This weekend, we end the celebration of the Easter Season with the celebration of the Feast of Pentecost. Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. Pentecost celebrates the birth of our Church, born in the Spirit promised by Jesus himself. The reading from the Acts of the Apostles describes for us the diversity present in the first members of the Church and how that diversity became a source of unity. If we look at the Church throughout the world, we will see this diversity—customs, languages, etc. Yet we see the unity that exists. Whatever part of the world we might visit, we find the Church is unified in its celebration of the liturgy. We find a unity that is created by the one who occupies the seat of Peter. In our current day, we are blessed to have Pope Francis who, in humble fashion--is ready to lead the church in a way that may very well unify the Church as it never has been before.
When we speak about diversity, we certainly have it here at St. John’s. Those who worship with us each week represent a variety of nationalities. We have a diversity of age groups –from young families to the elderly. And among our 2,200 families, we have a real diversity of gifts and talents. From the time of my coming to St. John’s, almost five years ago to the present, I have been edified at the number of our parishioners who volunteer their time for the good of the parish. So many gifts and talents are shared in such generous fashion. Would that more of you might consider becoming involved in the wide variety of ministries we offer. I am sure that among you there are many diverse talents that our entire parish family could benefit from. As we prepare for the celebration of Pentecost and pray for the continued outpouring of the Holy Spirit, I want to thank you for the many generous ways that you place your gifts at the service of others to build up the Body of Christ. Whatever your ministry – singer, musician, lector, Eucharistic Minister, usher, catechist, greeter, sacristan, welcome ministry, prayer ministry and others, your ministry is a “manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Cor 12:7). Your service opens up an experience of God’s presence and provides a full range of the human response to God’s love. All of us struggle from time to time in our roles of service. The Scriptures of Pentecost are filled with images to encourage us in ministry: dry bones coming to life, rivers of living water, fire and wind, bold proclamation, varieties of languages, a tapestry of charisms.
Indeed, we have many ministries, but what I find it is that the same people who have been involved for a long time. I appreciate the service of those in that category. But now is the time to add some new energy to those ministries. Now is also the time to begin some new ministries. I simply want to ask those who have never been involved to pray over this and then take that step. The Holy Spirit is encouraging you to use your gifts for the good of all here in the parish. Now, as we celebrate Pentecost, be open to the promptings of the Spirit. The more that people share their gifts and talents, the more vibrant we become as a parish.
Lately, a number of you have been asking when we are going to begin building our church. Certainly, I would like to start tomorrow; however, we must raise more funds before we will have enough in the bank to have the Diocese step forward to loan us the rest. The good news is that soon we will have an official “site plan” completed. With that in hand, we will be able to start thinking about the church building itself: How big will it be; what will be contained within its walls. Once we have an idea about the square footage that will be needed, then we will be able to determine the approximate cost. We will be completing our 3-year Alive in Christ Campaign sometime in June. Then in the late summer we will begin a new fund raising campaign aimed at achieving our financial goal. All monies raised in this campaign will go directly into the building fund. Last March 1st we held our first annual Dinner-Auction. I have to say that it was a very successful evening, with about 145 people in attendance. Those who were there had such a good time that they have indicated a desire to attend again next year. And some who did not attend heard what a great time people had, so they are looking forward to attending next year. This year’s team worked very hard, and after all expenses, $52,000 was added to the building fund. The committee has already begun planning for next year. You will be hearing more about it. I hope that some of you who did not take part this year will let us know that you would be willing to help with next year’s auction.
Let me finish by giving you an update on one thing. Our 4:30 Sunday liturgy has a new music minister – Hiedi Pranzoni. She currently has a core group of musicians and vocalists, but would like to add to this group. So if you have musical talents, please contact her.
5655 Stadium Parkway
Viera, FL 32940Office Hours: M-F 8:30am - 4:00pm
Phone: (321)637-9650Fax: (321)637-9651