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Archive for December, 2011

CANCELLED– TEEN PARTY CANCELLED

Sadly,

There is illness in our home that makes it impossible for us to host this year’s party.  So, I have to cancel it.  If someone else wants to host it, please let me know right away and I can tell you about the funds set aside to help pay for it.  However, as it stands right this moment, the party is cancelled.

I apologize for the disappointing news.

Fr. Chris Herman

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UNFORTUNATELY THE TEEN NEW YEARS EVE PARTY IS CANCELLED

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Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents, the day in which we remember all the little boy babies in Bethlehem two year and under who were killed by King Herod as he sought for the child Jesus.

THE LEGEND

Herod ‘the Great’ was appointed King of the Jews by the Roman authorities in Palestine and he proved to be ruthlessly efficient in his thirty-three years of dealing with his subjects.  In the Gospel according to Matthew, Herod tried to persuade the Magi, to whom he played host on their journey seeking the one ‘who has been born king of the Jews’, to bring word to him once they had found the child.  His desire was to eliminate Jesus and, when he realised that the Magi had tricked him and left the country, Herod killed all the children under the age of two in and around Bethlehem.  These were God’s ‘innocent’ ones, paralleling the story of Pharaoh slaughtering the Hebrew children in Egypt.

A READING FROM A SERMON OF QUODVULTDEUS, BISHOP OF CARTHAGE

A tiny child is born who is a great king.  Wise men are led to him from afar.  They come to adore one who lies in a manger and yet reigns in heaven and on earth.  When they tell of one who is born a king, Herod is disturbed.  To save his kingdom he resolves to kill him, though if he would have faith in the child, he himself would reign in peace in this life and for ever in the life to come.

Why are you afraid, Herod, when you hear of the birth of a king?  He does not come to drive you out, but to conquer the devil.  But because you do not understand this you are disturbed and in a rage, and to destroy one child whom you seek, you show your cruelty in the death of so many children.

You are not restrained by the love of weeping mothers or fathers mourning the deaths of their little ones, nor by the cries and sobs of the children.  You destroy those who are tiny in body because fear is destroying your heart.  You imagine that if you accomplish your desire you can prolong your own life, though you are seeking to kill Life himself.

Yet yoru throne is threatened by the source of grace – so small, and yet so great – who is lying in the manger.  He is using you, all unaware of it, to work out his own purposes in freeing souls from captivity to the devil.  He has taken up the children of the enemy into the ranks of God’s adopted children.

The children die for Christ, though they do not know it.  The parents mourn for the death of martyrs.  The children make of those as yet unable to speak fit witnesses to themselves.  See the kind of kingdom that is his, coming as he did in order to be this kind of king.  See how the deliverer is already working deliverance, the Saviour already working salvation.

But you, Herod, do noot know this and are disturbed and furious.  While you vent your fury against the children, you are already paying them homage, and you do not know it.  How great a gift of grace is here!  To what merits of their own do the children owe this kind of victory?  They cannot speak, yet they bear witness to Christ.  They cannot use their little limbs to engage in battle, yet already they bear off the palm of victory.

THE COLLECT FOR THE FEAST OF THE HOLY INNOCENTS

Heavenly Father, whose children suffered at the hands of Herod, though they had done no wrong: by the suffering of your Son and by the innocence of our lives frustrate all evil designs and establish your reign of justice and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

AN OPPORTUNITY TO STAND FOR LIFE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS

Brothers and Sisters of Christ our Hope:

Today you will have an opportunity to participate in something most of you have never experienced before.  We will celebrate a memorial Eucharist (kind of like a funeral/memorial service) for all of the little babies that have been murdered in the abortion mill in Kettering.  This will not be an easy time of prayer physically, spiritually, and emotionally for anyone who chooses to participate.  If you are not able to be present tomorrow, know that you will have another opportunity to do something when we observe Right to Life Sunday at church in late January.

So, today’s noon Eucharist, 28 December 2011, will not be at the church.  We will observe the Feast of the Holy Innocents by celebrating a memorial Eucharist in front of the Kettering abortion mill.  I talked to the manager of the Women’s Centre – Kettering (a Christian women’s clinic across from the abortion mill) this afternoon.  She gave me information on what is legal and has opened up their resources to us tomorrow as well.

Please be at 1377 E. Stroop by at least 11:55 a.m.  Parking is available around the right side of the building to the rear.  You will see us setting up on the the sidewalk and legal side of the grassy strip.  It is supposed to be rather cold tomorrow, so please come dressed appropriately.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me at 850-797- 6848.

In the Name of our newborn King!

Fr. Greg

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Brothers and Sisters of Christ our Hope:

Tomorrow you will have an opportunity to participate in something most of you have never experienced before.  We will celebrate a memorial Eucharist (kind of like a funeral/memorial service) for all of the little babies that have been murdered in the abortion mill in Kettering.  This will not be an easy time of prayer physically, spiritually, and emotionally for anyone who chooses to participate.  If you are not able to be present tomorrow, know that you will have another opportunity to do something when we observe Right to Life Sunday at church in late January.

So, tomorrow’s noon Eucharist, 28 December 2011, will not be at the church.  We will observe the Feast of the Holy Innocents by celebrating a memorial Eucharist in front of the Kettering abortion mill.  I talked to the manager of the Women’s Centre – Kettering (a Christian women’s clinic across from the abortion mill) this afternoon.  She gave me information on what is legal and has opened up their resources to us tomorrow as well.

Please be at 1377 E. Stroop by at least 11:55 a.m.  Parking is available around the right side of the building to the rear.  You will see us setting up on the the sidewalk and legal side of the grassy strip.  It is supposed to be rather cold tomorrow, so please come dressed appropriately.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me at 850-797- 6848.

In the Name of our newborn King!

Fr. Greg

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COFFEE AND CONVERSATION

This evening, 27 December 2011, 7 p.m., all of our young people aged 18-30 (and us not so young people over the age of 30 who are single) are invited to come hang out in the Green Room for an evening of conversation and some really good refreshments.  This will be an opportunity for fellowship and catching up with one another.  You have a chance to ‘stump the priest’ and play some others games as well.

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Day 3

The Love of God in the Incarnation

We thank You for as through Your Son You created us, so through Your holy love with which You love us You brought about His birth as true God and true man by the glorious, ever-virgin, most blessed, holy Mary and You willed to redeem us captives through His cross and blood and death.

Saint Francis of Assisi, The Earlier Rule (XXIII: Prayer and Thanksgiving), 82

Scripture Reading

John 3:16-17

Prayer

God of all compassion, you loved your people so much that you could not help but share yourself with us by taking on human flesh.  A greater outpouring of love the world has never seen.  A greater gift there has never been than the message of the depths of your love for all people as found int he birth of Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Christmas Action

If possible, take ten minutes today and call or write a note to someone you know who is having a difficult time coping with a situation.

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Today is the Feast of St. John, Apostle and Evangelist.

THE LIFE OF ST. JOHN

Whether or not John the Apostle and John the Evangelist are one and the same, the Church honours on this day the one who proclaims Jesus as ‘the Word made flesh’ and who is ‘the disciple whom Jesus loved.’  The Gospel narratives speak of John as one of the sons of Zebedee who followed Jesus.  He was present at the transfiguration of Jesus on the holy mountain; he was there with Jesus at the last supper; he was there with Jesus in his agony in the garden; he was there with Jesus and his mother, standing at the foot of the cross; he was there with Jesus as a witness of his resurrection and ‘he saw and believed.’  According to tradition, John died at Ephesus in advanced old age.

***(2004). Celebrating the saints. Norwich, England: Canterbury Press.***

A READING FROM THE COMMENTARY OF AUGUSTINE ON THE FIRST LETTER OF JOHN

‘Our message is the Word of life.  We announce what existed from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our own eyes, what we have touched with our own hands.’

Who could touch the Word with his hands unless ‘the Word was made flesh and lived among us?’  Now this Word, whose flesh was so real that he could be touched by human hands, began to be flesh in the Virgin Mary’s womb; but he did not begin to exist at that moment.  We know this from what John says: ‘What existed from the beginning.’  Notice how John’s Letter bears witness to his Gospel: ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God.’

Someone might interpret the phrase ‘the Word of life’ to mean a word about Christ, rather than Christ’s body itself whcih was touched by human hands.  But consider what comes next: ‘and life itself was revealed.’  Christ, therefore, is himself the Word of life.

And how was this life revealed?  It existed from the beginning, but was not revealed to mortals, only to angels, who looked upon it and feasted upon it as their own spiritual bread.  But what does Scripture say?  ‘Humans ate the bread of angels.’

Life itself was therefore revealed in the flesh.  In this way what was visible to the heart alone could become visible also to the eye, and so heal human hearts.  For the Word is visible to the heart alone, while flesh is visible to bodily eyes as well.  We already possessed the means to see the flesh, but we had no means of seeing the Word.  The Word was made flesh so that we could see it, to heal the part of us by which we could see the Word.

John continues: ‘And we are witnesses and we proclaim to you that eternal life which was with the Father and has been revealed among us’ – one might say more simply ‘revealed to us.’  ‘We proclaim to you what we have heard and seen.’  Make sure that you grasp the meaning of these words.  The disciples saw our Lord in the flesh, face to face; they heard the words he spoke, and in turn they proclaimed the message to us.  So we also have heard, although we have not seen.

Are we then less favoured than those who both saw and heard?  If that were so, why should John add; ‘so that you too may have fellowship with us?’  They saw, and we have not seen; yet we have fellowship with them, because we and they share the same faith.

‘And our fellowship is with God the Father and Jesus Christ his Son.  And we write this to you to make your joy complete’ – complete in that fellowship, in that love and in that unity.

THE COLLECT FOR ST JOHN, APOSTLE AND EVANGELIST

Merciful Lord, cast your bright beams of light upon the Church: that, being enlightened by the teaching of your blessed apostle and evangelist Saint John, we may so walk in the light of your truth that we may at last attain to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ your incarnate Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

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