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Thursday Thoughts - March 3 2016

posted Mar 4, 2016, 7:01 AM by Nikki Roe

Thursday Thoughts – March 3, 2016


Dear Friends,


Our Lenten Program – Becoming Caring Gardeners in God’s Creation – continues on Wednesday evenings.  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.  There is a signup sheet on the kiosk for those who would like to make a salad or supply a loaf of bread and margarine.  People have already signed up for soup.


Following on from our February 25th meeting with the Master Gardeners, this week Maureen led us through the introduction and first two chapters of Pope Francis’s encyclical, On Care for our Common Home. She helped us realize what a rich document it is for the whole human family.  Too often we think of all of creation as ‘ours’ to do with as please, forgetting that we are all children of God – no matter our religion, our location and our place in the economic world.  We have two more weeks of very thoughtful discussions – and you are welcome to come, even if you have not read the encyclical. 


The remaining programs will be as follows - 

Wednesdays, March 9 and 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. 


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.


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, March 7. A sign-up chart will be available on the kiosk this week.  We had a good group of people in February and they enjoyed our good 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.


Looking ahead

  • “Haunted by God,” a one-woman play, will be take place Tuesday, March 8, at 7pm at the St. Stephen Catholic Student Center, 1019 W. 23rd Street in Cedar Falls.  This inspiring play will present the life of Dorothy Day, whose life has been the inspiration of much social justice witness in the Roman Catholic community, most notably the Catholic Worker Movement.

  • The next Vestry meeting is Tuesday, February 15th at 7pm.

  • Saturday, March 19 , is our next day at the Food Bank – this can be a 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.


Closing Thoughts . . .

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.  The situation there continues to worsen and Bishop Peni, for safety reasons, must leave the country at times. 


We also pray for the conflict in Syria and give thanks that some of the parties have agreed to a partial cessation of hostilities.  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 ongoing fighting.  We also pray for the immigration crisis in Europe and the thousands of people who are stranding in the midst of the crisis.


We also keep our sisters and brothers in Swaziland in our prayers as their government declares national emergency as draught intensifies.The government of Swaziland has declared a national emergency as the land-locked southern African nation continues to suffer the effects of a devastating drought. The Prime Minister, Dr B Sibusio Dlamini, said that the draught, which began in 2014 as a result of the El Nino weather event, has “deepened in severity, with a path that has defied regional weather forecasting” and has had “devastating consequences.” He said: “The negative impact of the drought has led to seriously diminished water availability for crop production, human consumption and livestock sustenance. At the present time, we count the loss of around 40,000 head of cattle, and have to report a serious food and water vulnerability currently experienced by approximately 300,000 of our people, which is around 25% of the population.” He went on to say that the high number of Swazi people living with HIV and AIDS serves to make the drought even more serious.  The UN estimates that 40% of the people in Swaziland are HIV positive or have AIDS.  Unfortunately the lavish lifestyle of the Swazi King and his family has made seeking financial resources to aid the Swazi people even more difficult.  We hold them in our prayers and will keep in touch with our Diocesan Office to see how we can assist in the days to come.


And lastly, I feel almost compelled to say something about the Presidential nomination process which seems to consume 95% of all television coverage, despite the desperate needs of people all over our globe.  I am continually devastated by the lack of simple civility from a number of our candidates.  In football and rugby there is an unwritten code to ‘play the ball not the player.’  Our political campaigns could use a little of that discipline as well.  We need to keep our eyes on the ball and remember that our government is meant to serve all people – not just the ones who can shout the loudest or the rudest.


So, with our world seeming a bit crazy at times, our job is to be prayerful and to keep on keeping on.


In the peace and hope of Christ,

Nikki Roe,
Mar 4, 2016, 7:01 AM