This Week in Prayer, Service & Community - June 15, 2017

Dear All: 

 

What a remarkable grace it is to write to you as your pastor. I am profoundly grateful to God and thankful to Bishop Checchio for the privilege of sharing this adventure with you. May God continue to bless our time together in remarkable ways. Yours is a parish greatly inspired. I am delighted to make my home with you.

 

This Week in Prayer

 

Make amends, Encourage one another, Agree with one another, Live in peace.” Saint Paul’s advice in Sunday’s second reading is solid gold counsel for community-formation. The first letters of each phrase give us the easy-to-recall mnemonic M.E.A.L.

 

“Make amends” comes through in some translations as “Mend your ways.” Either way – “mend” or “amend” – he was telling the divided people of Corinth, “Notice the ways in which you have hurt others and apologize and don’t do it again.”

 

“Encourage one another” is about cheering each other on to use well the spiritual gifts that Paul discusses at length in this letter. Don’t resent others’ talents. Don’t try to put others’ lights under bushel baskets. Do just the opposite. Remind them of how much the world needs them and urge them on.

 

“Agree with one another” isn’t about being a milquetoast or a mush and caving in when others hold differing views about how to proceed. It’s about doing the work of recalling common ground (those things on which we all agree, like “Christ is Lord”) and doing the work of reaching consensus. It’s about turning potentially destructive tension into highly productive and dynamic tension.

 

Finally, “Live in peace” is more of a summation than an additional bit of advice. If you do the M the E and the A, then the L will take care of itself. Paul’s advice to the Corinthians is simple: Do these things and the peace of Christ will dwell in your community and in your heart.

Jesus reminds us, in Sunday’s passage from John 3, that his mission is to bring us all into a first-hand experience of the Trinity, the perfect community. He wants us to be blissful for eternity. He wants to bring us into heaven’s direct encounter with the Trinity, whose feast we celebrated last weekend. Until we step into that community, we do the best we can right here and right now by following Paul’s advice for community.

Sunday’s first reading, the story of Moses trying to reboot the community after the golden calf debacle, anticipates Paul’s advice. It reminds the people of the Exodus that their greatest desire is to have The Lord stay in their company. That requires them to make amends with the Lord, to recognize the Lord’s astonishing acts of encouragement along the way, to agree with God always says, and to live in peace with God.

 

What about you? In which of your most important communities (immediate family, extended family, work place, team, play mates, neighbors, ministries at church, social organizations, parish, political groups) is the M.E.A.L. good and where does it need work? In which settings are you getting it right with each other and, together, getting it right with God? And where do you need to work on your M.E.A.L., knowing that God wants to help you build and experience inspired communities until the time you experience the Trinity?

This week in service:

  • All Liturgical Ministries – (Sacristans, Lectors, EMs, Servers, Leaders of Song, Ushers) – this weekend starts the new sign-in experience. The smartly designed sign-in sheets on the medallion stand will enable us to know that all jobs are covered or that we need to recruit. Thanks for your help.

  • Special thanks to George Meyers for his non-stop work on the parish grounds. Same to Ann and Josh Riding and Jo-Ann Delasko. Without you, our church grounds would not look so spiffy. 

  • Thanks to all for supporting the Youth Group trip to Nashville this summer. If you haven’t already taken a tag from the giving tree, and you are able to help them purchase $15 or $50 worth of tools and supplies, please take a tag and return the money so we can purchase the paint brushes, rollers, scrapers etc. If you are on a tight budget, zero worries. Say an extra prayer for them. We have much to celebrate in this summer’s work week. 

This week in community:

  • Thanks to all – the staff and handful of volunteers -who have organized Saturday’sfestivities. If the weather is lousy, so what? Bring a pop up tent if you have one and if you don’t celebrate under the big tent or in the parish hall. Please keep in mind, this celebration is ultimately about our parish and God’s gracious support of it for the last 152 years. Good for all of us! 
    **Editor’s Note: this event is to celebrate the grace that God has given all of us - but in this particular instance, it is to celebrate Fr. Hank’s 25 years of serving as a disciple of Jesus and leading others to fuller communion with Him.

  • It’s never too soon to think of being a CCD teacher next year. Contact Jim Jungels JJungels@stjosephsparish.com) if you think that MAYBE the Holy Spirit is prompting you in this direction.

  • If you are interested in working with our youth in any of our ministries - CCD, Blue Storm Basketball or Youth Ministry, you need to be Virtus trained. Great news - we are offering the Virtus training right here at St. Joe’s on Thursday, June 29th at 6:30pm. Sign-up today - there are only 6 spots left!

  • Did you run the St. Joe’s 5K? Are you interested in your time? View the race results here!

I send this with best blessings for all of you

 

Fr Hank