Christian Service News 12-3-2017

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.” (Matt. 15:16)

Greetings Everyone,

I am sure you have noticed that Advent has arrived. Our U.S. Bishops remind us that “The Advent season is a time of preparation that directs our hearts and minds to Christ’s second coming at the end of time and also to the anniversary of the Lord’s birth on Christmas. The final days of Advent, from December 17 to December 24, focus particularly on our preparation for the celebrations of the Nativity of our Lord (Christmas).” In Mark’s Gospel 13:33-37, we are warned “Be watchful, be alert…You do not know when the Lord of the house is coming.” We need to remain ever ready actually putting into motion God’s will. That being said, please remember the poor in our community. Consider bringing a can of tuna for our food pantry or some gently used jeans for our clothes closet. If you are wondering “How can I make sure that I spend my time on the things that matter most (prayer, family, service to others)?” You may want to consider volunteering this month at the Image of God Crisis Pregnancy Center in Madison Heights. And please consider signing up this weekend to help at our Warming Center in January. What a way to begin 2018!

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. 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.

The St. Mary Warming Center will again open its doors to homeless guests beginning Sunday, January 7 through Sunday, January 21. Have you ever considered volunteering for a night shift? Night owls might consider the 9:30pm- 2:30am shift while early risers might consider the 2:30am- 7am shift. Morning volunteers are needed to serve breakfast, do clean up and ensure that our guests are ready to leave by 6:45am. This is a quick shift lasting from 5am-7am but is very important for the success of our Warming Center.

These times tend to be our greatest need in terms of volunteer coverage. New this year - parents or family members of St. Mary School students can earn double service hours by volunteering to work one of these 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. Sign Up to Volunteer after all Masses: Dec. 2-3 and Dec. 9-10.

Volunteers are also needed each night from 7pm- 10pm to register guests, pass out blankets and serve food. The Warming Center is very grateful for donations of food and financial support. Do you have a special talent or training (i.e. foot care, hair cutting, etc.)? We are always searching for additional medical and dental staff.

Image of God Crisis Pregnancy Center: Are you looking for some place to volunteer your time this Advent that may be different than the usual bell-ringing or feeding the hungry at a local soup kitchen? Our Life Issues Ministry is introducing us to a new “Beacon of Hope” located at 26040 John-R between 10 and 11 Mile Roads, in Madison Heights. Deacon Joe Iskra (586-294-2890) is the main contact at the Center. He needs volunteers to work on Saturday mornings from 10 am to 12:30 pm. The following kinds of help are especially needed: office help answering phones, helping in the baby boutique, teaching parenting classes and help with counseling. The Center is also accepting donations of gently used baby items such as cribs, bassinettes, car seats and high chairs. Please reach out to Deacon Joe this Advent.

If you know someone expecting a baby or are a new mom, the Image of God provides all help in Jesus’ name. They provide: free pregnancy tests, free maternity clothes, free parenting classes, baby clothes, baby furniture and other baby items. They also provide free professional counseling to help establish educational, employment, family and spiritual goals as well as guidance for other challenges you may be facing. Help can be obtained by calling 313-805-5308.

Secret Santa: If you are interested in secretly “adopting” a family or part of a family this year for Christmas, please let me know. As of the writing of this article, I have two families that would like help making Christmas merry. They could use both food and gifts. I can be reached at the parish office on extension 205.

Giving Tree: Thank you to everyone that picked a tag from the Giving Tree. Please be sure to return all gifts, unwrapped, by December 12 or sooner. Gifts can be dropped off on Sunday by placing them in the wooden box to the right of the altar near the organ or they can be brought to the parish office between 9 and 4 Monday through Friday. If you did not get a tag but want one or want to provide an extra gift, please give me a call at the parish office on extension 205. I have a few suggestions.

St. Mary Clothes Closet: Thank you for all of the donations we have been receiving. These clothes are a very big help. As the weather gets colder, we are in urgent need of gloves, hats and men’s winter jackets. And as always we continue to look for jeans, socks, hoodies, and men’s and women’s all-weather shoes and boots. Clothing drop-offs can be made any weekday between 9am and 4pm at the parish office. Thank you for all of your clothing donations.

St. Mary Food Pantry: We are presently in need of frozen turkeys, ham, peanut butter, potatoes, canned pasta, sauces, gravy, chunky soups, canned fruits, tuna fish, canned meats, snack bars, and protein drinks. Thank you for your food donations.

May God bless you for everything you do to support St. Mary parish. We appreciate it more than you even know.

George Krinke, your Christian Service Coordinator