Dear Parish Family,
As we move on toward "Harvest" time, your parish family's 2019 Stewardship Campaign is hitting high gear. Included in your bulletins on 10/28 will be a copy of the "Narrative Budget" prepared by the Stewardship Committee. This is a visionary document, not an accounting report. The "Narrative" is a narrative of how our parish dreams of pursuing its Mission and Vision Statements, based on our "Core Values". The $201K total amount needed to pursue the parish's dreams, is organized in the Narrative Budget to show the sub-category items that total to the Stewardship Campaign Goal of $201K. This is a lofty goal. We will- all of us- have to sacrificially give of Time, Talent, and Treasure to meet this Goal. My wife and I are in prayer as to how much to increase our commitment for 2019. I trust that you all are, likewise, praying over how much to increase your giving from 2018 to 2019. "Status quo" will not help us accomplish our campaign Theme: "Our Future: Christ's Call to Action." Pray, brothers and sister. And...then, Act!
(A) Unpacking Our Core Values: "STUDY AND PRAYER"
Last Friday's "Fanfare" I spent some time addressing the first and most crucial of our newly developed "Core Values". Holy, Silent, Traditional Worship is the foundation for all of our Christian Community life. Without faithfulness in Worship, our Life in Christ is malnourished and unbalanced. With faithfulness in Worship, all the other Core Values are strengthened and informed by reference to Worship.
Take for example, the 2nd "Core Value": 'STUDY and PRAYER"
As to "Study", we value Biblical Study as highest and most necessary. Currently, we have a Rector's Bible Study on Tuesday mornings at 11 a.m. We have a newly formed "Women's Bible Study" which is focused on the Lives of Mary and Martha (predominantly from John's Gospel) in a super book entitled "Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World", led by Mrs. Dee Neeley.
Study moves beyond "education" when it is paired with "PRAYER", the other half of this Core Value.
The Biblical Studies on Tuesday and Friday are steeped in application to the "students'" lives. God's Word is not simply a field of inquiry, or an interesting form of Literature. God's Word is "living and Active, and sharper than any 2-edged sword" (per Hebrews). The Scriptures, when heard in the Mass, and when studied outside the Mass during Catechism Class, are the school for Christian Living. We are formed by our Prayer and Study. We are directed into the rest of our Core Values.
Good Shepherd offers several others venues for applying Study & Prayer.
Take for instance, the two lay "orders" that meet regularly at GSAC: The Daughters of the King ("DOK"), and the Brotherhood of St. Andrew ("BOSA"). Each of these two small groups uses both Prayer and Study to deepen their particular callings.
For the DOK, this means their 3- fold commitment to Prayer, Service, and Evangelization. At GSAC, I can always depend upon the Intercessory prayer offerings of the DOK, anytime there is an urgent need for Intercession. The DOK also sponsors and encourages the development of Silent prayer and meditations during the Advent and Lenten Quiet Days. And, they are currently providing special prayers for our Stewardship Campaign, read by a member just before the Sunday Mass begins.
The BOSA men are likewise called to incorporate both STUDY and PRAYER in their own triad:
Prayer, Study, and Service. Each weekly meeting of the Brotherhood includes Opening and Closing Prayers, the BOSA official Hymn ("Jesus Calls Us"), and a study of some kind. BOSA has read and studied books like C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity, and Stu Webber's excellent Tender Warriors (a book on Christ-like masculinity), as well as direct Bible Studies, led by the clergy or by a lay member.
Study & Prayer. They are the cultivation of the Love of God in our souls by using the Mind and the Heart, in response to Who we discover God to be in our Worship. You could say that these two Core Values definitely deal with the very center of the Christian's soul. At our very core, we are reasoning and pondering people. Jesus taught both mind and heart to know and love God, and one another. At GSAC, these Core Values are enduring and indispensable!
(B) THE CALENDAR FORWARD
- MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
10/28 MASS: 9:15 a.m.
Fellowship and Refreshments:
11:10 a.m. Christian Formation Hour
Fr. Homer Rogers exercise: “Practicing Death”
10/31 STEWARDSHIP FOLLOW-UP LETTERS ARE MAILED (Have YOU returned your card, yet?)
10/29-11/02 MORNING PRAYER in the Chapel - 8:00 a.m.
10/29 SANDWICH MINISTRY: MONDAYS AT 4:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall NEW TIME
10/30 TUESDAY MORNING Mass in Main Church: 10 a.m. - Bible Study: 11 a.m. in the Parish Hall
10/31 “ALL HALLOWS’ EVE” MASS: 6:30 p.m. in the Main Church - followed by “dinner on the town”
11/02 WOMANS’ BIBLE STUDAY – Fridays, at 10:00 a.m. in the Parish Hall.
11/03 BOSA’s weekly Meeting: 8 a.m. - Morning Prayer/Chapel; breakfast, meeting following
(*Location to be Announced*)
Upcoming Special Dates!
11/03 Memorial Service for DIANE BROWN 11:00 a.m. – reception to follow in the Parish Hall
11/03 11/03 *DAYLIGHT SAVING TIME ENDS TONIGHT* –
Be sure and set your clocks BACK ONE HOUR before you go to bed.
11/04 ALL SAINTS’ and ALL SOULS’ SUNDAY MASS – 9:15 a.m.
11/04 SHEPHERD’S PANTRY INGATHERING – Please bring items to fill our shelves
11/04 ONE NATION UNDER GOD Worship and Prayer Gathering – 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Hewlett Park (620 E. Pearl Street, Granbury, Tx.)
11/18 STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN ENDS: “The Blessing of the Commitment Cards”
11/9-11/10 DIOCESAN CONVENTION at The Church of St. Peter & St. Paul, Arlington
11/22 PARISH THANKSGIVING DAY FEAST: 1 p.m. - Feast in the Parish Hall
(bring your holiday specials!)
12/02 A D V E N T B E G I N S 3 p.m. - Special Pipe Organ Concert by Mr. Isaac Foreman!
12/08 ST. NICHOLAS WORKSHOP: 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. in the Parish Hall - B.O.S.A. Community Outreach
12/15 ADVENT QUIET DAY: 8 a.m. - noon, in the Main Church
12/22 ADVENT IV SUNDAY: “Greening the Church”, after Christian Formation, 11:45’ish
12/24-12/25 CHRISTMAS EVE MASSES (5 PM & 10:30 “Midnight” Mass) 9 a.m. Low Mass on 12/25
Here's a brief "PS": GSAC has its new, hot-off-our-own-Press PICTORIAL DIRECTORY! This is the first pictorial directory since 2011! We created our own "in-house" Directory, utilizing photos you supplied, and including 'on-site' photos taken by our resourceful Administrative Assistant, Mrs. Katherine Bowman. "Kat" has done a superior job...and I want to thank her very heartily for all she has done. Thanks, as well, to Yvonne Finley for the invaluable editing help she graciously provided!
May God continue to bless and keep this wonderful little parish growing in Grace, Love....and Stewardship!
Love & Prayers....
Fr. Stuart Smith