When we say that Advent is the time of waiting, what do we mean? What exactly are we waiting for? It’s a good question. As an educator, I’ve been pondering it for years.
Let’s review some of the options. Are we waiting for Jesus to be born? Well no. That happened already. Is it that we are impatient to commemorate the birth of the child Jesus centuries ago? Not that either, although that could be some of the dynamic. Is it that we await the second coming of Christ, as the Scriptures tell us? It’s a bit of that, but not all.
The heart of our waiting is really a bit simpler–but more challenging– than those options. Advent is the time we admit: “We haven’t managed to give birth to the fullness of Christ within ourselves yet, nor have we managed to allow the all-loving, selfless love that Christ modeled to permeate our communities.”
So, we wait. Until our hearts are softened. Until our own transformation is complete. Until our world is packed-full with the kind of healing, compassion, justice, mercy, forgiveness and love that Christ embodies.
I guess we have work to do. Good thing we have each other as support and encouragement!
Director of Evangelization, Family Ministry and Adult Formation
Christians in many parts of the world have faced persecution for centuries. Today it still exists and Christians face hardships that even cost their lives. In our country we have the freedom to worship at church or not and there really is not much risk for most Christians. Yet there can be an awareness that our brothers and sister in Christ need our support and prayers. Parishioner John Baker gives his time to speaking on behalf of Voice of the Martyrs. Please listen to this podcast that can share with you an awareness of the persecution of Christians and how we can support them wherever they may be.
For more information on The Voice of the Martyrs please visit their website at http://www.persecution.com/ or Contact John Baker at jbakervom(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)outlook.com
This is the tenth football team at Sunnyslope High School that I have coached. Over that time, I have come to understand that every team is different and each year we need to figure out where the strengths are. We also need to understand the areas that our kids cannot do. Once these strengths are discovered we become a team that plays to its strengths, and we keep working on the things they do best.
Ministry by God’s people works the same. There are so many ministries that our Catholic Faith calls its people to serve. So how does our parish leadership help discover the true gifts and strengths of those who want to serve? A fantastic tool we use is called Living Your Strengths. This tool can help anyone discover their God-given strengths. So often in any church there are people who are asked to serve, but do not have the right gifts in that area, and it can bring about experiences that can be frustrating. This tool can help everyone understand how one operates and what one does best. When used and explained properly it does wonders for a parish or organization, and most importantly, the self-discovery is priceless.
Living Your Strengths helps to discern how to live Beyond Sunday, as it is an on-line tool you take and then receive the results immediately. The parish offers a workshop to help understand and explore each of your strengths. Sessions are September 13, 20 and 27th. For more information on this great tool and how to make use of it, contact Dan Minton at the Parish Office at 480-998-3843, ext. 137 or email lys(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)stpatcc.org.
When the football coaches at Sunnyslope look closely at the strengths of each new team, we play to their strengths, and the last three regular seasons we have had a record of 29-1. The parish also wants to know the strengths of its people, so that the gifts that each person has can benefit the person and the entire community. Living Your Strengths is a great tool and all that is required is to take the on-line assessment and meet with the people who can help interpret your gifts.
We live out our faith as disciples of Jesus formed in his teachings. Formation allows us to explore our faith within the context of our world and those around us. Below you will find the first video of our “As for Me and My House” videos called “What is Formation?”
Make a Donation to Catholic Charities in Baton Rouge: Click Here
Here is a recent news story from the National Catholic Reporter on the situation:
As Louisiana’s governor announced the federal government had declared a major disaster for the state Saturday, Catholic churches in the Baton Rouge diocese called for volunteers to help those displaced by extreme flooding and asked flood victims what assistance they needed.
Gov. John Bel Edwards told reporters at a news conference that about 20,000 people had been rescued from their homes and more than 10,000 people were in shelters after a slow-moving tropical storm system dumped nearly 2 feet of rain on southern Louisiana. Several rivers crested at record levels.
As of mid-morning Monday, state officials said at least six people have died in the floods.
Baton Rouge Bishop Robert Muench visited three evacuation shelters Monday to comfort evacuees. In a statement the day before, he dispensed Sunday Mass obligations for all Catholics affected by the storm and urged parishioners to limit their driving over the weekend because of “the inherent dangers of unsafe driving conditions.”
“Please know of my prayers for your safety and the safety of your church parishes and parishioners,” he said in a message to pastors.
JustFaith is an excellent opportunity for ongoing formation in unpacking our role in the World as Christians. Through lectures, small-group discussions, and immersion experiences, JustFaith participants grow closer to God as they understand what it means to be in right relation.
Contact Matt Wheeler if you have any questions, or if you would like to sign up: mwcraftsman(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)gmail.com or phone at 602-499-6276.