Winter Ordinary Time 2021
Monday, January 11 – Tuesday February 16
Albeit welcoming and warmer than usual, not even New England weather has been ordinary! Very little becomes known as routine or standard pattern in our experiences these days.
This year we experience six weeks of our liturgical winter ordinary time season. A period of scriptures, (this year B of Mark), which guide our reflection as Catholic Christians called to follow Christ’s call to discipleship—the very mission of Jesus as the Christ anointed to bring glad tidings to the most vulnerable. Jesus calls us to “repentand believe, the kingdom of God is at hand.” The gospel of Mark is invaluable for grasping the essential characteristics of Jesus’ public ministry.
This Year of Saint Joseph, December 8, 2020 - December 8, 2021, we do well to recognize that the gospel of Mark begins not with the annunciation and birth of Jesus but with the heralding of John the Baptizer. The mission of Jesus as presented in this Gospel is our mission. Our 2021 journey is one through fragility and challenges withresilience. As people of faith, we join on this pilgrimage of life committed to the gospel values. This decade we have been challenged to think and to live adaptively and creatively.
We do well to take these six weeks between the feast of the Baptism of the Lord and Ash Wednesday to evaluate how well our parish has responded, adapted and adjusted. Equally important are our future plans. Our ministry and service into this year with all its needs and concerns can be greatly assisted by your experience and input. Please communicate and provide that input by contacting us by mail, phone, email, or online. Your connectedness and participation in our ongoing virtual and in-person worship, prayer services, discussions and coffee and donuts fellowship will greatly determine our functionality. We are actively pursuing how better access can be provided by phone for any unable to access technology.
Since liturgy is our source and summit, our primary goal and purpose shall continue to be your spirituality while maintaining safety. Staying safe through these viral times
remains a priority. Difficult decisions determine how we follow protocols and best practices for our worship, ritual and sacred celebrations. Thank you to the ongoing commitment of ministers and benefactors and all who remain at home. Outreach continues to be another top priority. How best to serve the needs of each other, especially the most vulnerable amongst us? Thank you for any prayer and support and suggestions toward this end.
Our continued efforts to decrease expenses and our additional additional requests for financial contributions remain crucial. Nonetheless, situations such as a recent furnace circulation pump replacement and utility expenses still must be addressed. We are sincerely grateful to each and every financial offering. These weeks of winter ordinary time co-mingle with the day-to-day realities that surround our responsibilities. Our Sunday Scriptures provide us with the guide for mission. The gospel of Jesus’ mission and ministry continues as our mission and ministry.
“He has sent me to bring good news to the afflicted.” Isaiah 61:1-3
The Anointed Bearer of Glad Tidings
The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me;
He has sent me to bring good news to the afflicted, to bind up the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives, release to the prisoners,
to announce a year of favor from the LORD and a day of vindication by our God;
To comfort all who mourn; to place on those who mourn in Zion a diadem instead of ashes,
To give them oil of gladness instead of mourning,a glorious mantle instead of a faint spirit.
Some recent suggestions for our efforts and purpose:
-Ongoing safety concerns and pandemic precautions
-Prayer opportunities and activities this year of St. Joseph
-Renewed social justice committee
-Online faith formation
-Increase and improved engagement
-Updated contact list and more communication
-Address technological needs
-Spiritual and mental health and present day emotional needs
Nothing, absolutely nothing in ministry and parish life is as usual. Embracing reality, we continue to be strong and resilient. We adjust, adapt and function. You are crucial to our blended best practices of who we are called to be as St. Joseph Parish this 158th year of our history. Our 2020s parish vision and strategic planning has been refocused for this decade.
Help us with this refocusing.
Help us to help one another.
Be a part of the solution.
Join our parish town meeting and update on Tuesday, February 2, 7:00 p.m. Email [email protected] to receive meeting details, including a link for the virtual meeting and/or a call-in number to access the meeting by phone.