September 23, 2018

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

SING A NEW CHURCH: Week III
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Singing Circles of Color
The Singing Circles of Color symbol above represents our Theme. Notice (color version at www.stphilip.org and Church Banner) the dynamic relationships that each individual circle and a variety of combinations of circles share. Through relationships there is a plethora of creation – new colors and diverse sounds. We SING A NEW CHURCH in the Key of Faith as Love in Action.

75th Jubilee Parish Theme: Sing A New Church
We sing the good news of God’s love. Our song begins as a single note of love whispered to us by God at the very moment of our creation. In every breath through the years we draw notes and melodies together in our relationship with our self, others and God. Our song crescendos in the joyous eternal choir which is the hymn of heaven, a song of never ending praise and thanksgiving.

God’s song of love is gently played in every heart and heard as we share our unique song as Love in Action. Every time a gift or talent is given for another, our church community sings a new song and a new church into being. Faith is our key which gives voice to our collective mission which is to do Christ’s Work, Opus Christi.

During the next weeks we will explore the living relationships represented in the symbols above:

Father Son Spirit, God Self Others, Creation Redemption Sanctification, Body Mind Spirit, Gift Gratitude Action, Awakening Interpreting Responding.

Reflection Story
While waiting online in the grocery store, a young man begins to sing along with the music playing on the PA system. Suddenly the customer behind him, a seemingly sweet elderly woman, taps him on the shoulder and asks, “What did you do with the money?” “What money?” he asks. She says with a wicked smile, “The money your parents gave you for singing lessons.”

When a person sings, hums or speaks within our earshot we hear and are affected by the sound. According to Wayne Muller this phenomenon is called sympathetic vibration.

“There is a principle of physics, called sympathetic vibration, that can be used by musicians to shape and amplify sound. When two strings are tuned to an identical pitch, striking one will instantly cause the other to vibrate in sympathy. If we place two identically tuned harps at opposite ends of a large room and pluck the note C-sharp on one string of one harp, every string tuned to C-sharp – on both harps – will suddenly come alive in a collaborative celebration of that note.”

Sympathetic vibration is one way to understand our interrelationships with one another. The three circles represented in our symbol are in sympathetic vibration when seen as musical sounds that interact. Our relationship with God, with ourselves and with others are like sympathetic vibration – intimately connected, mutually stimulating and united at the deepest levels.

An example of sympathetic vibration occurs in today’s Gospel when Jesus overhears the disciples arguing about who is the greatest and the first among them. Jesus is troubled by what he hears and speaks to his disciples about their need to echo, speak, sing, resonate, be in sympathy with God’s song which is always a song of love and service. Any other note is a false note not played in the key of faith but in self-serving behavior which is not God’s song. In the second reading, St. James reminds us that we are to sing in the key of faith and in the key of love not with notes of jealousy or ambition but with the soothing sounds of generosity, gentleness, peace and wisdom.

Reflection
Our reflection this week invites us to pay attention to the song we sing to one another and to be attentive to the song that God sings to us in prayer. We sing to each other in every interaction. In every encounter we sing some type of song, at times beautiful or pleasant, at times discordant, harsh or even painful to hear.
• Quiet yourself, listen closely, hear the song of gentleness, peace and wisdom that God sings in your heart.
• Ask yourself: what song do I sing to others through my words and my deeds? My family? My coworkers? My friends?

This week we reflect on sympathetic vibration. We are invited to pray for one another and to pay attention to the sound we make. God has not given us money for singing lessons but rather, gifts and talents that we are given to share as we join our voices, works in prayer singing a new church as God’s song of love.

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Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Our Parish continues to Sing the Good News of God’s love as we celebrate our 75th Jubilee Year, 1943 – 2018.

Our Sing a New Church Theme symbol shows Singing Circles of Color. Our Church community sings a new church as we, like St. Philip the Apostle, do the work of Christ. By sharing our time, talent and treasure we become Love in Action, gratefully revealing new colors of God’s gifts among us. In the Key of Faith, we join the notes of our song of thanks so that all might hear, know and experience the beauty of God’s song of unconditional love.

Please consider how you can help our parish to continue our mission of Christ’s work. Our goal through this Jubilee Giving Commitment initiative is to increase our regular offertory contributions, in light of the extraordinary expenses incurred due to the fire our school experienced in January 2018.

• Although the school restoration was funded by insurance, we incurred costs that were not reimbursed and took the opportunity to update/refurbish several areas of the school at our own expense totaling $343,598.00.

• The insurance company decided to demolish our Kaleidoscope Wing due to irreparable damage. We are currently in the last phase of pre-construction for our new building which will now be called the Jubilee Wing. Insurance and cost are close as of this writing.

• An anonymous donor offered to be the financial foundation for the creation of new stained glass for the East and West Windows of our church as a Jubilee Year Beautification Gift. The parish will contribute to the windows through this giving initiative.

Increasing our weekly gift enables our spiritual, service and social ministries to be the very colors and sounds of God’s Kingdom. When we collectively increase our weekly ‘gift,’ we will be able to accomplish our rebuilding and beautification projects.

As you prayerfully consider your gift increase, remember that God cannot be outdone in generosity. Please know that you and your loved ones remain in our prayer.

Yours in Faith,
Rev. Joseph J. Garbarino and Pastoral Team

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