November 20, 2016

A STEWARD’S KEYS: Week XI

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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.

Changing Seats

Ilana Wiles tells the story of her last plane flight. Because a baby had been crying very near to her for over one hour, Ilana asked the flight attendant if she could switch seats. The flight attendant responded with a smile but firmly, “No, you may not change seats especially because the baby is yours!” Well, I guess you can’t blame someone for trying. The Good News is that the flight attendant lifted the baby into her arms and gave the mother a little break.

We can identify with the mother in the story. Our responsibility and difficulties, at times, seem great. We want to change seats! Yet as responsible stewards we know that this is impossible because in our hearts we do want to fulfill our mission to do our work which is Christ’s Work.

Christ our King is responsible for us, faithful and eternally provident on our behalf. Prayer is our opportunity for us to place our problems in God’s loving arms. Prayer allows God to give us a little break. We turn to God for help during those times when we feel overwhelmed or deeply in need of changing seats.

When we feel powerless God’s power gives us the grace to persevere and can bring us Good News and peace. We can return to our difficulties later when our resources are replenished or the situation has changed. Allowing God to hold our problems for a while is sometimes just what we need to stay in our seats. God desires to be trusted and is always at work for our greatest good.

Activity

What person or situation is the screaming baby in your life? What is the bad news that is beyond your control? In what situations do you feel powerless? What needs to be placed 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 until Tuesday. 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 above 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. Our theme is “The Good News”. At this time we are studying St. John’s Gospel Chapter 6 – the essence and meaning of the Eucharist. Thirty people attend and you are welcome to join them.

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. The Thanksgiving Food Donation envelopes should be returned in the collection basket this 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.

RCIA

Right of Christian Initiation of Adults
Monday, November 28Th at 7 PM in the Russo Room. All are welcome to join us for our Advent reflection “Our Soul in Stillness Waits”. For more information about RCIA please call Donna Scancarella at (973) 779-6200.

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

ST. PHILIP PREPARATORY SCHOOL

In keeping with Election Day fever, the students at St. Philip Prep wrote speeches and presented them in class in the hopes of becoming their classroom’s Student Council Representative. Elections for President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer were held the week of November 14. Good luck to all who were elected!
The 8th grade class took the Co Op test for high school admission on Friday, Nov. 11th. We wish them well on all their endeavors!
To honor our brave service men and women, the students wore red, white and blue on Veterans Day.

Boy Scout Wreath Sale
St. Philip Boy Scout Troop 21 is having their Annual Wreath Sale after all masses on Saturday November 26th & Sunday November 27th and Saturday, December 3rd & Sunday, December 4th. They will be selling fresh wreaths as well as grave blankets and grave pillows. Please support the Boy Scouts of Troop 21!

Annual Craft Fair
Stop by the St. Philip the Apostle Prep Home & School Association Annual Craft Fair and Bake Sale in the Auditorium on Saturday, December 3rd from 9 AM – 4 PM. Over 40 Vendors! There is something for everyone. Nothing says you are special like a hand crafted gift.

RELIGIOUS EDUCATION

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

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