Fr. J.J.’s Jottings

M is for the Many Things . . .
It is Mothers day, and this means even more to me this year. Since my dad’s death a few months ago, I have been blessed to have my relationship with my mom grow even deeper. At the risk of sounding a little schmaltzy, I am appreciating each moment, conversation, and laugh with her more than ever before. While I still talk to Dad on a daily basis in prayer, I cherish even more now the ability to pick up the phone and give Mom a ring. On this day which was created to honor our moms, tell her you love her and that you appreciate all the little things that she has done for you – whether you do it on the phone, in person, or in prayer. Happy Mother’s Day! (I love you Mom!)

A Beautiful Death
It was exactly a week ago that I sat at this very same keyboard, on this very same weeknight, at this very same late hour (it just so happens to be the result of a procrastinating pastor who is waiting to the last minute to write his article for the bulletin deadline). If you are not aware, I wrote a pretty heavy article about death last week. This week, I want to discuss this same topic, but with a very different focus. As you are probably well aware, we have 1001 different folks, doing 1001 different jobs, in a 1001 different ministries. One of those very fulfilling ministries involves death; rather sitting with those who are dying so that someone is with them to pray, comfort, and celebrate as they journey to the other side. This beautiful ministry, called “No One Dies Alone”, has had a rather large impact on many folks. I am proud to say that we have recently added 16 new people to the 74 volunteers already trained for this important task. Since the ministry began, 88 patients have left this world experiencing love from a Christian, only to open their eyes to the love of Christ himself. That is a powerful example of Discipleship. Good job.

Stephen Ministers
Stephens Ministry is a ministry in our parish in which trained and supervised lay persons, called Stephen Ministers; provide one to one Christian care to individuals  facing life challenges and difficulties. Our Christian service leaders match each Stephen Minister to a person in need of care. Each Stephen Minister meets with his or her care receiver for about an hour a week to provide one-to-one, Christ-centered care and support.

Stephen Ministers care for people who may be experiencing grief, divorce, job loss, terminal illness, loneliness, spiritual crisis, hospitalization, relocation, and other life difficulties. Men are matched with men, women with women. We are in need of more male Stephen Ministers. In other word, there are men out there who have called us and need someone to assist them, but we do not have a man ready to step up. I would like to invite you, if you are male, or invite those who may know a man who demonstrates the qualities for this ministry (in other words, any baptized male) to step up and answer the call of our Lord. Pray about it, and give a call to the Christian Service   office here at St. Anastasia (Ext. 112). Not only can you change a life, but your life can be changed for the better as well.

Volunteers Everywhere, Lend Me Your Ears… and Your Appetite
As you can surmise from the last two paragraphs, we would not be able to accomplish what we do here at St. Anastasia without our many volunteers. We as a staff want to express our gratitude with an Ice Cream Social (filled with a few surprise happenings, and I’m not talking rainbow sprinkles). So if you’ve stuffed an envelope, set up a folding chair, counted a collection, taught a class, or done any of the numerous things that make St. Anastasia what it is, mark your calendars for May 20th following the 12:15 liturgy. We want to say “Thank You”.

God bless,
Fr. J.J.