Jan, 1st Pastor Message
Read this week's message from Father Don
At the beginning of this new year, I ask God’s blessing upon each one of you and upon our growing parish.
2022 was an eventful year at All Saints. The biggest change was the departure of Deacon Greg and Ivy in September. For more than ten years, the Barcelons had been organizing activities and initiatives at All Saints, and then suddenly they were gone. The fall was a time of adjustment for the parish during which I hired Maria Dosen and Sharon Dlima to take on some of Ivy’s roles. Maria and Sharon have brought new energy and pastoral experience to the parish and I am deeply grateful for their contribution.
A less dramatic but equally important change came with the sale of the parish rental house to St. Agnes Kim parish. The Koreans have been with us for five years and, with the house purchase, their ongoing presence at All Saints is stably established.
What are your hopes for 2023? Personally, I am hoping to become more joyful.
Jesus came into the world to bring us joy, which is something much more profound than mere cheerfulness. Joy arises from an experience of God’s saving power in my life. It is a spontaneous leap of the heart when I realize that, unexpectedly and undeservedly, I have been set free.
Joy allows us to look beyond the many burdens and disappointments of everyday life and see the tender face of our triumphant god. It puts things into proper perspective, something we are in great need of in the modern world.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if visitors to All Saints Parish were delighted by the joyfulness of our community. As soon as they came in the back door of the church, they would see joy in our faces and in the way we relate to one other. Such visible joyfulness would surely make a great impression upon them.
ALPHA is a great first step in experiencing the joy of the Lord. The program introduces people to relationship with Jesus and engagement with the parish community. In an ALPHA small group, you can make new parish friendships and learn to talk about your faith experience.
If you have not yet attended ALPHA, I encourage you to sign up through the QR code on the promo card distributed at Christmas. My second hope for 2023 is that many parishioners will choose to attend ALPHA and start to grow in the joy of the Lord.
You are my beloved people and I entrust you to God’s care throughout the coming year.