Jottings from Fr. J.J.

CHANGING LIVES TOGETHER
By this time, you have already received a phone call from one of our faithful callers. Hopefully you have either picked up your info packet last weekend or received it in the mail this week (or because bulk mail takes a little longer, will receive it soon). You now understand how Changing Lives Together is a great vehicle for opportunity.

We have a vision with this initiative. Because this is so massive and involves all of us, it will have a significant impact on St. Anastasia for years to come. For the next several weeks we will be journeying through a season of prayer and reflection. God has called all of us – priests, deacons, leaders, staff, families, adults, and children – to a time of prayer and seeking. It is important that each and every one of us pray: “Lord, what do You want to do, through me, to accomplish Your will, for St. Anastasia and the Church of Detroit?” God has a part for each of us to play. The more each and every parishioner/disciple responds, the more    successful this whole initiative will be.

I would like to reflect on St. Anastasia Parish’s vision, goal, and projects. We believe that our God holds our future in His loving hands and that He has some great hopes, dreams, and plans for us. He has called us to life and is constantly showering us with blessings. We have been given loving relationships, all kinds of special talents unique to us, gifts that come our way, and so much more. These are signs of God’s love for us. Even more, we have been given His Son. As sons and daughters we are loved now and forever and we have the exact same gospel mission as Jesus: to share justice, love, fulfillment, healing, and salvation with the waiting world.

That is what we are about here at St. Anastasia. We Dream Big! That is what our goals are about. Through examining our parish’s needs, strengths, and challenges; after   consultation with parish commissions, and staff, we have discerned some priorities:

  • Pay off our million dollar debt early.
  • Invite inactive folks back and grow our  parish family.
  • Make our worship space and narthex more comfortable and efficient.
  • Expand our ministries and outreach by addressing needs that have been neglected.

Changing Lives Together will help us do these things in an effective, compelling and convincing way. It will help us step it up a bit and take our community life and work to the next level. When we pay off our debt early, that means we will have $160,000 extra each year (that won’t need to go towards our debt). It will allow us to do the “stuff” we want. I want you to Dream Big. What do YOU want St. Anastasia to do with this extra cash each year? Dream Big. What do YOU think we should do with  all of those formerly inactive folks who have returned? Dream Big. How do YOU want us to improve our worship and narthex space?  Cushions for the pews? Dream Big. How do YOU want to expand our ministries and outreach? Dream Big.

God has a vision and goal for our parish and the Church of Detroit. Let us pray and ask each and every day: “Lord, what do you want to do – through me – to accomplish Your will for my parish and the AOD?” It is our prayer and  talents and gifts, each and every one of us together, that will turn God’s dream into reality. DREAM BIG. It is the only way it works.  Amen!

CONVOCATION
Fr. Eric and I will be traveling up North, along with the majority of the presbyterate from the AOD this week for our bi-annual convocation. We share prayer, fraternity, and will be sharing in presentations (for our education). We have topics like the new Roman Missal, satisfaction and fulfillment in the priesthood, and stress and wellness in the priesthood. It is also an opportunity for the Archbishop to address all of us at once. Please pray that we have a safe     journey, and an enriching and relaxing time.

God bless,
Fr. J.J.