Christian Service News 1-7-2018

“Arise! Shine, for your light has come.” (Is. 60:1)

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

I cannot thank everyone enough for all of your generosity of time, talents and treasure that you gave during Advent and Christmas. There were many Christian Service projects that could not have been completed without your help. Most of all these projects helped many people and organizations in our parish community. Probably not in these exact words, many of you told me you did it for the glory of God. You arose and shined. I am sure God will reward you for your efforts. Again, thank you everyone, especially those that helped me personally during this time.

While reflecting on this Sunday’s readings, I came across a reflection inspired by the writings of Bishop Ken Utner (1937- 2004), in a “Little Blue Book” published by Diocese of Saginaw in 2017: www.littlebooks.org. I thought I would share this Sunday’s reflection, below. It gave me an idea for something to improve upon this year in my life. Perhaps you will find something in it too. Made to Dream: “I was created by God to dream. I was created to enjoy with wonder and awe the magnificence of this universe and of people and of God himself. Sometimes people seldom seem to do that. They never catch the fascination of people and of life itself. They seldom dream dreams. They seldom enjoy praying and thinking of God and talking to God. Instead, they are always hooked on their cell phones, and tablets, and all kinds of electronic devices. I may like using my electronic devices. But I need space in my life to expand my horizons and to enjoy the many-splendored mystery of life and of God. I was made by God to rise above stale, narrow, flat thoughts. I was made to dream.”

Below are a few upcoming Christian Service activities. I do hope you will have the time to participate in some way. Your participation will be greatly appreciated and I am sure God will reward you for you effort. If you would like volunteer to assist with one or more of these activities or would like more information about these, please give me a call. I can be reached at the parish office on extension 205.

Special Thank you to Christ Our Light Parish: they collected new underwear and socks for our St. Mary Clothes Closet. Their Christian Service Coordinator, Elaine Cervera, organized this drive at her parish as an Advent outreach project. We are very grateful for their generosity by coming to our rescue during our hour of need, as we prepare to open our Warming Center tonight.

St. Mary Warming Center will again open its doors to homeless guests beginning tonight, Sunday, January 7th through Sunday, January 21st . There are three shifts that we especially need more help. If you are a “Night owl” you might consider the 9:30pm2:30am shift while “Early Risers” might consider the 2:30am-7am shift or the 5am-7am shift. The 5am-7am shift may be especially appealing to those wanting to do something before they go they go to work. Volunteers on the 5am shift help wake up our guests, serve them breakfast, do clean up and ensure that our guests are ready to leave by 6:45 am. This is a quick shift but is very important for the success of our Warming Center.

New this year- parents or family members of St. Mary School students can earn double service hours by volunteering to work one of our overnight time slots! What a wonderful way to let your light shine through the darkness! Please pray that these slots are filled during our sign up weekends.

If interested in signing up or learning more about how you might be able to help, please give me a call at the parish office: 248- 547-1818, ext. 205.

Life Issues: Have you heard the news? Right to Life – Lifespan is again sending EIGHT buses filled with young people and their chaperones on the “Movement in Motion” Youth Bus Trip to Washington, DC for the 45th annual March for Life! The March and Rally for Life will take place on Friday, January 19, 2018. This year’s theme is “Love Saves Lives.” Hundreds of thousands of young people are set to travel from across the nation to D.C. If you have a young person or want to be a chaperone on this trip with other St. Mary people, please contact Chris Gorecki or Jeanne Hutko of our Life Issues Ministry at mcgorecki@aol.com. If you want more information about joining our Life Issues Ministry, please contact either Jeanne or Christ at the email address above. If you cannot make it but want to do something, please consider praying the 9 Day Novena for Life with the members of our Life Issues Ministry.

St. Mary Clothes Closet & Food Pantry: During December Christian Service helped 63 men and women who came to visit us at the Parish Office, asking for a helping hand. Some wanted food, others wanted clothes, while some wanted help with an overdue bill. Thanks to many of you and even a couple strangers, we were able to share God’s resources with His children during their hour of need. Thank you for all of your clothing and food donations.

Our Clothes Closet needs more gloves, hats and winter jackets. And as always we continue to look for jeans, hoodies, and allweather shoes and boots. Our Food Pantry needs peanut butter, canned pasta, sauces, gravy, chunky soups, canned fruits, tuna fish, canned meats, snack bars, and protein drinks. Food and Clothing drop-offs can be made any weekday between 9 am and 4 pm at the parish office.

Jail Outreach Ministry: I received several nice thank you letters and cards from inmates at the Oakland County Jail. If you recall during our Mercy in Action Day, several of us wrote letters or cards to the inmates. These letters were included in Christmas bags along with other items distributed to them by the Jail Outreach Ministry in early December. This is an excerpt from one of the letters: “I recently received a Christmas bag from several churches in Oakland County. I would like to thank you for taking time out to show Holiday spirit towards me. I think what you are doing for us is a wonderful thing. I am grateful in many ways. I am glad to see that there are so many wonderful kindhearted people out there. Thank you so much and may God bless you all!” This was one letter. No two cards were exactly alike but all of them shared the same theme of gratefulness.

May God bless you for everything you do to support St. Mary parish. We appreciate it more than you even know. May you have a blessed and happy New Year!

George Krinke, your Christian Service Coordinator