This Week in Prayer, Service & Community (Jan 13, 2016)

Dear All -

Christ's Peace to you this week. Today's note is a bit longer than usual - a testament to all the wonderful things going on in our parish community. 

This week in prayer:

  • From this Sunday’s readings for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord (Isaiah 42, Titus and Luke) -- The call to be merciful is easily misconstrued as a call to be a wimp who blesses wrongs. Not true. As Christians, we are always called to pursue “the victory of justice.” A just situation is one that aligns with God’s hopes. Hence, we try to make our worlds the way God wants them to be. In pursuing justice, we practice mercy (kindness to the troubled and to the trouble makers). In what circumstance do you need to recall that is exactly what you are doing, even though you might be exasperated? In what circumstance are you trying to right a wrong and be kind in the process?
  • Once again, what relationships or circumstances most incline you to pray our parish prayer for help to be merciful.
God, help me to bless the troublemakers, the pains in the neck and the real heartbreakers. And help me to help the truly troubled, that their woes may be halved though mine might be doubled.
— Mercy Prayer, St. Joseph Parish Community

  • Thanks to Bob Vornlocker for organizing the distribution of the 200 “GoBibles.” May we use them well to expand our exposure to God’s Word.
  • Prayer Camp will take place on Monday evenings in Lent. Looks like it will be Mass at 7pm followed by an hour of input about prayer – others and yours. Details to follow.

This week in service:

  • The countdown is on for our Souper Bowl Food Drive. Details to follow but the process is simple – bring canned foods to church on Super Bowl Sunday…and wear your favorite team’s colors (as long as they are green and gold).** 
  • Giant “Help Wanted” ads for Liturgical Ministers will make their debut this week in the gathering space. Every Mass needs additional liturgical ministers. No experience necessary. Notice the needs. Make up your mind. Fill in the form. Put it in the box. Complete the training. Serve your community. Be happy. Glorify God.
  • Are financial worries keeping you or people in your life from experiencing God’s peace in a more profound way? If financial pressures are distressing you or someone in your life, consider Financial Peace University (FPU). We are greatly blessed to have Rich Realbuto offer the tried-and-true FPU for his “Point-of-Light” service project. Stay tuned for details.
  • Lent starts four weeks from today. (True.) Pretty much every person in church wants to have her or his Point-of-Light project on her or his drawing board by Ash Wednesday.

This week in community 

  • Thanks to members of the Lazarus ministry. They worked extra overtime throughout December, and always with amazing grace. This is their first week off in ages.
  • The list of fellowship events is almost ready to post. Keep an eye out for it in the gathering space. Mark your calendars for Comedy Night on April 15.  Pay the IRS then laugh.
  • Mark your calendar for the Knights of Columbus pasta night on January 29 – the first pasta cooked on their magnificent new kitchen equipment. Go Knights. And what’s this we hear about a high-stakes “Heads Up” competition? Eaters and players of all ages strongly encouraged to smell the toast and taste the meatballs.
  • Dance Dance Dance! If you like to dance or want to learn REAL dancing, fill out the form in the gathering space.

Hoping that this week’s dose of winter feels ok to you.

All best blessings.

Fr. Hank SJ

**Editor's note: Feel free to wear YOUR favorite team's colors, especially if you like the winning colors blue and red.