This Sunday we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, and once again we hear the story of the magi who brought gifts to Jesus. The gifts were items of great value and great significance. And like the magi, we too are called to bring gifts of great value and great significance to Jesus. But in our case, the most valuable gift we can offer is often one of our time and service. To that end I’d like to take a moment on behalf of our entire parish staff to express deep gratitude to all of the folks who have given a gift of special service within our parish over the course of the Christmas season.

Thank you first of all to all of our liturgical ministers who served at our Christmas Eve and Day liturgies. it takes a few weeks of emails and invitations to fill all of the necessary ministry positions for those liturgies. Every minister who served in those masses filled a very important role, helping us to proclaim the Good News of Christ’s birth, AND helping us to welcome many visitors to our church. So thank you for answering the call to serve by responding to my many emails!

Thank you also to our Binder Buddies who came to the church in the days before Christmas to help fold and staple over 650 worship aids! It’s a big task that was made much easier with some willing and joyful helpers!

Next I would like to thank a very special group of people who have stepped forward to join our newly formed “Art and Environment Think Tank” to help plan and execute decorations for our worship space. Sophie Dobrianski, Mary Kay Hicks, Tom Hicks, and Marsha Salley have all joined this very important team and took the lead on our decor for Advent and Christmas. Did you put their vision together and help us put up the dozens of trees, swags, wreaths?  How about the millions of lights?  Thank you!

A very special thank-you goes to Janet Nordmoe, who has taken the lead with our altar linens and fabrics. Janet hand-crafted an absolutely stunning set of matching altar cloths for the marble Fleitz Memorial Altar and the two wooden side altars. Each cloth is custom-made to fit its individual altar, and in the course of measuring for these patterns Janet discovered that the two side altars are not exact copies of one another, but rather are different sizes.

Finally, I must express deep gratitude to our many volunteer musicians. The members of our music ministry make a considerable commitment of time – arriving early every week for mass and often staying after, coming to the church for special rehearsals, and even practicing their music at home! I am incredibly proud of our music team and honored to be your director. In particular the music offered at our Christmas liturgies was truly glorious and I have heard many comments about how much it was appreciated by all in attendance.

And now that you have had a moment to read about and give thanks for these wonderful fellow parishioners and their great service to our parish, here is an invitation to you. If you would like to join one of these teams of parishioners – liturgical ministers who serve at mass, Binder Buddies who help in the office, Art and Environment Team members who decorate the church, or our wonderful music ministry team – let’s talk! Come and see me over by the organ any Sunday after mass or contact me by phone or email at the parish office. Everything we do at the parish is dependent upon volunteers to give willingly and generously. And there is no better time than now to find your place for service within our parish community!
— Julie