September 30, 2018

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

SING A NEW CHURCH: Week IV
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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
Who’s That Clown?
A comedian recently pointed out that one of the worst insults that you can give a fellow is to ask, “Who is that clown?” Not only are you calling someone a clown but you’re also implying that he is one of the lesser-known clowns!

It is no mystery that life is full of all sorts of clowns and sometimes we are the clowns.

In today’s readings we hear about jealous and resentful clowns from Moses’ time who unfairly judge those who received God’s Spirit and use their gifts for the good of all. St. James describes selfish and stingy clowns who did not recognize that all is gift and therefore did not share their time, talent or treasure. Our Gospel reminds us that we are all sinful clowns in word and in deed yet, we are encouraged by learning that whatever good we do God both remembers and rewards.

Our relationships are difficult. We struggle not to judge others, hold resentments, grudges and anger. Yet, often our color is red! More than we might like to admit the sympathetic vibration we share with others is discordant and harsh. How can we discover the grace for blended colors and harmonious sounds? Prayer.

Jesus teaches us to bless those who persecute (annoy, anger and insult) us and to pray for those who act like our enemy.
Mt: 5:44, Lk: 6:29.

Jesus gives us a prescription for clown -itis which is prayer. When we are hurt or angry we pray:

Bless name and transform me to set me free.
This simple prayer opens us to God’s grace. We become better persons through our prayer. The word person comes from the Latin per-sonare meaning “sounding through.” Praying and faith changes our key – God’s love sounds through us, transforms us and frees us. Do we have to feel like praying or even want to bless? Not at all. We are asked to pray – even if it is through gritted teeth or with our fingers crossed. God takes our willingness and sounds through us. God is endlessly creative in changing us from the inside out.

A very satisfying perfect prayer is:
Lord, Bless, that clown and transform me to set me free.

Reflection Questions
• Who am I red about?
• What areas of my life are ringing sour notes?
• Who will I bless?
• What type of transformation or healing do I ask from God?

“All the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”
Helen Keller

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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.

You will be receiving a brochure and commitment card in the mail this week. 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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