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COVID-19 Updates

from fathers desk

Dear Friends,

Last week I shared some updates with you, mostly focused on our campus and the buildings. Given our newest building dates to 1970 (51 years old) repairs and maintenance are always required. Some of those needs have been deferred but we are striving to catch up and formulate a strategic plan for our campus and parish.

But what is a parish without the people? The term “parish” comes from two greek words meaning dwelling beside or sojourning. You may have heard that the universal Church is convoked in worldwide synod on the very topic of synodality. “Synod” means together on the way, or walking together. Even the greek word for church “ekklesia” means to be called out from, and hence an assembly. All of these terms have at their root, members. People being called out of an old life to live a new life and walk together on the way to God and his kingdom. Members gathered together for the common purpose of living a Gospel life.

Over the course of the pandemic, our people have made the real difference. And although in-person worship has been lighter, our common work of offering praise to God has required more assistance, energy and commitment. Thanks to everyone who has rallied to serve in too many ways to count. I would like to highlight our welcoming hospitality team that greets everyone at the door, is ready to help, and sees everyone on the way out with a bulletin and a smile. Special thanks to Deacon Ron for doing the lion’s share of coordinating and scheduling. We did begin a new automated volunteer scheduler, Ministry Scheduler Pro. This tool is designed to take the headache out of scheduling. As a parish, we are still in the process of adopting and learning this new system.

As our understanding of the virus has improved we ceased daily spray sanitation but have begun a bimonthly volunteer church cleaning crew, to keep our home away from home bright, shiny and clean. Currently we clean at 9:45am on the first and third Tuesday of each month, and the second and fourth Thursday. Please come and join in the fun!

Away from our Sunday experience, members have been dedicating themselves to our mission to spread the Word of God. First, our catechists have been dedicated to accompanying families in appreciating the treasures of our faith. Second, small group facilitators for our Confirmation preparation program has been implemented. We adopted a new model this year, which requires much more input and assistance to walk with seventh and eighth graders on their journey. Third, our small group leaders who have been walking with other members and growing in faith and love. This is an area of parish life new to us, and one that I hope will really grow in the months to come. Praying together and speaking about how God is active in our lives can be daunting, but it does not have to be. We welcome everyone to come and join a small group.

We have also recently begun an Event Planning group so that we can begin again to form new traditions as a parish family and create memories together, like our parish feast day, while also rekindling old favorites like Trunk or Treat and the Christmas Bazaar.

There are many ways that our parish seeks to “be church” together, to share in the mission of Christ, to build fellowship and to walk together. As your pastor, I am so grateful to the many who have become more active during this pandemic. While it may be easier to sit on the sidelines, many have stepped forward to share in our common life, to take a more active role in our parish life. Let’s walk together as church, journeying to a brighter future where “God may be all in all,” (1 Cor 15:28).

Yours in the Lord,
Fr. Wilson