Saturday, January 16, 2010

Time to take stock - January 16, 2010

This time of year people take stock and are full of resolutions - go on a diet, be a better neighbor, volunteer more, be a better wife or husband, and so on. It is also a time of year when we look back and review such mundane things as finances. We all realize this past year has been one of financial hardship for many of our parishioners: loss of a job, foreclosure on a home, etc. But though it all many of you have still found it possible to support St. Luke's parish in so many different ways. This year the members of the Finance Committee have made a resolution to use the automatic withdrawal system as a way of fulfilling their financial obligation to St. Luke's. More and more people are managing their money electronically for convenience - why not add St. Luke's to your list! You just decide on your monthly given and haven it take out once a month. Many people use this type of system for their monthly bill payments. Also, you don't need to worry about bringing that budget envelope every week or worry about your obligation while you're away. APS will take care of it for you. There are yellow forms on the pews and on the table at each entrance for you to take. Please return the completed form, along with a check marked "void", to the rectory with APS written on the envelope. You will be sent a statement at the end of the year. If you don't feel comfortable using APS, you can use your online banking system. Please consider taking advantage of the automated giving. It's so easy!

We are so fortunate here at St. Luke's to have been able to maintain not only the physical plant but also our outstanding school with its dedicated staff, as well as the many projects of St. Vincent DePaul, the Religious Education program and all the other St. Luke Ministries which touch the lives of so many people. It is through this generosity and dedication of our parishioners that make all these things possible.

Fr. Bob Hawkins

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Reflection on the Feast of the Epiphany -- Jan 9, 2010

I am writing this reflection on the Feast of the Epiphany. This morning the adult missionaries gave moving reflections of their Jamaica experience. All through this season a phrase from the Christmas carol “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” has spoken to my heart. In the third verse it says: “Born that we no more may die, Born to raise us from the earth, Born to give us second birth.”

At the beginning of this year of evangelization may this description of the ministry of Jesus truly inspire us. So many people need the experience of a second birth. Day after day I encounter people dealing with depression, job loss, relationship difficulties, grief. The list can go on and on. Jesus calls us to be the light of the world. Part of being a light is to let it shine and not hide it out of some false service of humility. It is time for us to step up and make a difference in our town and state. There is so much talent in this parish that needs to be unleashed, so much potential untapped. Let us find creative ways to reach out and include others. Building Christian community is what my vocation is all about. I implore you to work with me to see this dream come true.

Fr. Bob Hawkins

Friday, January 01, 2010

Bless this house -- Jan 1, 2010

One wonderful ancient custom on the feast of Epiphany is that homes are blessed. As we begin a new year with all its promise here is a blessing from Ed Hays.

“Lord our God, you whose home is in heaven and on earth, come and bless this house…Surround this shelter with your Spirit, encompass all its four sides with the power of your protection…Bless here this doorway. May all who come to it be treated with respect and kindness. May all our comings and goings be under the seal of God’s loving care…Blessed be all the rooms of this house…May we truly live in it as people of peace…Bless this place where we eat. May our meals be sacraments of the presence of God…Lord our God may your name always be holy in our home. May God’s blessing rest upon us all. Amen.”

As we begin this year of evangelization, may we welcome all people to our church. It is my hope that this year the Gospel message will take root. May we discover common ground in our efforts to pursue a just and peaceful world. It is my hope that we can overcome obstacles, heal divisions and bring Christ’s light to others.

Fr. Bob Hawkins