Pastoral Messages 4/24/22

Coffee and Bagels Social Hour

This weekend we are reinstituting our Sunday morning social hour after the 9:00 Mass.  It has been a while since we have had this luxury to gather and socialize, so it might take a few weeks to get back in the rhythm.  Please join us.  Also notice in the gathering space and in the social hall there will be a sign-up list to take turns with this hospitality ministry.  Each person or team will be asked to pick up some food items at the grocery store, set up the food table and then clear away the dirty dishes.  An easy to follow list of standard food items and other procedures will be provided.  It’s very simple and FUN.

Art Walk and ‘Silent Auction’

While you are enjoying your coffee and treats please take the time to stroll through the ‘art walk’ and perhaps purchase one of our cherished and nostalgic pieces that have accumulated at the parish over the decades.  PLEASE no offers under 25 cents.

The Children’s Justice Center informed us of the need for new blankets, so anyone wishing to make such a donation can drop them off in a designated box in the gathering space after Mass.  We will get them to the CJC.  The parish will also make an as-yet-to-be-determined cash donation for other incidentals they may need.

Synod on Synodality

We had a total of NINE people participate in three sessions on Synodality.  As might have been expected participants were mostly the same people who have participated in most of the administrative and ministerial duties over the recent years.  There was an expressed need for more religious formation particularly to prepare catechists and an RCIA Team.  Our excellent outreach to our many visitors was noted and there was an acknowledged need to provide more opportunities for social gatherings, but as noted the volunteer pool is quite thin.  Fr. Rick submitted the summary of our meetings to the Diocese as was required by April 30.  It seems that this process served somewhat as a mirror for the parish to see just how much interest there is in developing and maintaining a strong and vibrant community.  Our average age in the parish is in the low seventies, so it’s important that we maintain reasonable expectations.  A BIG THANK YOU TO ALL WHO PARTICIPATED!

Financial Condition: The Finance Committee has just reviewed the third fiscal quarter statements ending March 31, 2022.  We continue to maintain a solid financial condition with COLLECTIONS up about 15% and regular monthly expenses down about 22% compared to the same period last year.   Our savings are up considerably from last year.  Please see our statements posted on the bulletin board in the social hall for more specific information.  If you have any questions please ask Noel Poe, Jim Pashia, Meredith Langely or Fr. Rick.  You can leave a message on the office phone and a member of the Finance Committee will get back with you pronto.  AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR GENEROSITY!!

Several improvements are in the planning stages:

Fencing replacements around part of the rectory back yard:  +/- $9,000; Painting of parish office and ceiling of library: $850.  We are also seeking bids to repair gutters on the church and also resurfacing our parking and driveway around the church.  Resurfacing may require a small capital campaign.  Also, please be attentive to the noise level in the social hall as we resume larger gatherings.  We might need to consider some type of noise reduction measures, however this could be a rather extended and complex process given the differences in peoples’ hearing issues and the variety of remedies sought. 

Diocesan Development Drive – As noted on the front of the bulletin, we are over halfway to our goal of $9500.  If we look around our well cared for facilities and the availability of daily sacramental services, we can see that there is very little that happens at St. Christopher’s that is not heavily supported and subsidized by the Diocese along with its grant-writing expertise.  Thanks to a big local, regional and national effort, our community would be an unheard of luxury to many MANY parishes and missions throughout the Church.  Please chip in generously so we can meet our goal with minimal stress and hassle.  See DDD pamphlets in gathering space.