I. Church Involvement: Receiving & Giving: What is your definition of Church? A big part of “belonging” to the Church, the “People of God,” is sharing your life, sharing who you are and what you have. Let’s face it, I will be accountable for how I have used everything God gave me. The naked truth is: Everything I have belongs to God. That’s the heart and soul of stewardship. So I have a need to share my time, my talents, and yes, even my money (over 130 families choose to give electronically through WeShare online—try it)! Giving back doesn’t make sense at all unless it is connected to faith, my personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and his Church.
“The biggest mistake people make is that they think stewardship is a finance program. It’s not. It’s much more. It’s a spirituality program.” (Msgr. Thomas McCread).
If you have not been involved, start somewhere. Get involved in one of our ministries. We can certainly use more people to work in the social concerns outreach ministries; we can use more Ministers of Care to visit and take Communion to the sick and shut-ins; RCIA involvement; we need people with technology skills; we need more liturgical ministers (cantors, music ministers, hospitality ministers, lectors, servers, Eucharistic Ministers, sacristans), etc. We need you!
Please return your stewardship form this weekend! Extra packets are available at church doors or the parish office, or you can sign up online from our website.
II. “My Kingdom is Not Here”: The third act of “Our Town” opens with the narrator walking amidst the graves in the town cemetery of Grover’s Corners, New Hampshire. He stops and says to the audience, “An awful lot of sorrow has been quieted up here.” Then he pauses and says: “We all know that something is eternal. And it ain’t houses… and it ain’t earth and it ain’t even the stars…Everyone knows…that something has to do with human beings… They’re waiting for something that they feel is coming! Something important, and great. Aren’t they waiting for the eternal part of them to come out in the clear?” Like Jesus’ Kingdom, we human beings belong to another world. How at home am I in this world? Why? (Read, reflect upon John 18:33b-37).
III. Advent is around the corner, the Season of Hope, Waiting and Joy. Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year for many Christians. It is our way of keeping a spiritual focus in a world that pretty much has made Christmas a “secular” holiday. Create an Advent wreath. Offer to bring forth the Advent candles at the beginning of each Sunday Mass during Advent (call the parish office). Make a Jesse tree. Go to Mass on a weekday. Visit an elderly person. Reach out to the lonely. Celebrate reconciliation. Be aware of those grieving. Take a Giving Tree tag.
IV. Giving Tree Giving: Next weekend you will have the opportunity to feel the joy of giving to those who have little or nothing. Please take a tag or two from the Giving Tree and return the gift, unwrapped, with the tag attached to the outside, BEFORE December 16. You may leave the gifts under the tree or bring them into the parish office. God gave us His only Son for a gift—what can we give? Thanks to Audrey Bowls and helpers for organizing this outreach.
V. “At Home With The Word” with our Sunday Scripture readings and reflections will be given to each household/family to use in preparation for Sunday liturgies. I promise, if you read and reflect upon the Sunday readings before you come to the weekend Mass, you will listen and hear the readings with fresh ears and open heart. Even the homily might mean more! Receive and utilize this gift well!
VI. Gratitude & Farewell for the Currys! After almost a decade as active members of St. Stephen Cathedral and the community at large, Deacon Doctor Dirck & Chona Curry are moving to Virginia, Illinois. We will recognize them on Saturday, December 8 at the 9:00am Mass, followed by a reception. (If you wish to help with the reception, contact Julia Housto or Mary Helen Nash This date is also the 16th anniversary of Deacon Dirck’s diaconate ordination. Please join us and offer your best wishes to Deacon Dirck and Chona. They will be greatly missed!