not themself.

The coordinator needs to have the project list prepared, and materials ready for when ministers arrive ready for a workday, whether this is on a designated workday or a self scheduled weekday. This may be accomplished through the Team Leaders, but must be ready so ministers are not left without something to do. Always have more to do than can be accomplished. Always have small extra jobs unskilled ministers may be able to accomplish and feel good about. Not just busy work. If the ministers don’t have work/projects, they will get disenchanted and loose motivation.

Structure

This type of ministry must have a functioning structure for it work correctly. Not unlike any “business”, the correct ministers completing the work correctly is imperative. The following positions should be established.

Coordinator

(2 year term) May rotate back after a two year term off.

Assistant Coordinator

(2 year term, moves up to Coordinator) May rotate back.

Treasurer

(2 year term) May rotate back after a two year term off.

Material Purchaser

(Term not necessary)

Team Leaders

(Term not necessary)

Audio/Visual/Computer

(Term not necessary)

Clerical

(Term not necessary)

Carpentry

(Term not necessary)

Electrical

(Term not necessary)

Gardening/Landscaping/Sprinklers

(Term not necessary)

HVAC

(Term not necessary)

Painting

(Term not necessary)

Photo

(Term not necessary)

Plumbing

(Term not necessary)

Ready For Mass (grounds, driveway, windows, parking lot)

(Term not necessary)

Avoid having a coordinator that creates a kingdom, that if they should leave, the kingdom falls apart. Instead build a structure that is perpetual, dynamic, and full of energy. The assistant coordinator should have all the qualities of a coordinator as they will move up in the structure. The coordinator and assistant must want to raise the bar, always striving to make the ministry better for the ministers, and the parish.

Treasurer:

The treasurer watches the expenses, and obtains budget approval from the parish. The treasurer collects receipts, turns in expense reports monthly to obtain reimbursement for the material purchaser or team leaders. Expense reports should be turned in a minimum of once a month, but not more than once a week and should tie into the frequency of parish check writing. The treasurer must create a schedule or rhythm for expense reimbursement to keep the ministers and parish office happy with the process. The coordinator must have a specific expense amount that they may spend without pastor or parish approval for repairs. That should be in the range of $200-$500. Anything above that amount there must be a project approval process for the expense.

Material Purchaser:

The material purchaser may be the coordinator, assistant, or a separate person, but they must have material experience, resources, and a desire to find the best product at the best price. Anyone can buy poor products cheap, and anyone can overpay for products. The best combination is the best materials for the best price. This person must be able to negotiate, find alternate resources, understand how to research product and the web for info and pricing. If this person is a military veteran, they would receive a 10% discount at Lowes or Home Depot.

Team Leader:

Team Leaders should be experienced in the team they are leading, have leadership qualities, know proper building codes, and the proper way to accomplish the work. The coordinator must set the expectation with the team leaders for all work to be accomplished correctly the first time and to code, no short cuts. The Team Leaders will organize their specific team members to accomplish their projects. The Team Leader will identify and purchase the materials needed to do the project, or present the list to the material purchaser with enough lead time to make sure the materials are ready for a workday. If the team leader wants to simply do the work and not establish/buy the materials, the coordinator must take on this responsibility.

Program:

The program starts with obtaining full cooperation from the Pastor and Parish Office Staff. The Pastor should be willing to support the ministry at Mass announcements, be present at the beginning of all ministry workdays, lunches, appreciations dinners, and advocate for the ministry.

Obtain approval to speak at all masses to introduce the ministry. Develop a volunteer form to be used at all solicitation events, on a ministry website, and as a hand out in all new parishioner welcome packets.

Collect all volunteer forms, and establish an excel spreadsheet with all minister info. Further establish an email list for communication purposes. Validate your email addresses as this will be your most successful means of communication. Some won’t have or provide an email address. Establish a cell text procedure to text ministers without email addresses. Include Pastor, all parish priests, and office staff on all emails to ministry.

Establish a once-a-month workday, approx. 7:30am – noon a year in advance approved by the parish office. No other events should be scheduled during a SJW ministry workshop. It’s suggested that you feed the ministers at noon after the workday.

In the weeks leading up to a workshop day, announce the workday from the pulpit at mass, put announcement in the bulletin by writing the announcement, send into parish office and copy in our email to the ministry on the bulletin announcement. It serves two purposes: The announcement was sent in and you communicated to your ministry. Make a sign that you can hang out in front of church masses the weekend before to announce next weekend is a workshop day. Text those without emails.

In the days preceding the maintenance workshop, collect list of projects from parish office, pastor, coordinator inspection of property, and team leader inspection of properties. Inspect the jobs prior for material needs. Break list down into projects for teams, prioritize, give advance notice to team leaders, and obtain materials and tools to accomplish. On day of workshop use a flip chart or other to list projects so the task are clear to all. This serves as a check list, and check off list. Break list down by teams, or size of project. Establish a list of monthly tasks that must be accomplished: Change filters monthly or bi monthly, drain/flush water heaters yearly in a certain month, oil doors monthly, wash grease filters every other month, etc. Coordinator arrives at least one hour prior to start of workday to organize projects, ready materials, pull out tools needed. If you have a service truck, or trailer full of tools/supplies bring it to gathering area. Coordinator stays until all have left, locks up, picks up, cleans up, and puts everything back. Assistant Coordinator does the same.

Have a sign-in attendance book for each workday. If someone worked during the week(s) prior, the Coordinator should write those ministers name in yourself. Your ministers need “credit” for working during the week. The attendance book is how you will know who to appreciate at the end of the year. Encourage your ministers to tell you they worked during the week.

Insure all have signed in by 7:30am. Take the next 15 minutes to socialize with your ministers. Start every meeting and workday on time or 1 minute prior. It shows the Coordinator cares about his ministers. Start your prayer promptly at 7:45am, be prepared with something that is timely in the season, the weekly readings, or a prayer of your ministry patron, such as St Joseph. Before starting the prayer, ask for all to introduce themselves, especially team leaders, ask if there are first timers and welcome them, let them say more about themselves, get to know them, ask if there are any special intentions to pray for. Hold hands, start your prayer. After prayer, go thru the list of tasks or have team leaders go thru their projects for the day. Find out how many will be staying for lunch and advise the appropriate people.

Throughout the workday, the Coordinator needs to stay on top of projects, make sure they are going correctly, and find out if there are needs. Start wrapping up workday a half hour prior to lunch. Make sure all areas a sweep, cleaned, washed off. Send someone around twice to advise lunch is in 30 minutes, then 15 minutes. Coordinator leads prayer, say grace, before eating. Bring attendance book to lunch, insure all have signed in, thank all for coming, and especially those who prepared lunch.

Teams:

Most of the teams are self-explanatory as to what they do. Your parish may have a separate ministry for gardening or landscaping. It may be advantageous to have both separate ministries work on the same day to allow for labor lending if more show up for one ministry or there is more work for one ministry. Further, if you have a separate ministry for meals, both maintenance and gardening ministries could be feed at the same time.

Another team noted above was the READY FOR MASS team. The grounds, front of church, sidewalks, entry, tables, leaves, grass, windows all need to be ready for mass. Parishioners have an expectation to arrive to a clean, well-kept House Of God. This may require a team that is different than the maintenance team ministers. The maintenance ministers should pick up, clean up after themselves, but that is not the same as washing windows, racking leaves, scraping gum, washing tables, rinsing off pillars and concrete, or anything else that affects the immediate appearance of the church for those attending mass. This team would need to minister weekly as opposed to monthly; they would have a critical eye for excellence. Many projects of repair and/or maintenance may be initiated from this team as they perform their good works.

Photo Team Leader would take pictures of the workday projects and ministers. Turn this into a dvd for use at dinners, potlucks, or presentation at mass once a year. Focus on the ministers, their work, and appreciate them. Deliver a message of need, invite, and fun.

Projects:

Keep an ongoing log of your repair and maintenance work with an excel spreadsheet. Show when the repair was requested and when it was completed, categorize by team, a place for notes as to parts used, or vendor source. This will help the coordinator categorize by team lists, and have a reference available for future coordinators, or team leaders.

How big a project can you take on? It depends on the skill of your ministers. If you have a licensed electrician in the ministry, he would be capable of doing most any electrical project large or small. Do you have a painting contractor, he could team lead or accomplish painting the entire church. If you don’t have skilled labor that can accomplish according to building codes contract out the work.

Appreciation:

As the coordinator of a volunteer group, you must realize, you will not be able to demand the ministers do anything. They are not paid employees. Demanding doesn’t work with paid employees but some believe that is how employees are motivated. People only do good work at tasks they want to do. There is however an expectation of excellence and this tone is set by the coordinator, assistant coordinator, and team leaders. The ministers must be lead to excellence. This is accomplished through appreciation for their work at the time they are completing it, through recognition in the bulletin, at appreciation dinners or potlucks, with specific project plaques, ministry shirts, ministry tape measures and coffee mugs, etc. There should be a Steward or Minister of the Year award, and certificates. The appreciation is about them. The best athletes are those that are lead, complimented on achieving their goals, and their own individual hard work. It’s how teams make it to the World Series or Super Bowl. Set goals, require excellence, acknowledge and appreciate reaching those goals, and reward good works.

Do You Walk With The Lord:

This was touched upon earlier, and has less to do with this being a church ministry and more about leadership. Whether you are the leader of your family, a manager at work, or a coordinator, you wont be successful if you do not include our Savior in the journey. Ok, yes, a church ministry may have some expectation of spirituality over private sector jobs/professions, however to be successful you need to lead with the correct attitude, taking care of your fellow man, patience, forgiveness, love, honesty, fairness. These are not secular principles. Jesus taught us these. Walk with Him.

Our History

St Joseph Workshop (SJW) is a volunteer maintenance ministry of St Mary Magdalene (SMM) Catholic Church in Corona CA.  The main purpose of SJW is to safely use the talents of our valued parishioners toward projects individuals and families can accomplish to repair, maintain, and beautify our church home.

Fr Vincent Au (SMM Pastor 2009- 2015) and Maury Tiernan were discussing repairs of the hvac units at the parish.  Other repairs and maintenance topics were also discussed with Maury suggesting the need for a ministry of qualified parishioners to address them.  Fr Vincent suggested calling the ministry St Joseph Workshop and adopt St Joseph as the patron saint.  Both agreed and SJW started in Sept 2009.  With good turnout, a couple of hours on a Saturday morning once a month seemed sufficient.

Louie Coliflores, a talented and valued parishioner of St Mary Magdalene, designed this wonderful logo for St Joseph Workshop Ministry in 2009.

Shortly after inception, it was evident that it may take a full Saturday once a month to accomplish all the project that had been left undone.  If the volunteers would be at church over lunch, it became apparent that lunch should be served and St Martha’s Kitchen was formed by the wonderful ladies whose husbands were repairing, maintaining, and beautifying the parish.

The nice result of these two ministries working together was a SJW workday turned into a family event.  Parents and children came to volunteer on SJW projects, husbands and wives, and many other good hearted valued parishioners provided their time and talent.  Good food and fellowship were served up by St Martha’s Kitchen.

Maury Tiernan coordinated SJW from 2009 to 2012.
John Williams coordinated SJW from 2012 to 2013.
Mike Darger coordinated SJW from 2014 thru 2016

SJW was dormant for a while 2016-2019 with only emergency repairs being made.
Sept 2019, Maury Tiernan came back as SJW coordinator to continue the stewardship of the wonderful SMM parishioners.
Feb 2020, COVID hit and shut everything down.  SJW was on hiatus again along with St Martha’s Kitchen.  Many months later, needed repairs were mounting, landscaping projects growing out of control.  As soon as it was safe for individuals to work on projects, SJW was scheduling safe and distant repairs and clean up.
SJW provides a meaningful way for parishioners to take ownership in our parish by giving of their time and talent to repair, maintain and beautify our church home while building strong fellowship with other parishioners.

Parish Office Hours

Monday - Friday | 9:00AM - 4:00PM

Parish Phone: 951.277.1801

Parish Fax: 951.277.2104

Location

On-Site: 8540 Weirick Rd. Corona, CA. 92883

Mailing: PO BOX 78261 Corona, Ca. 92877