Advent and our Message Series “Reimagine Advent” began last week. Having lit the first candle on our Advent wreath last Sunday and our second one this Sunday, we are moving right along with our Advent preparation of joyful anticipation for Christmas.
Many small groups have been meeting and using our Advent materials. Breakfast with Santa is scheduled for December 11th from 8:30am – 12:00pm and our Christmas Concert is set for December 16th at 7:00pm, which includes not only our Choir and The Hummingbirds, our children’s choir, but also the Choir of Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scotch Plains.
We also have our Advent Reconciliation Service, along with Holy Trinity, Westfield, on December 13th at 7:30pm and Eucharistic Adoration on December 18th at 7:10pm.
In the midst of the busyness of this time of year, I hope we can all find a moment to participate in these events as well.
This past Tuesday we had “Giving Tuesday,” an event that has the power to transform many lives and communities with our generosity and support. While I certainly advocate for sharing financial gifts to those in need, it can also be an opportunity to share our time and talent as well.
It can be a challenging time for many people who are not shopping for gifts or expecting to receive them: the elderly, the young, and anyone in-between who may be suffering from challenges that impact their lives. Let’s continue to reach out to someone who needs a helping hand or a kind voice.
I invite you to join me in congratulating members of our community who will be honored at the Youth Ministry Recognition Ceremony this Sunday. This year, our Youth Minister, Patti Gardner, has been awarded the Saint John Paul II Award from the Office for Youth & Young Adult Ministry of the Archdiocese of Newark.
This award recognizes those individuals who share their ministry with their youth program but also the entire Archdiocese. The award is given for one’s selfless and dedicated service to youth and youth ministry in the style and spirit of Saint John Paul II.
At the same ceremony, three other members of our community will be honored: Tony Levorse, for his unflagging dedication to the youth programs here at Saint Helen, and two of our youth, Derek Lam and Jayne Ritter, whose involvement, participation, and leadership in the youth program are extraordinary. Join me in congratulating Patti, Tony, Derek, and Jayne.
In closing, let me acknowledge the challenge of finding joy at this time of year. Let us reach out to those who can benefit from our comforting voices or someone who is simply lonely. As we await Jesus’ coming, let us fill our hearts with kindness for those in the most need of our Christmas Spirit.
God Bless You,