Jesus said to them, “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Then they abandoned their nets and followed him. ~ Mark 1:17
Grace to pray for this week: To see a bigger picture of what church can be
Dear Friends in Christ,
Peace be with you! A hearty welcome to everyone, especially those visiting us for any reason, whether in person or through technology. Your presence is a gift.
So did you hear it? There’s so much urgency in the scriptures this past weekend:
“Set out for the great city of Nineveh…and announce the message” (Jonah 3)
“…the time is running out.” (I Corinthians 7:29)
“The kingdom of God is at hand.” (Mark 1:15)
In a busy world, this type of urgency may not be welcome. But it all depends on how you look at it. When Jesus begins his public ministry he starts by getting to know just a handful of people. You would think that he’d just find a way to announce the arrival of the kingdom to every person on earth at once. Instead, he chose a surprising approach – get to know a few people really well and then have them pass it along to someone else. The result? 2000 years later there have been billions of Christians. Jesus knew what he was doing.
This past week our parish experienced a first hand look of this through Reboot with Chris Stefanick! We heard and saw how the Holy Spirit moves hearts through friendship and invitation. Each of us, and collectively as a parish, is called to do exactly what we hear about in the Gospel this weekend. Jesus calls Simon, Andrew, James, and John out of their daily job and into mission. By this point they had already met him but now he was inviting them to a life-changing decision. Jesus would make it clear that there could be no “in between” – it was time to choose.
If you were able to help someone find an answer to the biggest questions in life wouldn’t it be worth it? Even if you could help just one person. That changed life could change many other. That’s what we want to do here in an intentional way at Sacred Heart Parish. God is helping us build a “way of life” or “roadmap” that will guide every part of the life of our church.
Our goal is to help people meet Jesus and then make a personal decision to make him the center of their life. Our way of life here will guide the steps toward this moment and the life flowing from it.
God love you!
* Right now, God is ready to say beautiful things to you.
As we close the Christmas season, we are especially grateful to all of you for your gifts of hope that you have generously shared with us this past year. Through your gifts of service, leadership, and sacrificial commitments, God’s abundant blessings are visibly present to many more throughout our parish and archdiocese.
It’s important as a parish, that we set aside time each year to renew our personal stewardship commitments. An important step in our Discipleship path, we invite each person to spend some time reflecting on the blessings received and where God is leading each of us to grow and respond. This year, we received 450 responses of prayer, service, and financial pledges during our annual parish stewardship renewal that took place in October. Those responses represent hundreds of people recommitting to a ministry and spending time in prayer, including 48 new ministry inquiries. While it is good to see the number of responses increase again this year, the more important fruit of our renewal time is the growing evidence of vibrant relationships with Jesus and one another; strengthening us to share the Gospel message with others.
We also thank you for your generous support of the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal with 436 pledges totaling $114,439. Not only did we surpass our parish goal, we achieved our highest participation ever with nearly 90 new donors! The Annual Appeal provides support for our greater archdiocesan family in numerous ways and has officially surpassed their goal with $4,043,257 in pledged commitments this year.
If you haven’t had a chance to respond yet, there is always time. Our stewardship and ministry teams are working to connect with all who are looking to get involved in a new way. If you aren’t quite sure where to start, don’t hesitate to contact Anne Arens or Sheryl Cahoy at 402-371-2621 with any questions. We would love to meet you!