July 31 – Weekly Prayer & Update

This Week’s Gospel Reflection

Sunday, July 31 – Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/080220.cfm

Jesus, we are hungry! We hunger for You in our lives, in our country and in our world! You have the only Food that sustains us and brings us everlasting life!

Loving Lord and Savior, we hear in this Sunday’s Gospel of another example of Your selflessness. You had learned of the death of Your cousin, John the Baptist, and like any of us, You just wanted time for Yourself. You went off to a deserted place, but upon Your return thousands of people had assembled just for the chance to be in Your presence and hear Your word! With pity in Your heart, You didn’t turn them away in Your time of grief. Instead You cured the sick and fed the masses with five loaves and two fish, and all were satisfied!

Jesus, Lamb of God, today You continue to feed us through the unfathomable gift of Your own precious Body and Blood, available to us in the Blessed Sacrament! What a treasure! What an amazing gift! Yet, there are those who don’t believe, or believe and don’t take advantage of receiving the most glorious of all gifts – the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of the Savior of the world! You clearly told us, “Unless you eat My Body and drink My Blood, you shall not have life within you.”

Jesus, we pray that all who don’t partake of the Bread of Life would remember Your promise of eternal life if we consume Your Body and Blood. Please impart the awareness in those who don’t come to Mass, that they are missing the most important miracle that could happen in their lives! They’re missing the consecration of water and wine into Your own Precious Body and Blood! Plant a deep longing and hunger in the souls of those who have turned away from the Church that they would return to the table of the Lord for the only Nourishment they will ever need!

We hunger, too, Lord, for Your presence in our lives. The Church and Christianity are under attack, and we call upon You, Father and Creator of the Universe, to have mercy on those who would persecute You in such vile and hateful ways. We ask You to protect Your Church and its faithful as we strive to rise above the evil and sinfulness we see around us. We call upon the Holy Spirit to guide and protect us as the people of God. Give us the wisdom to know what to say and how to react to those who would challenge us in our faith. Strengthen us that we would, with abundant confidence, stand up for and defend Your Church against all attacks, both physical and spiritual.

Lord of Heaven and Earth, be with us in all aspects of our lives. Continue to feed and nourish us in our every need. Give us sustenance in our battle against all evil. We praise You, we glorify You, and we give You great thanks for Your most precious gifts of the Eucharist and eternal life, through Jesus Christ, Your Son, in union with the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Sign Up for Mass August 1 & 2

We encourage you to pre-register for Mass to save time when you check in at Mass, as well as to help us gauge attendance. Kindly sign up for Mass by 3:00 PM on Saturday, August 1.  Here’s how:

  1. Click here, then click the “Sign Up” button of the Mass you’d like to attend below.
  2. Select the number of people in your household who will be attending from the drop-down menu.
  3. If you’re already in the Flocknotes database, the system will recognize you when you click the sign-up button.  If not, enter a contact name and email or phone number if prompted.
  4. Click Submit and close the sign-up window/tab.
  5. You’ll receive an email confirmation after your sign up is complete.

A Note from Father Pete

COMPLIANCE WITH REGULATIONS WITHOUT LOSING THE MISSION

Since the beginning of the pandemic when everything is to be regulated to ensure the spread is arrested, our St. John the Evangelist Church staff and volunteers have shown an exceptional response to the COVID-19 pandemic with genuine care for our parishioners and to the mission of our Church. Creating this balance is the key to our response. Everyone, including SJE School teachers, parish staff, and volunteers have carefully taken measures to put sanitation and hygiene protocols into place without losing the very mission of our Church and School.

The CDC and state regulations restricted our programming and events and led us to reconfigure the physical set up of the church, chapel, office, and halls so that we can safely take care of our people as we continue to operate. Parish and school have to revisit the religious and school programming and sacramental services to provide safe programming. I am proud that we have competent staff and volunteers. Working with diligent parish and school staff, teachers, and volunteers has lessened the stress on me caused by this pandemic.

In ensuring safe worship experiences, the parish staff, with a number volunteers, set up the church for proper social distancing, sanitation protocols, and contract tracing controls, such as, pre-registration or actual signing in before coming into church. Ushers at each Mass make sure parishioners are seated in right seating to observe distancing and maximizing use of space of the church. The Social Hall is always made ready for an overflow with live streaming. Staff returned to work to continue planning future programs, assessing ministry groups as to their possibility to meet in person, and contacting again parishioners through a second wave of phone calls.

Because of the creative ways and thinking outside the box attitude of staff, our parish developed a new way to provide the access of parishioners who remained sheltered in place to Sunday worship services via Live-Mass-Streaming every Sunday at 9 AM. Sensitive to the needs of those who are uneasy to participate in the Mass in a confined environment, we started to offer Outdoor Masses on Sunday at 11:30 AM and outside Baptism under the front canopy of the church.

I am delighted, too, by the school staff for their forward-thinking attitude to develop a comprehensive plan to ensure the safe return of our faculty and staff on August 24th and our students on August 31st for instruction five days per week. They are guided by the Archdiocesan Task Force and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to create plans to safely return to in-person instruction for the start of the 2020-2021 school year. Our St. John School facilities will be able to accommodate all students for five day, in-person instruction while safely social distancing.

I am very proud and grateful to our parish staff and ministers, our school principal Ms. Chrissy Blake and her teachers and volunteers for creating that wonderful balance of safety and mission. Please join me in thanking our parish and school staff and volunteers for their exceptional services.

Additionally, I thank all SJE parishioners who provide the financial support to the parish through the weekly offerings or one-time summer donation. The disruption of Masses, the recommendation to stay home, and cancellation of “Spring Fling,” and other fundraisers have created a gap in the parish budget that will affect us in the future. I will ask your loving participation in the “Summer Gift” so that we can bridge the gap.

I thank you all for remaining faithful to the mission of Jesus, and your love for St. John as your faith community. I pray daily that what we are doing today will remain strong so that we can take our partnership in mission of Jesus up into the future. I pray that you may continue to work with us to rise above this crisis as we create a better SJE community for everyone.

What’s New

Sunday Bulletin

For the current as well as past editions of our bulletin, you may also click here.

Click here to view and download this Sunday’s worship music, which includes:
  • Our God is Here
  • Glory to God
  • Psalm 145: I Will Praise Your Name
  • Gospel Acclamation
  • Holy Lord/Carry On (solo)
  • Holy
  • Memorial Acclamation
  • Amen
  • Lamb of God
  • Remembrance
(Mass parts taken from Mass of Joy and Peace)

Electronic Worship Resources

In the absence of hymnals and other printed worship aids, there are several electronic resources available to help you follow along with the readings, prayers, and music. Click here to learn more on our website.

Our Daily Bread and Food Pantry Drop-Off: August 2, 8:30-11:30 AM

Our next drive-thru drop-off date for food pantry and frozen casseroles for August will be on Sunday, August 2 from 8:30-11:30 AM by the Chapel/Bell Tower.

The drop-off of frozen casseroles and food pantry items will be on Sunday, August 2 from 8:3-11:30 AM. Note that around the start time of the 11:30 AM outdoor Mass (which will be in front of the Conference Center, weather permitting) the volunteers will be in front of the Blessed Mother statue.

Please do not bring any items into the narthex or the church hall.

Volunteers for both efforts will have their cars parked in the parish office lot between the chapel and the bell tower for drop-off, and will remove your donated items from your vehicle. For safety’s sake, please wear a facial mask when dropping off.

Recipes and disposable casserole pans are available in the plastic bin in front of the parish office. The recipe is also available here.

“Treasures in the Hall” Shop by Appointment

While we weren’t able to offer the usual bargains and treasures at the Spring Fling this year, thanks to Pat Loeffler, we have good stuff available for purchase to support our parish. You can shop by appointment only at “Treasures in the Hall.” For safety’s sake, be sure to wear a face mask and maintain six feet of social distance during your shopping appointment. Contact Pat Loeffler at 443-417-5665 to make an appointment to shop in the church hall.