In writing these columns over the last several years, it seems to me that several themes are recurring, namely: belonging and gratitude. I think we assume people who are faithful then display a sense of belonging and gratefulness, but it is actually a bit the other way around. People who find an abiding sense of belonging to a worshipping community become people of faith. Similarly, people who intentionally practice gratitude, become more faithful.
I believe we are called to live out the deepest meaning of faith, gratitude, and belonging: “And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17) Now we are called to be intentional about our next steps.
On our website (sacredheartfla.org/discernment) and on page four of this bulletin, we provide some simple steps in the process of discernment, a way in which to help each of us to be intentional about the way we will serve God in whatever we do. That’s a good place to start. And the first step is prayer, listening to God in order to discern the breadth of talents and abilities needed to build and be the Kingdom of God in our time and place. Praying for God’s guidance helps you to see more clearly your gifts, talents, interests, and the, “Hey, I might like to try that,” opportunities available.
For our part, we are making the opportunities more visible. Last weekend and in the weekends to come we are providing an opportunity to live out the deep meaning of belonging by volunteering, joining, supporting, or in some way connecting with your fellow parishioners through our ministry fairs. Last weekend, 26 parishioners expressed interest in being part of the ministries of Hospitality or Liturgy & Music. Next weekend will be the ministries of Franciscan Care and Groups ministries (Women’s Council, Book Club, etc.) that will be front and center, asking for your time and talent.
We are asking people to discern where God is calling them to serve Him: “And whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” The weekend of October 29 th and 30 th , we will ask for commitment. And not just to parish ministry, but “whatever you do.” Some of you are committed to being a coach for your child’s basketball or soccer team, leading a troop of Girl Scout Brownies or Cub Scouts, or serving at a local charity. How will you, in word and deed, intentionally give glory to God in all these things? The same question applies when considering your service as a Lector at Mass, feeding the homeless, or coming to Bible Study. It is the question we should all ask ourselves at the start of each day.
On the weekend of October 29th and 30th , we will ask you to come forward, as an individual or as a household, to make your commitment as a visible sign of belonging to this community and to receive a blessing for whatever you do…in the name of the Lord Jesus.