Today ends the Christmas season in the Church calendar. We’ve moved from the babe in the manger to the man at the river. Upon Jesus’ baptism we are told in Luke’s account that “heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” From that point, Jesus began his public ministry. His baptism was a commissioning – and so was ours! Most of us were baptized as an infant and many of us today still don’t realize that we, in our baptism, were commissioned to bring the good news of the Gospel to others. We are, by our baptism, supposed to be missionary disciples! But many of the baptized haven’t experienced a personal relationship with Jesus to be able to truly evangelize others. If you are one of those many, I invite you to ALPHA. Please visit the parish website to learn more and register. Re-awake the spirit you received in baptism!! ALPHA begins on January 22nd and 24th.
As we end the Christmas season, there are some people that truly need to be recognized and appreciated. I hope you enjoyed the display of our nativity scene in the narthex this year. The platform was built by Jim Fisher. The Art & Environment Committee spend months prior to Christmas in creative thinking and planning, then procuring needed materials and executing their ideas. Then many hours are spent coordinating and decorating the church and grounds. So a profound thanks to Marty Kadziela, Linda Eickhoff, and Karen Schwartz for their beautiful work, creative ideas and dedication! All the floral arrangements you see in church were created by Marty, not pre-made by a florist. Thanks as well to the many volunteers who helped set-up the decorations throughout the week prior to Christmas and on December 23rd after 5:30pm Mass. Thanks to Jolene LeRoy for her idea to add the “memory trees”.
Another special thank you goes to Phyllis Anderson our sacristan and all around behind the scenes person who makes everything go smoothly. Much of what Phyllis does is detailed oriented and goes unnoticed by most, but Fr. Mark and I notice, and we are profoundly grateful for all she does! I lovingly refer to her as “mother church”!
Thanks to Frank Sauter our director of Liturgy & Music for all the work in his first year to carry on the tradition of an all parishioner orchestra for our Midnight Mass. The music was truly inspirational! So a special THANK YOU! – to all our parishioners who played instruments in the orchestra, and to parishioner Emily Brink for cantoring. Emily is currently doing Masters studies in vocal performance. Thanks to our choir, musicians, cantors and all liturgical ministers who served at Christmas Masses.
Thank you to all our PADS and Hesed House volunteers who spent part of New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day preparing, cooking, and serving food and spending time with the homeless at Hesed House.
Finally, Fr. Mark and I again thank everyone who sent us cards or gave us personal Christmas gifts. We truly appreciate your thoughtfulness and generosity!
Have a Blessed Week!