November 13, 2016

A STEWARD’S KEYS: Week X

okgodkey

Not Feeling OK? Pray!

Prayer is the key that sets us free to be OK. Prayer is the key that unlocks the treasure of the Good News.
What Good News?
God is giving to us and gifting us whether we feel OK or not. God is always working in us, in others and in all ways. We call this God’s Providence. Prayer is the key to discovering the hidden treasure of God in all things.

Buried Treasure

Pirates catch our attention because of their eccentric looks and swashbuckling ways. Pirates hold our attention because of their stories which are about treasure, especially buried treasure. When pirates encounter bad news, things that are beyond their control to deal with at the moment, they make a choice. Pirates choose to place their treasure in a safe place. Buried treasure can be retrieved and handled later when either the situation has changed or when they have better resources.

During our Good News Theme we have been praying to recognize God’s hidden gifts in every situation. However, some situations are so far beyond our control that they cannot be processed at the moment. When we are overwhelmed by people, situations and problems beyond our control, when we feel powerless there is still Good News. The Good News is that we have the freedom and the power to choose to put our problem in the safe place of God’s care. We can decide to pray saying, “I cannot deal with this challenge now. I give this (person, situation, problem etc.) to you. I bury this difficulty in your loving arms and trust. ‘I believe, help my unbelief.’ You are always working in my life even when I don’t know what to do. Like burying a treasure, I leave this in your care until we can deal with it later together.”

Our challenge is to pray when our anxiety or frustration makes us want to prematurely dig up the treasure that we have placed in God’s care. Our task is to decide to continue trusting in God’s Providence.

Like buried treasure we know where our problem is and that God, the steward of all things, is keeping watch over it for us. What we bury in God can be retrieved and handled later when either the situation has changed or when we have better resources. God is always working to give us new information and grace filled inspiration to feel differently and to act wisely. When we feel some peace it is the right time to discern what the next best, just and loving choice may be. Until then we keep leaving it in God’s care by actively thinking, “This one is yours, Lord.”

When we feel powerless God’s power gives us the grace to persevere and can bring us Good News and peace.

Activity

What is the bad news that is beyond your control? In what situations do you feel powerless? What needs to be buried in God’s loving arms?

Suggestions for prayerful action:
• Symbolically bury your problem like treasure in God’s loving arms.
• Choose a method: write it down, draw a picture as a spiritual symbol of the problem that needs to be placed in God’s care.
• Place the piece of paper with your problem in your Bible, make a treasure chest with a box filled with what is entrusted to the Lord.
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• A large Treasure Chest will be in Church close to the Baptismal Font this Sunday and for 9 days. Visit the church as a little pilgrimage and place your problem in some written form in the chest symbolically entrusting your cares to the safety of God’s Providence.

OK God, what’s the Good News?
• Look. Be attentive. Be honest. Be aware.
• Identify in what way you are not OK.
• Pray: OK God, what’s the Good News?
• Reflect; look for God’s Providence. Name what’s good, gift (person, place or thing), blessing or hope in the situation.
• Thank God for those gifts.
• Decide how you will express gratitude to God through service for others. Take ACTION.

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Christian Stewards Share the Keys to the Kingdom
The hand gesture for OK, pictured forms an O, a circle of mutual giving as the pointer finger meets the thumb.
The burst of light symbolizes the moment in prayer when we give our thanks to God. God gives all to us (Providence) and we are invited to respond in gratitude by reaching out in love and service to others.
The three fingers extending outward toward others represent the key gifts that we share:
Time, Talent and Treasure

God Gives; We Give

A Steward is one way that Jesus uses to describe our relationship with God (Mt25:14-30, Lk12:42-48).
An oikonomos or Steward is the one in whom the master places trust by sharing responsibility for the care of all people, resources and work.
The circle of mutually giving love is the key and at the heart of what it means to be a Christian Steward.
A Christian Steward receives God’s gifts gratefully, cultivates them responsibly, shares them lovingly in justice with others, and returns them with increase to the Lord.
Prayer OPPORTUNITY: Meditation Hour

Prayer Opportunity
“Be still and know that I Am God!” Psalm 46: 10
Join us for prayer, guided meditation and reflection the first Thursday of each month beginning December 1st at 7:00 PM in the Russo Room.

Bible Study

Bible Study Sessions: Mondays at 11:00 AM- 12N in the Molloy Center. Thirty people attend and you are welcome to join them.

RCIA

Right of Christian Initiation of Adults
Monday, November 14th at 7 PM in the Church. For more information about RCIA please call Donna Scancarella at (973) 779-6200.

Feeding the Hungry at Thanksgiving
Our parish has a long history of giving service through ministry especially in the area of feeding those in need at Thanksgiving. We will not be collecting food but rather taking free-will donations that will be converted into food gift certificate cards.

How the New Thanksgiving Food Donation Works
A free will donation envelope will be available in the vestibule in the back of the church. The Thanksgiving Food Donation envelope can be picked up THIS weekend, November 12/13 and then returned in the collection basket the following weekend, November 19/20. You may write your parish giving envelope number on the Thanksgiving Food Donation Envelope in order to have your gift added to your yearly contribution statement.

Your contribution will be converted into food certificate gift cards. An added benefit is that for every $100 donated, five dollars is given to us in return by the food store for our charitable works and therefore a gift of $100 becomes an actual gift of $105.

All Eucharist Ministers, Lectors and Ushers
Please join us on Wednesday, November 16th at 7:00 PM. Note will meet in the School Auditorium, for prayers, a celebration of our shared ministry, a catechesis session and refresher training.
Dessert and coffee will be served followed by the scheduled events. We will end in Church.

Trip to Ireland?
Fr. Kevin is considering a trip to Ireland in early August. If interested call Barbara this week.

ST. PHILIP PREPARATORY SCHOOL

Our Second Graders are preparing for their First Reconciliation which they will celebrate on December 10.
Intermediate Grade Science classes have been working on experiments using hands-on stations where they learned about matter. Students from Grades Four through Eight have been learning about the election process in Social Studies classes.
Parent -Teacher Report Card Conferences will be held the week of November 14.

St. Philip Prep Family Fun Night Fundraiser
Enjoy a night off from cooking while supporting our school at the same time! Join us for dinner at Chili’s of Little Falls, 1165 RT. 46, on Thursday, November 17 from 4:00-9:00 PM. Anyone who presents the Give Back Flyer OR mentions this “Give Back” event to their server that day will have 10% of their check donated back to St. Philip Prep. Flyers are available in the Molloy Center.

Boy Scout Troop 21 Annual Spaghetti Dinner
Boy Scout Troop 21 will host their annual “All You Can Eat” Spaghetti Dinner on Sunday, November 13th from 12 Noon – 5 PM in the School Auditorium.
Tickets are: Adults $10, Seniors $8, Children 4-11 $5, under 4 years – free with an adult. Tickets are available at the door.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

Religious Education Classes schedule
Grades 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6: November 13, December 4, 18
Grade 2: November 13, 20, December 4, 11, 18
Grades 7, 8: November 20, December 11
Confirmation Grade 9, 10: November 20, December 11

Catechist Needed
We are in need of a Catechist for Junior High (grade 8). Classes take place on Sunday mornings following the 8:00 AM Mass.
Please consider the call to service as a catechist. We hope you will call and talk to us about the possibilities. Please call 973-779-1439 or email dsirvidio@stphilip.org.

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