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Thursday Thoughts - March 10 2016

posted Mar 11, 2016, 2:05 PM by Nikki Roe

Thursday Thoughts – March 10, 2016


Dear Friends,


Our Lenten Program – Becoming Caring Gardeners in God’s Creation – will conclude next Wednesday.  This is one of the themes which came out of General Convention last year.  We will begin with a soup supper at 5:30pm, with the program starting at 6:00pm.  And as a little tease – the soups and salads have been great – along with some wonderful breads.  Last night Maureen packed a lot of content in her 45 minutes and it was great.    We have one more week of thoughtful discussions – and you are welcome to come next week, even if you have not read the encyclical.  You’ll be glad you came.


The remaining program will be as follows - 

Wednesdays, March 16 – An overview of Pope Francis’s Encyclical - Laudato Si – On Care for Our Common Home.  This will be led by the Rev. Maureen Doherty.  This will include a discussion of what an encyclical is; why this one reaches out to the global family; and what it challenges us to do. 


The Rev. Maureen Doherty will be the celebrant at both services this week.  We are most grateful for her generous contribution to our parish life.




Our first landscaping follow-up meeting is Thursday, March 31, at 6:00pm at Trinity.  In the meantime, soil samples have been taken to assess the quality of our soil and soon the remaining stumps in the planting area will be removed and the soil tilled for planting.  This is the time when we can put additives in the soil, if needed.  At this point, we are looking to plant in June.  We have a good team committed to taking this process forward, but more can come on board!  We will keep everyone informed as the process goes forward.  And we learned that one of our members is a Master Gardener – Larry Lavenz!


And speaking of the beauty of creation, it’s time to place our orders for Easter flowers!  Here’s the information from Kathleen Sallee:

This year you can order from the following choices and then donate to the church to plant outside in the fall, or take home.  Choose one of following and note on your check which choice and if memorial and to whom:  Easter Lilies are $10.99, Hyacinth (blue or pink) $17.65, Tulip with 5 bulbs (pink, purple, white or yellow) $17.65, Mums (white - $17.65), and Azaleas - $33.15.   Altar arrangements are $50 per vase – and you can make a partial contribution for the altar arrangements. Orders need to be into church office by Wednesday, March 16th.


Are you interested in being a part of a prayer chain?  Linda Valentine is very interested in restarting this ministry.  It’s a meaningful ministry which is a ‘quiet’ ministry, but so important to those who take part and to those on whose behalf the prayers are offered.  If you have questions or want to sign up, please call Linda at 319-236-9175.  Please leave a message if she isn’t available.


Please don't forget our Stewardship Campaign! 

Thank you to all of you who returned your stewardship pledges of your time, talent and treasure.  For those of you who haven’t yet responded, we would appreciate receiving it as soon as possible.  Your commitment of your time, treasure and talents will help us formulate the 2016 budget with more accuracy. This is an important part of our life as a community of faith.  It’s often not easy to talk about the stewardship of our time, talents and treasure, but it’s essential to how we function as a congregation - in our day-to-day life as a parish community and in the greater Cedar Valley.  Thank you.


Our next date to serve supper at the Catholic Worker House is Monday, April  11th . A sign-up chart will be available on the kiosk two week ahead of the night we serve..  We had a good group of people in last week and they enjoyed our good, healthy food. 


The Altar Flowers Calendar for 2016 has been revised -

Please see the new Altar Flowers Calendar on the kiosk.  The permanent listings are there, and some new spaces are open – the open dates are highlighted in blue.  Please consider giving flowers in memory of loved ones, to honor a person or an occasion or in thanksgiving for loved ones.  If you have a special date in mind, it is OK to have more than one giver on a Sunday.  Thank you.


Don’t forget to save . . . . While you are saving your HyVee till slips and your medicine bottles, don’t forget you can also save pop tops from beverages and the larger pull tops for some canned foods.  These benefit the Iowa City Ronald McDonald House.  There is a container for them at the east entrance to the Church.  Thank you.


There is a ‘wish list’ for the school age students in the before and after school class.  Please look at the list on the kiosk and see if you might be able to contribute something.  Thank you.




Looking ahead

·         The next Vestry meeting is Tuesday, March 15th at 7pm.

·         Saturday, March 19th, is our next day at the Food Bank – this can be a neat family activity.

·         The Altar Guild workshop and preparation for Palm Sunday will be Saturday, March 19, from 9-11am.

·         The Memorial Service for Tish Pace will be Saturday, March 19, at 2:00 pm and a reception will follow in the Parish Hall.

·         Next Catholic Worker dinner is Monday, April 11.


Closing Thoughts . . .

I saw a devastating statistic earlier in the week – Some 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life. That's about one in nine people on earth.  And Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the highest prevalence (percentage of population) of hunger. One person in four there is undernourished. Both statistics apply to our companion dioceses of Swaziland and Nzara.  The severe drought in Swaziland and the civil war incorporating Nzara into the conflict zone there place both countries in a more devastating hunger situation as does the high percentage of Swazis who are either HIV+ or are living with AIDS.


We continue to pray for our sisters and brothers in the Diocese of Nzara, and especially for Bishop Samuel as he continues to head up the justice, peace and reconciliation work for the entire province, comprised of the two nations of The Sudan and South Sudan.  Sadly, the situation there continues to be dangerous.   


We continue to pray for the conflict in Syria and give thanks that some of the parties have agreed to a partial cessation of hostilities.  Amazingly to those closest to the situation, the cessation of hostilities has been mostly adhered to.  We give thanks for the continuing efforts by land and air to deliver food and medicines to communities who have been cut off because of the fighting.  We also pray for the immigration crisis in Europe and the thousands of people who are stranding in the midst of the crisis.


I noticed with gratitude that Governor Branstad has signed a bill which will insure that juvenile records will remain confidential unless a judge orders otherwise.  This is positive step for those who may have made a mistake when they were young and have managed to get on the right path.  This bill has been one of importance, supported by the NAACP.


So, with our world seeming a bit crazy and even dangerous at times, our response is to be prayerful and to ‘keep on keeping on.’


In the peace and hope of Christ,




Nikki Roe,
Mar 11, 2016, 2:05 PM