2017-11-26 bulletin



Worship: 2201 First Ave, Minneapolis MN 55404
Mail: c/o 106 E. 24th Street, Phone: 612-767-4530 Fax: 612-767-4534
info@spiritofststephens.org www.spiritofststephens.org

November 26, 2017 ~ 9:30 A.M.

Community Council council@spiritofststephens.org: Cathy Heying, Karen Klein, Virgil Mathiowetz, Darlene Mattson, Mark Muller, Hugh Smeltekop and Jeanne Wingenter
Community Life Coordinator: Marilaurice Hemlock info@spiritofststephens.org

Spirit of St. Stephen’s Catholic Community is an independent Catholic community rooted in Vatican II and Catholic Social Teaching. We believe in the priesthood of all people of faith, and we center our worship on the Eucharist. We support each other in trying to follow the nonviolent Jesus who was radically inclusive. Justice and inclusion in our worship and in our community support our work for justice and peace in our world. We are living the questions, and listening for the Spirit's guidance. All are welcome.

Welcome to All– Thank you for joining your prayer with ours this morning. We remain at many different places along our paths and your questions or comments are invited by any of the ministers. Visitors: We have child care available and also a program for older children during the school year. The first row of chairs on each side of the altar (nearest the musicians) are for those using wheelchairs, walkers, or canes or needing easy access to seating; please do not block the view of those who remain seated in these rows. The section near the front door is a scent free area to better accommodate the needs of individuals with chemical sensitivities/allergies; please refrain from sitting there if you have applied any scented personal care products or have used scented laundry detergent or dryer sheets on your clothing.

COMMUNITY MEMBERS IN NEED FUND – We've collected funds to help meet the urgent needs of our registered SOSSCC members in the areas of housing, food, clothing, medical, and/or transportation. If you have such a (monetary) need which would be alleviated by a (generally) one-time infusion of a modest amount of cash, or if you know of a member who has such a need, please apply (or encourage that person to apply). Call or email Ed and Sally Ehlinger, edehlinger@gmail.com (612) 827-8087; Michael Donahue, med717@aol.com (651) 264-9590; Kathy Murphy, kcmurphytaylor@aol.com (612) 871-8712; or Lynn Hallett, mlhallett@yahoo.com (651) 697-9534. We respect your privacy.

SOSS community members place high value on responding to the pastoral needs of one another. Please let us know when you (or someone you love) are experiencing a health crisis, death of a loved one or other difficult times. Call 612-767-4530 and follow the menu instructions to relate your pastoral care need. You will be forwarded to the home phone of the Pastoral Care person on call. The Pastoral Care person will answer or call you back to link you with community members who have volunteered to be of assistance. PC members rotate being ‘on-call’.

Gluten-free Eucharist is available to all who would like it. The communion station will be near the windows behind the East pillar.

Please pray for mercy for all those who live on death row across the country. In gratitude for being given more time, pray with Jack Greene and Scott Dozier, who were granted stays of execution in Arkansas and Nevada. Please also pray for all those who have lost loved ones to violence, for the prison staff, and for those who hold vigil to end the death penalty. For more information about efforts to abolish the death penalty, go to www.deathpenaltyinfo.org.
Prayer Network (Prayers@spiritofststephens.org OR Marilaurice@hotmail.com) This week we pray with the God beyond all names. We pray with the Chosen One who, with infinite and tender wisdom, has chosen us to bind up the injured and strengthen the weak. We pray with the Shepherd who searches through thick darkness and clouds for we scattered children. We pray with the God of Comfort who seeks us that we might have rest. We pray with our Mother God who seeks to feed all her sheep with justice that we might have the strength to feed others. We pray with our Healing God who longs to bind up our wounds. We pray with our Center who is always present to call us back when we have strayed. We pray in the hope of God-with-us who came among us to find us one by one. We pray with the God of Life who gave us Christ that all might be made alive. We pray with the God of Power whose strength is shown in boundless love. We pray with the God of Authority whose power is truth with justice. We pray with the God of Promise and know ourselves as instruments of promises fulfilled. We pray with the Prophetic God who demands truth from unlikely sources. We pray with the God who knows ridicule, doubt, loneliness, weakness and scattered fear. We pray with all God’s sheep and goat-like children who allow aspiring shepherds plenty of opportunities. We pray in gratitude for prophetic voices who speak truth to power though the cost is incredible. We pray continual humility that through the gift of forgiveness and mercy we may begin to live as one tribe with the First Nation on this one magnificent Mother Earth. We pray with all who take up the voices of those needing dignified shelter in this and every season. We pray with all refugees and immigrants who are devastated by stereotype, ignorance and unjust laws. We pray with all who are seeing their privilege with new eyes these days. We pray with all who are left-handed, left of center or left behind. We pray in gratitude for the earthly live of Jim Lenarz, man of wisdom, optimism, and music, and for Susan Sullivan’s dad who died, and all their family and friends mourning the absence of these gentle men. May comfort come to all who grieve. We pray with all who suffer the long holiday season just begun—may they find comfort in our empathy and transfiguration in our actions. We pray with all who remember warm family meals and all who have no idea of such. We pray with Suzanne H., John L., and all our dear ones who hope and pray for healing. We pray with all sisters and brothers who know violence and yearn for its end. We pray with all whose lives have been touched by violence, especially right here at home. We pray with all who live with the mystery of mental illness and those who love them. We pray for Donald Trump and all elected officials. We pray in gratitude for another year of grace and mercy as we open our hearts to the gift of hope in a new liturgical year beginning next Sunday. We pray with soldiers and their families in all the world. We pray for peace. We pray in gratitude for each possibility of peace, anywhere. We pray in gratitude “in this season of Thy thanksgiving.”. We pray for peace. With the sick and suffering, faithful caregivers, and all who have died, we pray to our God…

If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, "thank you," that would suffice.  ~Meister Eckhart

Advent will be here in ONE week (December 3). Do you know where your wreath is? Where are the candles and what colors will you use? When will you light it each day? Other Advent news: We will be singing a Eucharistic prayer on Dec. 3 and 17 with a quick rehearsal of the refrain TODAY! Also, our youth participating in church school will be considering the question: What actions do I do that make room for hope in the world? and we will have a chance to join them. Details next Sunday!

For I was naked and without socks… Not a fully accurate translation but a Minnesotan Jesus surely would have used this example if he were in our midst today. We continue our annual collection for St. Stephen’s Human Services needs: NEW men’s underwear and socks (wool or wool-blend for winter comfort and safety against frost-bite), as well as winter hats and gloves. Items may be left in the basket in the sanctuary OR the box in the Fireside Room OR dropped off during office hours at the Human Services main office, 2309 Nicollet. Thanks to all as we partner with St. Stephen’s Human Services to end homelessness. If you have any questions about the work of St. Stephen’s Human Services, please contact Jodi Trost, director of development and communications, at 612-879-7639 or jtrost@ststephensmpls.org.

Family and Children program update:  We are working to support the Special Needs pageant. Families and children are welcome to come and help at the rehearsals and to play roles in the pageant and music.  Rehearsal dates are Nov. 18 and Dec. 2 and the performance is Dec. 9.  Come celebrate the holidays with one of our community's most beloved traditions.

Teachers needed!  Church School is looking for teachers for the new year (Jan. 2018).  The lessons are prepared for you and Gretchen is happy to help support you in your teaching. 

“As we have in the past, Spirit will participate in Hennepin County’s ‘Giving Partners Holiday Program’, in which we are matched with 3 or more families who are experiencing hardships that could make the holidays difficult. Participants buy gifts (including toys, gift cards and household necessities) and we get them to county staff working with the families between Dec. 11th and Dec. 19th for delivery to the families. Gift cards are especially welcome! I’ll soon begin gathering names of people/families who would like to help, so watch for more news and call or email me if you have any questions. Liadan McKernan and Anne Quincy will be gathering names of people/families who would like to help. Call or email them if you have any questions or would like to help! Reach Anne at 612-209-2524, / johnmquincy@yahoo.com, or Liadan at liadanm@gmail.com / 612-724-8405.  Thanks!

Saturday, December 2, 2017, 9 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. - "A Critical Conversation with Massimo Faggioli;  "Why Remain Actively Catholic in these times?" sponsored by Call to Action  Minnesota at St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church - 1500 Franklin Avenue SE, Minneapolis. Massimo Faggioli is a Church historian, Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Villanova University and contributing editor to Commonweal magazine.  He is the go-to theologian on all things Vatican in many U.S. mainstream and religious newspapers as well as in many other countries.   Registration deadline is November 24. Donation of $30.00 (For scholarships, call Sharon 651-457-3249.) Mail registration information (name, phone, email and mailing address) and check to Call to Action Minnesota, P.O. Box 68171, Minneapolis, MN    55418-8171. Or Email to artstoeberl@yahoo.com. Contact Art at 651-636-7356 with any questions

Sunday, December 3rd St. Stephen’s Human Services has invited us to an open house (with refreshments!) immediately following church to see the newly remodeled Ed Flahavan Welcome Center. There is also a new access for everyone in the front of the building. No more using the back alley! SSHS recently renegotiated the lease and the landlord agreed to do some needed leasehold improvements. Hope you can make it.

Friday, December 8 and Saturday, December 9 at 8pm, Sunday December 10 at 2 pm-The Twin Cities Gay Men's Chorus of which Hugh S. is a member, works to build community and confront intolerance through music. This year they are presenting their annual holiday concert, “Around the World”. All performances are at Ted Mann Concert Hall on the University of Minnesota West Bank. Members of our community receive a $5 discount when ordering tickets with the promo code FAITH17 at tcgmc.org or by calling the U of M box office at 612-624-2345.



Give us thankful hearts…
in this season of Thy Thanksgiving.
May we be thankful for health and strength,
for sun and rain and peace.
Let us seize the day and the opportunity
and strive for that greatness of spirit
that measures life not by its disappointments
but by its possibilities,
and let us ever remember
that true gratitude and appreciation
shows itself neither in independence
nor satisfaction
but passes the gift joyfully on
in larger and better form.     W.E.B. Du Bois


St. Vincent de Paul:
          If you regard the poor with the eyes of faith, you will see they take the place of the Son of God who chose to be poor. . . . We should be moved by our neighbors' troubles and concerns and ask God to fill our hearts with feelings of mercy and compassion. . . If a poor person needs medicine or other help during the time of prayer, do what needs to be done with peace of mind. . . Do not be uneasy or feel guilty because you interrupted your prayer to serve the poor.  You do not neglect God if you leave for such service.  You are merely interrupting one service of God to carry out another.  So when you postpone your prayer to serve some poor person, this very service is done for God.  For charity is more important than any rule.


Thanksgiving Reflection
Gratitude . . .   the sweetest of all the practices . . . 
mindfulness of gratitude  leads to a direct experience of being connected to life . . .
to the realization that there is a larger context  in which your personal story is unfolding.
Cultivating thankfulness for being part of life
blossoms into a feeling of being blessed . . .
an appreciation for the interdependent nature of life . . .
being consciously grateful to family, friends, teachers, benefactors and to all 
who have come before you who have made it possible for your existence
to be comfortable, informed, and empowered.
Gratitude elicits feelings of generosity . . . creating further joy . . . 
softening a heart . . . building the capacity for forgiveness . . .  
meeting life with an open heart . . .  in each moment as it arises.

 Wishing you a Happy Thanks-Giving . . .


Prayer of Thanksgiving
O Divine Gift-giver,
We stand beneath the endless waterfall
of your abundant gifts to us.
We thank you especially for the blessing of life,
the most precious of all your gifts to us.
We thank you, Ever-generous One,
for clothing to wear,
for food and drink to nourish our bodies,
for all the talents and skills
you have bestowed upon us.
We thank you for the many joys of our lives,
for family and friends,
for work that gives us a sense of purpose,
for a good body and a clear mind.
We thank you as well
for the suffering and trials of our lives
which are also gifts
and which together with our mistakes
are among our most important teachers.
Grant that we may never greet a new day
without the awareness of some gift
for which to give you thanks.
For the gifts for which we are most thankful this day:
Each person may name a gift aloud or in her/his heart.

May God bless each of us around this table with peace. (Amen.)
May Jesus Christ bless us with food
that satisfies the heart’s hungers. (Amen.)
May the Spirit bless us with love that leads us toward life forever
at the heavenly banquet table. (Amen.)

[Adapted from Prayers For a Planetary Pilgrim by Edward M. Hays and
Blessing Rites for Christian Lives by Shawn Madigan, CSJ

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