"Contemplata tradere" is a bit of Latin that I will translate for you at the end of this blog.
I would like to review our wins from 2011 and look forward to our goals of 2012.
I started 2011 with an evaluation which examined the possible reasons why our church had been pinned at a certain size for a number of years. The "why" found was somewhat surprising, and the handling took almost a year to put into place, and is now nearly done.
I thought that some of you would be very interested in what was found - if you aren't one of those people, go ahead and skip to the next section.
For years, the St. Louis church had maintained about 40 - 50 staff. It would gradually gain to about 50, then shrink to 40, then back to 50, etc. However, we know that to impact our society and clear the planet, many more staff than this will be needed.
The "why" discovered was that the executives and staff of the church considered that they were part of a full-full time organization - something which does not actually exist anywhere in policy. The St. Louis church has for years considered itself a "full-full time org." Those of you who have been on staff in the past will recognize this term - "full-full time." What this meant was that the church has been open from 8:30 in the morning to 10:00 at night, and open on the weekends as well. The staff of the church either worked this schedule, fitting in days off and study as could be arranged, or if they were unable to attend this schedule, they worked out entirely different schedules. This lead to a madhouse of disorganization.
Ron says that a team "has a tendency to know what the other team members are doing and thinking, and coordinates thereby and therewith..." however, this coordination was impossible, as the members of the staff team were frequently covering for each other for needed time off and study. No one was on the same schedule. In fact, in the course of the investigation portion of this evaluation, I discovered that during the course of a week, I had up to 25 direct juniors at one time - an untenable position.
Once the problem was clearly seen, the solution became obvious - make the church function according to the policy which had been written about schedules - i.e., create a day and foundation organization.
After this discovery, we closely read existing policy regarding church schedules. Originally, Churches of Scientology were open normal business hours - Monday through Friday 9 - 6. Then, Ron had the bright idea of enabling the Church to service local people who worked during the day by starting a separate organization, called "the Foundation," which was open nights and weekends and staffed with a different group of people. "Full-full time" isn't actually a word and isn't located anywhere in the policies about how a church functions.
The St. Louis Church of Scientology was founded after this pattern had already been established, but instead of forming two groups of staffs as Ron said to do, the executives of the church at that time just made up a schedule that dictated that the staffs work all the time. While I admire their dedication, this is an unworkable solution to the degree that it does not conform with existing policy.
You can imagine the confusion that needed to be confronted and work that had to be done to enable the proper creation of two shifts of staff. This is now nearly completed, and Matt Hanses, Kevin Forney, Amy Hanses and Barry Coziahr are providing excellent leadership to the night and weekend crew.
No amount of organization, however, is valid without a commensurate increase in production. Did this organization better our reach into society and help us achieve the aims of Scientology?
Public outreach - Dianetics
More people completed the Dianetics Auditor course this year than in any previous year in the history of our church. In fact, when I added up the completions, I discovered that we actually completed more Dianetics auditors this year than in the previous 10 years combined.
Dianetics auditing hours were also highest-ever this year. We now have groups auditing in St. Louis who are auditing in 1 month more hours than used to be done all year in the entire St. Louis field.
Public outreach - the internet
This year, we released our new website, http://scientologymissouri.org/ If you haven't checked it out yet, do so. It is a great resource for people who want to know what Scientology is and what our church in St. Louis does.
People are directed to the site via google ads and facebook ads. They can now do personality tests via the site and schedule their own appointments to do the evaluations - all on-line. Whenever someone sets an appointment, Myndi is immediately alerted via her phone. Pretty high tech! More importantly, dozens of people have now started Scientology services for the first time and have bought books as a result of this dissemination.
Matt Hanses sorted this out from a point of complete non-existence. Within a few months, he has helped move the church's dissemination efforts into the new century, one reason among several that he was the obvious choice to be my foundation counterpart.
Helping our community - resolving the dangerous environment
Thanks in a large part to the donation of Way to Happiness educator kits by Kathy Jordan, Missouri leading the way in interest generated for getting The Way to Happiness programs being done in schools across the state. In addition to this, and in cooperation with the "Stop the Killing" initiative, 50,000 copies of The Way to Happiness are now being distributed in St. Louis city with tremendous positive feedback. This is the largest distribution of The Way to Happiness that has ever occurred in the Midwest, and once completed, will get The Way to Happiness into the hands of nearly 20% of the population of our city. We are taking St. Louis off the list of the United States' most dangerous cities.
A group of volunteers now arrives every few days to work on updating the files of the Church. Madison Baird decided to take this project on and the group has made major headway in just a few months. Eric Fischer joined staff a few weeks ago and has now taken on the hat of "Central Files Officer," ensuring that this huge undertaking receives the constant create it needs to get done.
We passed two major milestones this year on our fundraising. We paid for our designs and planning. This is a major subproduct required for the completion of the building, and every one of our donors and volunteers deserve a big "bravo" for getting this done.
The rehabilitation of the entryway and auditorium of 2345 Lafayette were also completed this year - just in time for the Lafayette Square holiday tour. 1424 people toured through our new auditorium in 8 hours, many of whom said they would return for the grand opening. We also passed our 600 holiday-themed Way to Happiness.
1. Finish the fundraising for the renovations of our building.
2. Finish updating the files of the church.
3. Distribute The Way to Happiness to 20% of the population of St. Louis
4. Triple the number of auditors and supervisors on post - starting with the return of Adam Heft as our new Class VI case supervisor.
I reserve the right to add more goals as I think of them!
...means to pass on to others the things contemplated. Saint Thomas Aquinas discussed this concept when he said, "Just as it is greater to illuminate something than merely to shed light, so it is greater to pass on to others what we have contemplated, than just to contemplate."
It isn't enough to have our own personal gains and then "think happy thoughts" for others. Rather, we must work to illuminate something outside of ourselves. This is why our staff and volunteers continue to work to finish our new building and bring this technology to others as well as themselves.
Welcome to 2012, my friends. I hope that this year is your best year ever.
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