A NOTE FROM THE PASTOR
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Over the past two weekends I have shared with you opportunities of service, which included our liturgical ministries (Eucharistic Ministers, Ushers, Lectors, our Adult and Children’s Choirs and Altar Servers) and Family Ministry, the Ministry of Consolation, and our Faith Formation Program. It is my hope that as I make these opportunities known to you that you might see an area where you can be of service, reflecting your ongoing commitment to your baptism, which we all renewed at Easter. I’d like to share with you several other opportunities of service in my letter today.
There are two opportunities of service that are geared for those who have the desire to be of firsthand assistance to parishioners and our neighbors in special need. These two services put one in direct contact with people. You become a positive sign of our desire and commitment to be of help during a time of struggle.
PARISH OUTREACH PROGRAM/PARISH SOCIAL MINISTRY: Through the generosity of our parishioners, our food pantry is well-stocked. Stocking the shelves and being available to those who come to us for assistance with groceries is a very rewarding position. Many times, during their visits conversations that our Parish Outreach Team have with these neighbors can uncover additional assistance that is needed and can direct them to an appropriate area of social services.
ST. VINCENT DE PAUL SOCIETY: This ministry is comprised of men and women who strive to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to individuals in need. They are part of an international society of friends united by a spirit of poverty, humility, and sharing, which is nourished by prayer and reflection at the beginning of each of their meetings.
When a member of our community requires assistance members of the St. James Parish St. Vincent de Paul Society Conference conduct what is referred to as a home visit in pairs of two. Conference members visit people and help to find the most appropriate response to the person’s or family’s needs. This involves being a supportive listener and may also include providing food or food vouchers, clothing, furniture, budget support, assistance with utility bills or back to school costs, information, and advocacy.
SEWING MINISTRY: For those who like to work at home and behind the scenes, being part of the sewing ministry might be for you. This group prepares the baptismal garments given to the babies/young children who are being baptized. Opportunities in this ministry include purchasing the fabric, cutting using a pattern, sewing, and embroidering.
SOME CLOSING QUESTIONS: What area of service do you think you might be able to provide for our parish community and neighbors from the lists that I wrote about over the past three weekends? Do you see the direct connection between service and your on-going commitment to live out your baptismal promises in concrete ways? Please think about this and consider what I have shared with you.