The Greying of the CWL

by Christa Grilmair, President-Elect/Organization

It is no secret: we’re all getting older. In Canada, in the first time in history, there are as many seniors as youths. We live on Vancouver Island, the haven for the retired where 35–55% of the people are 65 or older. At our Provincial CWL convention, we honored those members who passed away last year. There were more that left us than joined us.

As each of us struggles to build our Parish Council memberships, it is crucial that we evaluate our Parish Council’s vision and objectives. Each Council is unique and must decide: 1) what is our overall vision; 2) what needs to change to get there; and 3) whose responsibility to make that change?

  1. Vision: Is our vision to meet the needs of our membership, parish and community? If so, how have we determined that need? Are our members attending our meetings? Are we attracting new members from our parish? Does our community know what we are doing to affect change with regards to our resolutions, actions?
  2. What needs to change to accomplish our vision? If we are not attracting members to our meetings, are our meetings filled with business and not opportunities to grow spiritually, learn new things or socialize? If our meetings are held during the day how could a woman working outside the home or busy mother participate in our Council? How can we be more visible in or responsive to the community?
  3. Whose responsibility is it? Is it the responsibility of the executive to make the change or the responsibility of each of the members? Have we encouraged our members to make decisions about our Council’s activities? Are we open to make changes?

As we continue to mature in our Councils, we need to make sure that we continue to meet the needs of our members and ensure that a good succession plan exists. Our CWL has as much to contribute to the next generation as it did to ours. It just may look a little different.

So, think about it, and God Bless You.