eNEWS ~ Pax Christi Catholic Community
A Note from Fr. Michael Byron ~ For the week of Sunday, June 28, 2020
Dear Friends ~
I had the pleasure this past week of being part of a virtual spiritual conference given by Carol Zinn, a Sister of St. Joseph. Among her reflections was the fact that we live in an "evolutionary" time in the church. I think that has always been true, but perhaps we've never been made to recognize it as much as we have this year, when so many of our regular routines and practices have been disrupted by virus and social unrest. Among her takeaway observations for me was this sentence: "The gospel was never intended to be institutionalized."
I'm sure that she'd be given a lot of push-back from those whose business it is to exercise authority and leadership in church institutions, but I don't think that was her point. I heard her to say that as soon as we institutionalize the gospel, we tend to freeze its message at a moment in time, and to identify that message with a certain way of "doing business." Institutions don't change easily, often, or willingly, but the gospel of Jesus has to be responsive to the needs of what is happening now. She used the word "nimble" to describe what is required among our communities today. We are certainly not in the same situation today as we were even a few months ago. I hadn't imagined parking lot Masses at Christmas time.
Jesus himself was one who showed us how to do that. As a devout Jew, He was loyal to an institution that was already ancient by the time He walked the earth, but all of the gospels report how He needled the encrusted institutional practices of people and rules that had the effect of harming real human beings, or of standing in their way of freedom and happiness. And He paid a dear price for doing that.
Sr. Carol identified several necessary things for all of us to remember about what is at the heart of the gospel: community, prayer, service, mission for God's kingdom, social engagement. None of that requires an elaborate and specific institutional structure. It requires gospel, human solidarity. She wasn't suggesting ecclesiastical anarchy, but merely a de-centering of what can sometimes seem an automatic identification of "the church" with "how we've always done things." It requires a conversion of hearts and a broad imagination for the future. However we re-group after this COVID thing ends, it will look different, but we'll still be church.
And it requires an ability to discern what is needed among our fellow human beings in the moment in order to serve God's reign. One of her other reflections that I really appreciated was this: "Discernment is the ability to see things as they really are, and not for what I want them to be." Institutions have the sad habit of imposing the idea of how things "need to be." God's Spirit is more nimble than that.
Fr. Mike Byron
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Sundays ~ 12:00pm Parking Lot Mass
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Fr. Mike will hear confessions at 4:00pm each Saturday on the patio outside of door #1. Those who wish to celebrate this sacrament can park near door #1, wait for the person who is celebrating the sacrament to be finished, and then come forward to receive the sacrament. Again, please wear a mask.
NEW! VIRTUAL PANDEMIC PRAYER
Beginning THIS Wednesday, June 24, 5:00pm
Please join us for a new monthly virtual prayer service “A Time to Lament, a Time to Hope,” offered by Pax Christi parishioners under the leadership of Donna Kasbohm. These half-hour services will "Premier" on our YouTube channel on the 4th Wednesday of each month at 5:00pm beginning this Wednesday, June 24. After the premier, the prayer service will still be available on our YouTube channel to offer you the opportunity to reflect and pray on your own schedule. Each service will include music and reflections on a different theme. You are welcome to join us!
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Thank you for your continued generosity!
Week of June 14:
Online Giving 15,172
Mailed Contributions 16,820
Total Week #50
YTD Actual 2,589,005
YTD Budget 2,570,000
YTD Variance 19,005
Please continue supporting Pax Christi through online giving or by mailing your contributions to the parish office. Each and every gift makes a difference, and all are appreciated.
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OPPORTUNITIES TO HELP OUR NEIGHBORS
We are concerned about you!
Please take a moment to watch this video message from Pax Christi's Justice Ministry.
EXTRA HANDS NEEDED IN OUR GIVING GARDEN
The Giving Garden at Pax Christi provides fresh vegetables for our neighbors in need. Gardeners from Pax Christi plant seeds, water, and weed the garden throughout the summer. The harvest is donated to PROP. You may be wondering where the Giving Garden is located… It’s tucked into the western edge of our parking lot, next to the cemetery. Last year, this patch yielded an impressive 800 pounds of produce! Gardeners grow beets, radishes, squash, collard greens, turnips, tomatoes, and spinach. This year, we are looking for some “extra hands” to wash, trim, and bag the fresh produce in family sizes. The work will be done at a new outdoor washing station next to the garden to accommodate “social distancing.” Produce will be delivered weekly to PROP. If you would like to be part of the Giving Garden, please contact Mary Beth Schleif for details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BURGUNDY BAGS RETURN – VIRTUALLY!
There’s no need to grab your Burgundy Bag—this time your donation is just a click away with our first virtual Burgundy Bag Food Drive. Because of the pandemic, PROP’s food rescue programs from grocery stores have been reduced, creating a need to purchase more food than they have in the past. That means their greatest need is for cash donations to support food purchases, as well as gift cards (in $25 increments) to Target and Cub Foods. To donate,
, which will take you to the PROP website. Make a donation in whatever amount you choose in honor of Pax Christi or a loved one. Or, if you’d like to donate a gift card to help clients with other essential needs, please mail the card directly to PROP at 14700 Martin Drive, Eden Prairie, MN 55344 with a note indicating your donation is part of Pax Christi’s Virtual Burgundy Bag Food Drive. Thank you in advance for your generosity to our neighbors in need within our community.
BEFRIENDERS ARE HERE FOR YOU
BeFrienders is a lay pastoral care ministry here at Pax Christi. This listening presence ministry brings specially-trained people into a caring, confidential, one-on-one relationship with others during times of special need by visiting with them and offering emotional and spiritual support. BeFrienders value God’s presence in all relationships. They are present to care, not cure, and strive to be open and non-judgmental while they actively listen to your story.
If you are experiencing a challenging time or are in a transitional situation, BeFriender ministers are here to journey with you and listen with compassion and without judgment. Contact Jean Thoresen, Director of Care and Support Ministry, 952-405-7211 to be connected with a BeFriender minister or to learn more.
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on Tuesday, June 23 at 11:16AM