Well, today is four weeks since my arrival at Immaculate Conception. If you remember my earlier writings, Sr. Edna had spoken to me as I was carrying in my boxes to schedule a funeral. Tomorrow, I will preside at my eighth funeral since my arrival. That would translate to about 100 funerals a year. The good news is that I am told that normally it is more like 50 funerals a year so hopefully there will be a slow down soon.
Even without funerals there is plenty to do. Some of it routine like our regular Finance Council meeting last Thursday. The challenge there is producing a balanced budget with decreasing expenses and increasing costs. Our Stewardship Committee met for a regular meeting last night. It was my first time meeting with them so we began with some introductions before regular business. Stewardship is an important concept. Some think it is just about money. It isn’t. It is about recognizing that all that we have flows from the gifts God has given us. As good stewards of those gifts, we use our time, talent, and treasure not for selfish gain (accumulation of material goods) but to make our world a better place, to make the Kingdom of God known here today.
This afternoon I met with the chair of our Welcoming Committee one-on-one. They will not have a regular meeting until September but we met so she could introduce me to the ministry of the Committee. It might seem obvious to many that we need to be a welcoming community but it isn’t always as simple as it sounds. It isn’t hard but it does take a focused effort. Whether it be sending a newly registered family a welcome packet to introduce them to life at Immaculate or a coffee hour after Mass these things help us connect to one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.
Tonight I have a meeting with the newsletter team. The newsletter exists to communicate what is going on in the parish. Communication is essential to ministry. People need to know a ministry exists to seek out the benefits the ministry offers. People can’t come to parish events if they don’t know what is happening. Communication is also essential to those who may have fallen away. Communication can help people feel connected. People who don’t feel connected can feel like they don’t matter. Everyone matters with Jesus!
Ultimately the message is “God Loves You!”