Fr. ChasDear Parish Family,

Last Thursday, we had our annual Stewardship Appreciation Dinner to recognize those in our parish who have given so much of their time, talent, and treasure.  The staff did a great job with putting the evening together.  We began with Holy Mass and then had our “stars” go down a red carpet that led to the parish hall conference room, which was our makeshift photo booth.  You’ll see some photos from that in this bulletin, but all of them are posted on our website (Photo Booth Pictures / Dinner Pictures).  We had a time of hors d’oeuvres, before sitting down together for a lovely dinner catered by Grady’s.  I gave a short address expressing my deep gratitude for their involvement, as well as a short review of all that we have accomplished together and a preview of some of the wonderful things to come!

4Then, our wonderfully talented Julie Pienkos channeled her inner Adele and performed her rendition of “Hello,” as well as a couple of other tunes.  You may not know that Julie is actually part of a  rock band called Alibi.  Their most recent performance was at Cascades on the evening of the Memorial Day fireworks.

I know not everyone was able to make it, so here are a few brief excerpts of the remarks I made at the dinner:
There is so much that goes on at our historic parish in the service of God’s people, and you are among the ones that really make it all happen!  You are the living stones that animate this parish, the living and breathing Body of Christ at work.  So this evening is a celebration of your contributions, the contributions of your time, the contributions of your talent, and the contributions of your treasure.  We of course know that there are others in our parish family who contribute each of these three things that are not listed in the booklet, but you are the ones who invest the most of yourself and your resources to building up the kingdom of God here in the Mother Church of Jackson, and for that, as your pastor, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

It takes all three – time, talent, and treasure – to keep our parish thriving!  Speaking of thriving, one of the healthy signs of a parish is growth.  Despite the population around us, our parish is growing!  After cleaning up our data back in August, thanks to our seminarian Mark Martin making all those calls, we had 1,961 parish households registered.  Nine months later, we have 86 more households, and we welcomed 32 people into the Catholic Church just this past Easter season between the Easter Vigil and the Pentecost Vigil.

Your active participation in all that our parish offers is a big reason for that growth!  And while we celebrate the present, we also look forward to our even brighter future, as we introduce something that we hope will be groundbreaking for our parish life, and that is the introduction of our network of Parish Representatives, which will eventually be 72 parishioners who are called to be Christ’s leaven in their different neighborhoods.  Their role will be to welcome new parishioners who live in their area of Jackson and be a liaison of sorts between the parish and parishioners who live in their area.

Nearly 200 of our parishioners came and enjoyed this wonderful evening.  It is a small token of the wider parish’s appreciation for you who sacrifice for the well-being of God’s family here at St. John.  Pick up a copy of the program from that evening (located in the vestibules) and see all the names of parishioners who make St. John the incredible household of God.  THANK YOU!

Yours in Christ,
Fr. Chas