October 02, 2016

A STEWARD’S KEYS: Week IV

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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?

  1. God is giving to us and gifting us whether we feel OK or not.
  2. 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.
Good News: It Is Simpler Than We Think

A woman calls an airline to ask if she can take her dog aboard the plane. The customer-service attendant explains, “Sure, all you will need to do is to get a large container for your dog called a crate or a kennel. The crate needs to be large enough for your dog to standup, sit down, turn around, and roll over.” “Oh my,” says the woman, “I’ll never be able to teach him all of that by tomorrow!”
With a laugh and with understanding the service person gives her the Good News that it is really quite simple. All that the dog owner really needs is a crate; tricks are not required but can certainly be taught later.

When it comes to our spiritual lives it is simpler than we think. Prayer is the simple and first activity that God asks of us as Stewards.
Prayer opens us to gratitude when we experience God helping us to be OK in prayer as God did for the prophet Habakkuk in our first reading.
Prayer awakens us to the gifts all around us. Prayer releases the power, love and self-control that the Spirit gives according to Paul in his letter to Timothy.
With a simple prayer the size of the mustard seed, we are empowered to give faithful service in doing our mission of Christ’s work.
When we are Not OK, Pray. It is that simple—other tricks can be learned later.

During the next weeks we will explore our relationship with God and ways to pray by using A Steward’s Keys to the Kingdom to unlock the treasure of God in all things.

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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.
The USCCB in their Pastoral Letter on Stewardship: A Disciples Response, write:
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.

How to Use the Prayer Key Question
OK God, what’s the Good News?

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

OK God, what’s the Good News?
2016 Bishops Annual Appeal: Be Rich in Good Works
Our Catholic Charities agencies, the largest recipient of funds from the Bishop’s Annual Appeal, serve tens of thousands of people each year, from seniors and disabled adults to those with addictions and in need of counseling. In fact, a record number of people have been seeking the services of Catholic Charities over the years. Please be as generous as you are able to the 2016 Bishop’s Annual Appeal so we can continue to serve those in desperate situations. For your convenience, you can make an online gift or pledge at www.2016appeal.org.

RCIA
Open Your Heart to God
Discover the Keys to the Kingdom

  • Are you interested in exploring your spiritual life?
  • Do you want to discover the abundance of God’s love & peace?
  • Would you like to have greater motivation for service?
  • Do you want to know more about the Catholic Faith?
  • Did you ever think about becoming a Catholic?
  • Are you a baptized Catholic and have never made your First Communion and/or Confirmation?
  • Are you Baptized in another faith and have a desire to become Catholic?
  • Have you never been baptized in any faith but wonder?
JOURNEY WITH US!

Through the process of the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults or RCIA, we explore all these questions and discover the keys to the kingdom. RCIA is a restoration of the ancient practice of initiation into the Church. Through a process of discernment, spiritual development and ritualizing stages of conversion, you are guided to sacramental initiation. These Sacraments of Initiation: Baptism, Confirmation and Eucharist which are celebrated at the Easter Vigil open your hearts and empower you to lives of services, charity and justice as witnesses to our mission of OPUS CHRISTI, Christ’s work. RCIA is not a program but a sacramental process. RCIA reflects a sacramental attitude that is at the heart of all Christian living: CONVERSION, turning your heart to God.

We invite you to be our companion on the journey. We gather on Monday evenings from 7:00 – 8:30 PM in the Russo Room. For more information about RCIA please call Donna Scancarella at (973) 779-6200. Our first session will be Monday, October 17th.

BIBLE STUDY

Fr. Kevin’s Bible Study Sessions: Mondays at 11.00 AM in the Molloy Center. Our theme this year is the Good News. This semester, we will study the Good News of the Gospel of St John. It contains a more developed theological reflection than the other three (synoptic) gospels. It was written later and clarifies issues affecting the early church.

Picnic Thank You

Thank you to all the adult, Confirmation candidate, and youth ministry volunteers who helped with the Parish Picnic in making it a wonderful success. Spiritually, the young people’s participation at the 12:00 Noon Mass and the beautiful music was inspiring. The social dimension of the picnic was encouraging. The joy of service demonstrated the Keys of the Kingdom at work. The Unique Creatures show was fantastic.

MINISTRIES AND ORGANIZATIONS

Widow/Widowers

  • The Monday Night Group: October 17th at 6:30 PM
  • The New & Recently Bereaved Group: Wednesday, October 12th and 26th at 7:00 PM

Prime Timers

  • St. Philip the Apostle Prime Timers next meeting: Friday, October 7th at 1:00 PM in the Molloy Center
  • October program – “Flowers and Fitness” – demonstration on flower arranging by Frank Jannuzzi, flower shop owner & personal fitness trainer for seniors. Exercises which can be done at home will also be shown.
  • Christmas Party: Valley Regency on December 1st at Noon Money will be collected at October & November meetings. Cost: Members – $45; Non-members $48 Contact Paul Doviak – 973-777-9227 for more information.
  • Meetings open to any parishioner of St. Philip’s and their friends age 50 and over.

Columbiettes
Mary Ellen Valentin International Food Festival

  • Sunday, October 16, 1:00 to 4:00 PM – Molloy Center
  • $15.00 Adults, $7.50 Children under 12
  • For tickets contact Sabrina at: 973-779-3636 or sabcel1@verizon.net.
    No need to cook, just come on over!

Columbiettes are having a Homemade Ravioli Fundraiser!
A Gourmet Dinner in 10 minutes!

  • Ravioli 16 to 20 per pack 14oz. $7.00 to $12.00 per pack
  • Orders and payment are due Thursday, October 27
  • Please pay with cash or checks payable to cash
  • Delivery will be Thursday, November 17 @ 7 PM
  • Please contact Maureen for a list of ravioli choices and to place order at: 201-407-3148 or Beautynj4u@yahoo.com

Knights of Columbus
“Pasta with Sinatra”

  • Saturday, October 22nd at 6:30 PM the auditorium.
  • Full pasta dinner: antipasto, salad, meatballs, sausage, pork, pasta & sauce, beer, wine, soda, coffee with cannoli and cream puffs for dessert
  • Entertainment provided by Phil Russo a very well know Frank Sinatra impersonator
  • Tickets: $25 per person; tables of ten are available for reservation. Seating is limited. For tickets and reservations contact Bob Martin (973) 296-0292.

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