Parish Renewal Update

by Nov 3, 2022Pastor's Blog

Who’s stealing my joy?

fr. Michael White, Pastor of the Church of the Nativity

Last weekend I got lost. “I ended up in Hell.” Then, someone told me to take a right on the Glengarry Trail and you’ll get to Heaven. It was beautiful. Thank you to all of you who prayed for, and supported our Halloween Walk. A very special thank you to our Youth Group for helping to organize and welcome everybody! After the 11am Mass many families gathered, for food, games, and community – almost 100 people. I met a few new families as well, and hopefully future parishioners. Let’s continue praying for our parish families! Heaven is being together!

Families grow stronger through the support and fellowship of other families with shared desires, dreams, and values. Let’s continue to encourage one another to find connection with other families seeking to live out our Christian faith boldly during this parish renewal season. Learn more and find out where these small groups are available. And if you don’t find one near you, consider leading one yourself! The parish office is currently working on forming new small group leaders. Please contact Lorne or myself for details.

Again, parish renewal has opened up a new conversation about how we live our faith. Thank you to all who have participated in person, online, or through survey. “Who’s stealing my joy?” is a question that has been shared in many of our meetings to date. What are some “thieves” of joy? Things like worry, disappointment, fear, anger, rejection, and all the rest. The purpose of parish renewal is to name those thieves and then identify strategies that will protect us and help us guard against them.

“Parish life comes with its own thieves of joy, some of which will be immediately recognizable to parish leaders: criticism and complaint, gossip and infighting, declining attendance, budget woes, maintenance problems.”

Fr. Michael had a beautiful reflection on this topic, “Who’s stealing the joy at your parish?” back in January 2022. Please continue to pray for parish renewal for our parish families, and for the remainder of our parish growth meetings. The question continues to be how to we build up our brothers and sisters. “Parish life isn’t easy, whether you’re a pastor, staff member, volunteer minister, or committed member. There will always be defeats and disappointments aplenty. But they don’t define us and they can’t steal our joy if we’re grounded in our identity as beloved sons and daughters, working in our Father’s house.”

As we prepare for our next Liturgical Season, Advent and Christmas, I invite you to reflect on the last time you joined other families in your parish for food, prayer, discussion, and a time to play? Grow in your faith by walking alongside other families in a small group! I encourage families to connect with other families to grow in community and faith. Heaven is being together!

Have a great week. Peace.

In addition to the small circle of the couple and their children, there is the larger family, which cannot be overlooked. […] Friends and other families are part of this larger family, as well as communities of families who support one another in their difficulties, their social commitments and their faith.

Amoris Laetitia, #196
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