Sing A New Church

Singing Circles of Color

The Singing Circles of Color symbol above represents our Theme. Notice 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.

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SING A NEW CHURCH: Week I

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

Directly after the collection basket is passed around the church, an usher announces from the pulpit that someone had accidentally dropped his or her hearing aid in the basket. There is a period of profound silence, followed by the clever priest who suggests, “Maybe you should say that a little louder!” Our parish theme and the opportunity for personal reflection and prayer may help us to hear God’s song in our hearts, “a little louder.” In today’s readings, Isaiah promises that God will open our ears and our eyes so that as St. James says we might experience within ourselves and as a community, “the riches of faith.” Jesus works a miracle of opening ears to hear in today’s Gospel. May our prayer and reflection this week lead us to be open and “astounded” as we sing the song of God’s love in the key of faith through love in action, a church ever new.

Reflection Questions

1. What good news do I hear in these reflections?
2. Who sang songs of love to me in word and deed throughout my life? Sing your praise to God for those people.
3. How am I love in action? What does the song I sing to the world sound like?
4. Thinking in musical terms, what does, “faith our key” mean to me? Talk to God about the different keys to the kingdom that you use in your life. What keys are you being invited to try?
5. What action can I take to sing a new church through love in action?

To read complete bulletin click here


SING A NEW CHURCH: Week II

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

The attractive young woman is at the hardware store to get a duplicate of her car key. The store clerk asks, “You’re a model?” It is exactly what a woman wants to hear. She responds, “Well, no, I’m not, in fact I’m turning thirty this week but I’m very flattered.” The clerk stops her right there, points to the car keys and repeats slowly and loudly, “Year… and…model?” (Kirsten Jeppson adapted).

Our story illustrates that whatever image we might have in our heads about who we are, we are all created in a certain year and as a specific model. We are human and created as body, mind and spirit.

Jesus asks his disciples in the Gospel today, “Who do people say that I am?” Jesus asks the question so that he might understand how best to minister to others not because he is confused about his own identity. Jesus was fully aware that he was both human and divine and that because of his humanity, suffering was inevitable. Peter does not want to hear the truth that there are crosses in every life.

As Isaiah points out in today’s first reading, the good news is that God is ready and willing to “help” in every situation. Honestly turning to God in faith is the key to receiving help in times of trouble. St. James points out the Catholic perspective that faith and prayer must be accompanied by works which are love in action.

Our Singing Circles of Color can symbolize our humanity in its three components which are body, mind and spirit. These aspects of our lives are deeply integrated and are all to be considered when we are living our faith and acting with love.

Reflection Questions

When suffering visits, we need to pay attention to all three parts of ourselves – body, mind and spirit.
Faith is our key, love is our action.
1. BODY CIRCLE
FAITH – we reflect with God in prayer about our rest, exercise, food, use of mood altering substances, environment, appreciation of beauty, prayerful use of our senses, paying attention to our intuition and God’s gift of wisdom at work in our lives.
ACTION – What loving actions will I take for the good of my body which is God’s gift to me?

2. MIND CIRCLE
FAITH – We believe that God can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. Be honest with God. Do not be afraid to express negative emotion with God, even if it is directed at God. All loving relationships are based on honesty – God can take it!
ACTION – Ask the question in prayer, “OK God, what’s the good news?” What one action can you take to be good news for another person? Do it.

3. SPIRIT CIRCLE
FAITH – In the singing circle that represents our wholeness, the very heart and center where all circles intersect and come together, is represented as a rainbow. The rainbow in the Bible is a symbol of hope, new creation, forgiveness, healing, renewal and a reminder that as St. Paul writes:
‘ultimately all things work together for good with God’s power at work within us which accomplishes much more than we could ever hope for or imagine.’
We need not fear the quiet of prayer because at the center of our very being is God’s own spirit waiting to embrace us with unconditional acceptance.
ACTION – Use Our Parish Jubilee Hymn “Sing a New Church” for your prayerful reflection. Read the hymn through once, read it again or sing it to yourself slowly. What word or phrase: Comforts, Challenges, Teaches and/or Speaks to you? These are the area or areas that God wishes to touch and heal within you. Pay attention, speak to God honestly about your body, mind and spirit. Listen carefully as God whispers God’s song of unconditional love. May God continue to shape each circle of your life ever more colorful, wider, richer, deeper, fuller and may you be ever more free.

To read complete bulletin click here


SING A NEW CHURCH: Week III

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

To read complete bulletin click here


SING A NEW CHURCH: Week IV

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

To read complete bulletin click here


SING A NEW CHURCH: Week V

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

Even a cup of cold water will not be forgotten.”
Mark 9:14
A few weeks ago, we were having priests over for dinner at the rectory. I had just finished whipping some cream. Fr. Joseph was standing next to me in the kitchen, so I handed him a whipped cream laden beater. He took it with delight and then I was surprised to see two blue eyes and a little blonde head peek out from behind him. Fr. Matt was standing there, his face saying, “What about me?” I quickly said, “Oh Matt, do not be sad, I did not forget about you! I peeled an onion before and saved the skin for you.” As Fr. Julio used to say, “we were cracking laughing” as I handed Fr. Matt the other whipped cream beater.

When it comes to sharing our gifts, time, talent or treasure, sometimes our offering seems to us like a dollop of sweet cream or like an onion skin. In truth, whatever we give is appreciated by God. In last week’s Gospel Jesus reassures us that anytime we give of ourselves and whatever we give is eternally remembered by God, “even a cup of water given in my name will not be forgotten.”

Every color, shade, hue, as in our banner, is needed; every note, rest and sympathetic vibration is essential – you matter and are a vital key to God’s kingdom. Remember that God cannot be outdone in generosity. As you increase your weekly offertory gift, pray for our parish mission of Opus Christi – Christ’s Work, and support the Jubilee goals through positive talk, God rejoices in your giving.

Thank you for participating in Christ’s work as we Sing a New Church with our unique colors and notes.

We are love in action with faith our key.
• Please read and prayerfully reflect on the letter inserted in this bulletin.
• REFLECTION QUESTION
• What one action can I take to participate in our Jubilee Giving?

To read complete bulletin click here


SING A NEW CHURCH: Week VI

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.

WEEK VI

Left, Right, Center
Josh Weston, from our neighboring town of Montclair, enjoys telling the following story.

“As my two sons were climbing into the back seat of our car, Eric, five, yelled, “I call the left side!”
That didn’t sit well with Ron, four. “No, I want the left side!”
“I want the left side!”
“No, I want the left side!”
Intervening, I said, “Since Eric is older, he can have the left side.”
“Thanks, Dad!” said Eric.
“Which side is left?” (RD.COM 7/8/18)

Reading this story, we might think “Oh, that’s so like kids!” However, if we are honest we recognize ourselves in those children. We often find ourselves wanting this or that, wanting another person to do thus or so, and wondering what God desires in the middle of it all.

Using the image of our theme, there are three circles converging in life:
1. What I want
2. What someone else wants
3. What God wants

Meeting in the middle by becoming Love in Action is challenging. Focusing our minds and hearts so that we meet in the center is not an easy process because sometimes we don’t even know what we want ourselves. How can we merge the three circles of God, self, others?

Our first reading speaks of wisdom as the Divine gift given through prayer. Wisdom teaches us to discern, judge and decide to be Love in Action. Prayer enables us to discern what we want, opens us to the needs of others and helps us to recognize what God is asking of us – which is always the loving thing.

Our second reading describes God’s word as a two-edged sword that cuts through our confusing and conflicting motives and intentions. God’s word teaches, “Ask and you shall receive.” We always receive wisdom and guidance when we ask.

The young man in the Gospel asks, “What must I do?” Jesus advises him to let go of his possessions meaning his preconceived ideas of what is necessary or important. Letting go of possessions is more than physical goods. Possessions also means our need to win, to be right and to make our point. Jesus acknowledges that this is difficult. It is almost impossible for us to let go but, “nothing is impossible with God.” We are encouraged to reflect in prayer on the “treasure in heaven” which is the eternal value of loving actions.

Singing a New Church in the key of faith, is accomplished by becoming Love in Action. Prayer is the key that offers us the gift of wisdom. Wisdom begins with asking the right questions. The following questions asked in prayer are paths to wisdom.

Reflection Questions to Wisdom and Love in Action

1. God, what are you asking from me in this situation?
2. Will what I am worried, angry, obsessed about at this moment matter in twenty-four hours?
3. Am I focusing on winning and proving that I am right instead of considering the loving action?
4. Am I pursuing treasure in heaven or trying to prove a point for the here and now?
5. What action will I take?

The gift of wisdom empowers us to be Love in Action because God is in the heart of every circle left, right and center!

To read complete bulletin click here


SING A NEW CHURCH: Week VII

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.

WEEK VII

Sharing our singing circles of color involves our time, talent and treasure. Two weeks ago, we were invited to increase our weekly contribution to Saint Philip the Apostle Parish, this week our Bishop invites us to give to the Annual Appeal. The coinciding of these two appeals is not the ideal situation but they are opportunities for us to share what we have been so generously given by God. Please note that our parish financial statement for 2017 – 2018 and our fire restoration and Jubilee Year project reports are included in this bulletin as an insert. This month of October is an opportunity for us to prayerfully consider what we give to our mission which is Christ’s work.

Bishop Serratelli’s Homily for the Bishop’s Annual Appeal Autumn 2018

One night, Peter Ustinov was performing a one man show in New Zealand. Just as he began, suddenly and without warning, all the lights in the theater went out. Fearing that the audience would panic, he announced “the performance will continue, from now on I’m not onstage but I’m on radio. You can hear me but not see me.” He did the show in total darkness exaggerating the sounds to compensate for the fact that no one could see him. No one left that theater. They remained riveted to their seats. Later he used to remark, “I regretted it when the lights went back on. In fact, I got more laughs in the dark than when they could see me. Once the audience was able to let go of their usual way of enjoying theater, even in the dark they saw theater in a whole new light.”

The challenge of today’s Gospel for the rich young man and for us is to let go of our usual way of seeing things, to see our life in a whole new light. The young man is good. He keeps the commandments, but Jesus tells him, “Go sell what you have and give to the poor then come follow me.” Jesus wants to open our eyes to the truth, that being spiritually good means being materially generous. They go together, there’s no separation between how we believe and how we behave with the gifts that God is giving us. Jesus spoke more about money than anything else, except the kingdom of God. How we use our gifts, our money expresses our trust in God’s goodness. Everything we have is given for helping those in need which is at the heart of the church’s mission in our life of faith.

So, today I’m asking each of you to join with me and our priests in giving to our annual appeal according to your means. By our generosity to those materially less fortunate than ourselves we are actually saying “Here I am Lord! I worship you with all that I have, with the prayers of my heart and the work of my hands.”

Please know that every donation to this campaign goes to the good works of the church. No funds are used for any other purpose. I now ask your pastor to guide you through the process of making your donation. May God bless each of you for your generous response.

Reflection Question

1. What action will I take to share the gifts I have been given?

To read complete bulletin click here


SING A NEW CHURCH: Week VIII

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.

WEEK VIII

“Procrastination is the Thief of Time” Edward Young
Richard Moulton of White Deer Pennsylvania enjoys telling the following story:

As a man steps off the curb to cross the street, a car careens around the corner and heads straight for him. So, he turns to go back to the sidewalk. Too late – the car changes lanes again. Panicked, the man freezes in the middle of the road, and just as the car is about to hit him, it comes to a screeching halt. The driver’s window roles down, and a squirrel pokes his head out. “See?” he says. “It’s not as easy as it looks!” (rd.com,4-2018)

Life is not as easy as it looks! We often seem to be running back and forth from one side of the street to the other. There are so many circles spinning, tasks to be accomplished, needs to be met and so little time!

Our challenges are like the dilemmas faced by the blind man, disciples and Jesus in today’s Gospel. Like three circles converging with different agendas we hear a story about a ‘running back and forth’ of needs and wants. The blind man Bartimaeus cries out to Jesus wanting help, the disciples want to silence him, Jesus wants to help. In the middle of all this confusion, Jesus takes control of the situation and blends the needs of all the characters. Jesus instructs the disciples to allow the blind man to speak. He calmly asks Bartimaeus, “what do you want me to do for you?” Jesus restores his sight and gives him a new way of seeing.

Amid our confusion, Jesus wishes to take control. Too much to do, conflicting desires and needs may lead us to the paralysis of procrastination.

Procrastination blocks the travel of light and color in the circles of our lives. Procrastination distorts the clear transmission of sound. Procrastination breaks the circuit and ‘electric flow’ of the Spirit. Procrastination makes our lives darker, colorless, discordant and without energy to do Christ’s work.

What blocks, distorts and breaks our action? Demands on our time, concentration and energy make it difficult for us to focus. We can invite Jesus into the situation. Jesus asks each one of us, “what do you want me to do for you?” Prayer is where we are guided to set priorities. God’s own spirit gifts us with motivation and the grace to complete the task that God is asking for us in every situation. Prayer helps us to align and join the three circles of self, others and God.

Our Scripture affirms that God is interested in our daily lives. St. Paul in the letter to the Hebrews says that God is patient and understands our weakness. The prophet Jeremiah is joyful when he sees God do through him what seemed impossible. We are invited to discover God’s power in our lives when we call out, as did Bartimaeus and ask Jesus for help.

When we face the frustration with ourselves that comes from procrastination, we can call out to God in prayer with the following questions…
1. Lord, in what areas in my life is procrastination a problem?
2. What spiritual mission might I accomplish by my action/inaction?
3. Do I have a legitimate need to rest and to be quiet? If so, how can I rest and restore myself?
4. Is my sense of perfectionism paralyzing me?
5. Lord, in what ways are you freeing me from an all or nothing attitude?
6. Do I have an unexpressed anger or resentment that is making me resist this work? If so, how are you healing me?
7. What is the next right, loving and simple thing that I can do toward my goal?

This week we are invited to be healed from the burden of procrastination. Cry out to the Lord in prayer and see the miracle of God’s power at work.

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SING A NEW CHURCH: Week IX

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.

WEEK IX

What Shape is your Milagro?
“When we come close to the things that break us down, we touch those things that break us open.” Wayne Muller

In the tiny village of Chimayo, New Mexico, there stands a church filled with symbols of healing called Milagros. The local people are tin crafters who shape symbols from tin that represent a prayer request for healing. Pilgrims take the tin symbols to church along with their prayer. For example, a leg shaped Milagro could represent a broken leg or paralysis. There are hundreds of these Milagros placed as devotional pieces around the sanctuary. Milagros may represent emotional or psychological needs such as one Milagro that depicts four people holding hands – a request for healing of family relationships.

This weekend we pray for our healing and some of our congregation will receive the Sacrament of the Sick. We are in need of healing. We all experience incompleteness or broken circles in our lives in body, mind, heart or spirit.

Good News? God invites us to experience healing or salvation. The Latin word Salvus means, ‘to heal.’ God desires our wholeness which is the basis of the word holiness. Sometimes we focus on God’s interest in our spiritual lives only and forget that God is interested in all of our humanity and every aspect of our lives. When we pray for healing we may think of physical healing and miracles. God heals in many ways, sometimes changing our perception about unchanging situations is the greatest healing miracle of all!

In our readings this weekend we learn about our invitation to love God with all our hearts, souls, minds, strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves. This type of love is only possible with God’s healing embrace.

Our Prayer for Healing – a Milagro Shape
1. What are the areas of your life that need healing?
2. What shape or Milagro would you ask to have fashioned to represent your need for healing?
3. Take a moment to pray about your Milagro shape. While we need healing in every aspect of our lives —-choose just one.
4. What do you ask the Lord to heal? Ask God for healing.
5. Once you have made your request thank God. God is always working. How is God working to heal you?
6. Look for changes in the circle of yourself, in your attitude, perception or outlook.
7. In the circle of others, have you received a kindness, assistance or a compassionate act?
8. Perhaps God’s circle of Providence is touching you through a feeling of peace, greater strength, courage or hope?
These are areas where God heals. May you recognize God at work in you and be open to the healing circle of God’s salvation.

A SACRAMENT OF HEALING
THE ANOINTING OF THE SICK
NOVEMBER 3 & 4, 2018

“Is anyone sick among you? Let them send for the priests of the church, and let them pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord; and the Lord will raise them up; and if they have committed any sins, their sins will be forgiven them.” James 5:14-15

On the weekend of November 3 & 4 we will celebrate the Sacrament of The Anointing of the Sick at all Masses. The Sacrament of the Sick is one of the healing sacraments. It is a balm for physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual ills.

The Ritual

• The Sacrament may be administered individually or in a communal setting.

• After an appropriate Scripture reading, the priest prays over the sick person by the laying on of hands on the head of the sick person.

• The forehead is anointed with the Oil of the Sick. The prayer:
“Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit.” R. Amen.

• The palms of the hands are anointed:
“May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up.” R. Amen.

• The following prayer is said after the anointing at all Masses:
“Father in heaven, through this holy anointing grant your people comfort in suffering. When they are afraid give them courage, when afflicted give them patience, when dejected, afford them hope, and when alone, assure them of the support of your holy people. We ask this through Christ our Lord.” R. Amen.

To read complete bulletin click here


SING A NEW CHURCH: Week X

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.

WEEK X

Seventy-two Labors
At many a family table, especially at holiday time, the question is posed, “Who is going to say grace?” The answer is usually profound silence, accompanied by rapid finger-pointing. Rumor has it that this very same behavior has occurred in Rectories (surely not in the Diocese of Paterson). Buddhist monasteries begin each meal with a traditional prayer. Their prayer begins with the phrase:

First, seventy-two labors brought us this food;
we should know how it comes to us.

What might the seventy-two labors be? Labors such as farming are comprised of many ‘laborers’. Just a quick list includes planters, harvesters, crate makers, drivers of carts or trucks, cooks, servers, etc. Wayne Muller beautifully shares these thoughts in his reflection on seventy-two labors, “So many stand silently with us at every meal, and we are indebted to each and every one as we partake of the gift of nourishment. To feel their presence and be thankful for their many gifts to us is to be more acutely aware of our place in this large and generous community of beings. Can we feel this connection?”

Recognizing that all is a gift is the very meaning of the word grace which means gift. We are called to be love in action which means – gift to one another.

In our first reading, the widow and her son are afraid to share the little they have, they hesitate and doubt. Faith is the key that enables them to unlock their love in spite of their fear. Faith is the key that enables us to love when we are afraid that we will run out of our time, talent or treasure. As in the Bible story, God cannot be outdone in generosity. The widow and her son are blessed beyond their imagination and so are we when we give of ourselves in spite of our fears.

In our Gospel, another widow gives the little she has from her heart and with great love. Sometimes, we give freely and without doubt because we love. Those times when we are love in action and feel like love in action are moments of great blessing to treasure. They give us the courage to give when our feelings do not match our actions. Love is the key to giving when we feel it, more often faith is the key to giving when we don’t. But every time we’re called to be love in action, to give of ourselves, it is only possible when we are grateful people.

Taking Prayerful Action

Prayerful practices that may help us to share our gifts are the following:
The next time you’re about to eat something – spend a moment thanking God for the ‘seventy-two laborers’ who stand silently beside you at every meal. Use your imagination and ask God to bless all those whose work provides this food or drink for you.

Jubilee Prayer

As we celebrate our parish seventy-fifth Jubilee year imagine the thousands who stand and pray with us in our church. They shared their seventy-two labors and gifts. Their doing Christ’s Work enables us to worship and to share our spiritual, service and social ministries today. Ask God’s blessing on all those people who have gone before us for three quarters of a century.
So, I ask you, who is going to say grace? Who is going to say thank you for gifts? The answer can be profound silence but please point the finger at yourself and thank God the giver of all gifts.

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