This Week’s Sunday Gospel Reflection
Readings available at www.usccb.org/readings
Sunday, November 29
Reflection by Sister Carol
Scriptures for the beginning of Advent emphasize our ongoing need for return to stronger relationship with God and with our parish community: Why do you let us wander, O LORD, from your ways, and harden our hearts so that we fear you not?
The message beckons us to stay faithful and committed on our spiritual journey.
Advent weeks offer us a wake-up call that describes our heart’s yearning to change for the better:
We are the clay and you the potter: we are all the work of your hands.
In prayer and in life experiences, we can prepare for a joyful Christmas by heeding the words of Jesus to us, His disciples: “Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come.”
The response to Psalm 80 could serve us well as a daily Advent mantra:
“Lord, make us turn to you; let us see your face and we shall be saved.”
Advent Reflections for the Week
Sign Up for Mass November 28 & 29
We encourage you to pre-register to save time when you check in at Mass, as well as to help us gauge attendance. Pre-registering is not required, however. Kindly sign up for Mass by 3:00 PM on Saturday, November 28. Here’s how:
- Click here and then click the “Sign Up” button of the Mass you’d like to attend.
- Select the number of people in your household who will be attending from the drop-down menu.
- 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.
- Click Submit and close the sign-up window/tab.
- You’ll receive an email confirmation after your sign up is complete. The confirmation email gives you the ability to modify or cancel your registration after you’ve signed up.
Christmas Mass Schedule & Seating by Pre-Registration Only
Due to capacity and social distancing restrictions caused by the pandemic, all seating for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Masses will be via PRE-REGISTRATION ONLY. The Christmas Mass Schedule is:
Christmas Eve (Thurs., Dec. 24) Christmas Day (Fri., Dec. 25)
1:00 PM 9:00 AM
4:00 PM 11:30 AM
All Masses will be held in the church, as well as livestreamed on Facebook. Once registration capacity is reached in the church, you may register for a Virtual Venue in the Hall. We will not have additional priests celebrating separate Masses in the Hall; rather, Hall attendees will be able to view the livestream and receive Communion.
Online registration is currently open for Christmas Mass VOLUNTEERS ONLY until December 1. If you would like to help serve as a greeter or usher at one of the Christmas Masses, please see below for more information.
General pre-registration will be open from December 1-20. A sign-up link will be emailed on December 1 as well as posted on our website. Those without sufficient computer or internet access may call the parish office during office hours of Monday-Friday, 8 AM-12 PM to register during the registration period.
After December 20, we will be creating seating charts and making seat assignments, thus we will not be able to accommodate last-minute requests or walk-ins. We appreciate your understanding as we strive to accommodate as many people as possible during this challenging time.
Volunteers Needed to Help at Christmas Masses
A LOT of planning is taking place for Christmas Masses, but we need YOUR HELP!
Our goal is to accommodate all who want to attend Christmas Mass, in an efficient and smoothly-run manner, and to ensure a safe and sanitary environment for all.
The volunteer opportunities are:
LECTORS – Only one lector per Mass. Only trained lectors should sign up for this position.
GREETERS – We will need two at each Mass to quickly get people in out of the cold and to an usher for seating.
HEAD USHERS – The head ushers should be experienced ushers (not necessarily experienced head ushers).
USHERS – Pretty much anyone can be an usher, high school-age and up.
Instructions will be given to all volunteers so you’ll be fully aware of your responsibilities and can ask questions ahead of time.
The good news is, if you volunteer to help at Mass, you and your family are guaranteed seating! AND, we’re giving our volunteers the option to sign up now before opening registration to the general congregation on December 1 to ensure seating for volunteers and their families.
If you’d like to help, please sign up to volunteer here, and then sign up your family for Mass seating here. Contact Debbie Jenkins at firstname.lastname@example.org or 410-592-6206, ext. 100 with any questions.
Immaculate Conception Masses
Christmas Cash Raffle
1 Ticket = 3 Chances to Win!
The holiday season is right around the corner, and who couldn’t use some extra cash at Christmas?
The St. John Christmas Cash Raffle is a great way to support the parish while giving yourself and your loved ones three chances to win with every ticket. Tickets are $25 each, and they make great Christmas gifts! For every 10 tickets purchased, you’ll receive the 11th ticket FREE!
Grand Prize = $3,000
Click on the video link here to get the latest update on the Christmas Cash Raffle from chairperson Todd Depew.
Christmas Wreath Sale
Decorated Wreaths: $40
Floral Arrangements: $25-30
Pre-order here or by calling Martha Schumacher at 410-617-2114. Orders must be placed by December 1 to ensure availability, and wreaths and arrangements will be available for pickup in the church hall on Saturday, December 5 from 4-6 PM and
Sunday, December 6 from 8-11 AM. Contact Martha Schumacher at 410-627-2114 with any questions.
Advent Giving Tree – NEW OPTION FOR GIVING via Immaculate Conception Church’s Giving Tree!
While we will not be able to organize the usual Advent Giving Tree program as in years past, there are several ways you can still help a family in need this holiday season.
Great news! Immaculate Conception Church has invited our parishioners to join in and participate in their Advent Giving Tree, which benefits many of the organizations that St. John’s regularly helps via our Poor Box contributions.
Gifts are organized on a Sign-Up Genius available here. The sign-up indicates to return gifts to Immaculate Conception’s “Brown House,” however you may return unwrapped, tagged gifts to the narthex of St. John Church by the due dates listed on the sign-up.
If you have any questions, please contact Mary Beth Bressler at email@example.com.
Thank you to all the “angels” who have faithfully helped families through our Advent Giving Tree outreach.