Beloved Fellow Parishioners,
We are now in the final week of our Time and Talent Stewardship Campaign 2016. We will be making our commitments this weekend. I pray that you have considered the challenges and opportunities that Chuck Rich, our Stewardship Committee chairman, suggested to you at Mass last weekend.
As you are completing your Commitment Cards this weekend, remember Chuck’s suggestion that we fill out our cards “backwards.” By that he meant that parish Clergy and Lay Leadership is asking: What do you, the Congregation, want from the Parish? What are we doing now, or what ought we be doing, to spread the Kingdom of God here in Rockdale and Newton Counties? How can SPX serve you in your personal striving for Salvation? How can the Parish reach out to those whom you love? What can we do, as the Body of Christ at SPX, to extend His ministry of love-in-action to you and to those you care about? Asking and answering those pertinent questions will necessarily compel you to be or become active in such renewed or new ministries. Please, suggest only something that you are personally willing to support with your own time and talent; it is not right to suggest that we “ought to do such-and-such” if you are not also willing to be actively and passionately involved in making “such-and-such ministry” a reality. That might take any number of forms of activity on your part, but active you must be if your suggestions are to become viable ministries of our Parish.
For example, I can foresee particular ministries that would require only occasional but committed effort to assist our aging congregational members. Many of them need varying assistance in maintaining independence in their own homes (yard maintenance, interior cleaning and organizing, preparing taxes and other assistance with financial and/or legal matters, etc.). Necessary and greatly helpful stuff. But stuff that also requires a bit of effort – one-time, extended or otherwise – to help our older Parishioners. Other efforts might include bringing our older or impaired parishioners to church each week – people that live in or near your neighborhood, or helping them shop for groceries or go to various medical appointments. There are dozens of possibilities in such regards. Older parishioners might reciprocate by being surrogate “moms, dads, or grandparents” to kids whose relatives live in other states. We have many kids who crave mentoring, coaching and tutoring. The street runs both ways and potential engagements in the lives of our young parishioners are endless.
Other efforts might include the occasional extension of time to support our various ministries in the Faith Formation department. For example, occasionally offering to baby sit kids so that parents can have a night out for a long-needed “date.” Maybe baby-sitting for the occasional day of reflection for parents or to allow adults to have focused participation in RCIA class or Adult Faith Formation classes. Our Youth Faith Formation Coordinator, Austin Tupps, is in constant need of adults to help him in any number of ways as he and his Core Team catechists strive to pass on the faith to our Tweens and Teens (e.g., chaperones on retreats or drivers to retreat destinations, musicians to enliven retreats who are not otherwise able to become part of parish music groups; highly organized people to help him keep pertinent class or sacraments-received records or other necessary administrative activities). The same things are also true of our Elementary Faith Formation program. So many of the things that you might want to do or be able to do to help us evangelize our kids are waiting for you to respond. I offer the above only as “possibles” for your prayerful consideration as we make our time and talent commitments this weekend. The Holy Spirit will guide you as you make other suggestions to strengthen and enliven our faith community.
Remember this vital truth: What we give to God is always far less than the reward that we receive in response to our giving. Please give prayerful consideration to these ideas and others that are compelling to you as we all strive to respond to our baptismal obligations. God gives us such tremendous gifts – the Eucharist first among them – and He also wants our commitment to return His gifts in considered, thoughtful and grateful response.
As always, we are,
Your brother on the Journey, Duc in Altum, Donec Formetur,
Father Greg Padre Salomon
Pastor Parochial Vicar