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Good News for December 13th



If a parish is going to move from” maintenance mode” to “mission-driven,” there are three important structural changes. These are an OUTWARD FOCUS, RADICAL WELCOME READINESS, and CLOSING THE BACK DOOR. Let us look at the first one this week. 

 

When writing about FOCUSED, SUSTAINED OUTWARD ACTION, Thom Rainer uses the term "an outward deluge." It is the Biblical response to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19/20*) and the Great Commandment (Matthew 22: 37-39 **). 

 

Efforts in reaching out to the community should not be incremental. They should be dramatic and intentional. It can involve different elements. That can include the amount of money spent on outreach. It can be time people use simply and systematically inviting people. It could be collaborating with local officials and then helping in the community to solve local problems. It involves having gospel conversations. It also means utilizing parish facilities for the community. 

 

Reaching out to people involves three time periods. These time periods mesh with the rhythm of the parish. They can be identified as sustained, seasonal, and special. Let us look at sustained focus first. 

 

sustained activity involves a substantial number of church members. It is a year-round ministry. It is part of the church's identity. It is the activity where people outside of the parish say, “Oh, St. Raymond? Sure, that is the __________ church!” Finally, it is strategically and intentionally connected with the parish. That means it is not an activity that engages just a few parishioners. It connects the entire congregation. It is something that the overwhelming majority of parishioners are involved with in some capacity. This is important. This can help integrate the parish. It cuts across church turf wars and breaks down parish “silos.” 

 

Here is an example: One pastor knew that his various church activities (all of which were good activities) were still competing with each other for parish resources. He met with each group. He then challenged each group/ministry/activity to identify and adopt one neighborhood need. They were to get creative and find a way to connect, commit, and address that need for 10 months. In doing this, each parish group would begin meeting and interacting with a new group of people. Once they began to interact with these new people, they were asked to invite them to the parish at some point.

 

Notice that the pastor did not cancel a lot of church activities. Many of these activities continued to do what they did before. Yet, they repurposed one aspect of each group with a more intentional, outward, neighborhood focus. 

 

Next time we will switch and look at seasonal focus

 

* Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

 

** Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”


Fr. Charles Zlock


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Good Things are Happening at St. Raymond!

Advent Homily Series


Join us for our Advent Series: Who is Your Secret Santa? Follow along at Mass each week to unwrap 10 gifts God has for you this season!

 

Called & Gifted - Charism Discernment

The Called & GiftedDiscernment Process is designed to help Christians discern the presence of charisms in their lives. Charisms, or spiritual gifts, are special abilities given to all Christians by the Holy Spirit to give them power both to represent Christ and to be a channel of God's goodness for people. Whether extraordinary or ordinary, all charisms ought to be exercised in the service of God (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2003).


Fifteen parishioners completed our first program this past summer. St Raymond is pleased to offer it again starting in January 2024. YOU are invited to join us for an information session on Saturday, 12/16, 8:45am (after 8am Mass), in the rectory basement/Sister Rosemary Room. Please call the office (215-549-3760) to let us know if you are able to join, or if there are any questions.


Be who you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire.

St Catherine of Siena

 

Life Groups


Advent Life Groups meditate on and discuss the 12/10 weekend Gospel reading this week.  If you are unable to join us, please see the Member Guide that is attached below for review 


Advent Life Group Member Guide - Week 4
.pdf
Download PDF • 680KB

 

Celebrating Our Youth with Generation Grace

Do you have a child in grades 6-8? Please contact Brandi to get them involved in our Middle School Youth Ministry. We would love to have all our Middle School Kids involved. Brandi can be contacted at brandi@saintraymond.net or 215-549-3760.



“A Light Shall Shine in the Darkness”



It was more than that – it was a whole village of lights that were shining at Franklin Square when eleven members of our St. Raymond’s Generation Grace arrived to see the sights. Everybody was dazzled! Then they all went to a little heated tent offering hot cocoa. The kids sat around the fire, and everyone joined in a game of Christmas Trivia. All agreed that was the best part!

 

Family Faith Formation Sessions

"Let the children come to me”


Attention Parents/Guardians: Family Faith Formation Sessions will run September 17, 2023 – June 2, 2024.


Parents with children entering grades K through 7th grade are encouraged to attend. Sessions are held immediately following the 10:00 Mass every other Sunday in the lower church. Enrollment forms are located on the desk in the rear of the church. Contact Arleen Daniels at 215-549-3760 or arleen@saintraymond.net to receive a form via email. The greatest gift you can give your child is the gift of faith formation. If children do not experience how to live for God, the world will certainly show them how not to!

 

Connect with Us Online

Be part of our awesome virtual community! Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to get the latest scoop, see fun pictures, and hear about our exciting events.

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Church Announcements

Upcoming Special Collections:

12/23/23 Christmas Offering

Christmas Eve Masses

8am & 10am


Christmas Eve Vigil

7pm


Christmas Day Mass

9am


New Year's Eve Mass

8am & 10am

Watch hour 10pm and 11pm Mass


New Year’s Day Mass

8am


Rectory Office Holiday Hours

Our Church Office will be closed from December 26th to January 2nd to give the Staff time to enjoy these holy days.


St. Raymond Bling (Merchandise)

Back by popular demand! St. Raymond merchandise is available for purchase in the church office during week day. We have some of your old favorites, such as hoodies and aprons. Plus, there is new merchandise including warm St. Raymond hats. Let's share the good news of St. Raymond in your attire.


Buy something for yourself. They also make great gifts!


Call for Help

Join us on Saturday Morning 12/23 at 9:00 AM as we decorate the Church for Christmas. An hour of your time is greatly appreciated. Please contact Brandi at 215-549-3760 to confirm your participation.


CARES Job Opportunity

We are in need of help from the hours of 3-6 pm for our after school CARES program.

We have two position to fill, and they are paid positions.


Hours of operation: M,W,T,F - 3 to 6 pm, Tuesdays - 1:30 to 6 pm.

Please reach out to Principal Harris if you are interested. His number is 215-548-1919.


 

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!


St Raymond Christmas Concert

 

Giving Tree


The Giving Tree is on display in the rear of the church. Please take a card and purchase one or more of the items indicated. Your contributions will be used to stock the Blessing Shop at our Annual Home for Christmas Celebration. Men, women, and children from area shelters will be our guests and will be allowed to select from the items that are donated. Gifts will also be provided for children whose parents are incarcerated. If you are supplying a gift card for a teen, please DO NOT place it in the donation boxes in the rear of the church; instead, place it in the collection basket or in the collection boxes in the church. Please return your gift(s) UNWRAPPED to church or Rectory before December 22, 2023.

Thank You for your generosity!

 

Home For Christmas

We are calling all volunteers and willing workers to help turn St. Raymond into a Christmas wonderland for more than 200 kids and adults from local homeless shelters! The annual Home for Christmas Celebration will be Saturday, December 23, 2023, noon to 3:00 pm, but lots of help is needed beforehand, too! From decorating to food prep, hospitality, and cleanup, there's a task for everyone. Please sign up to help here.


There will be a planning meeting for all volunteers on in the School Hall on Thursday, December 14th at 7pm. Please join us!


 

USCCB 2023 Daily Advent Calendar

 

Community Events & Announcements


Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King


 

Mt Airy Baseball


Attention, players aged 7-12! Here's the best way to be sure you are ready when "Batter Up" time comes this spring. Mt. Airy Baseball Winter Clinics are sure to keep you in shape. Register soon, using the QR code above.

 

St. Raymond Basketball Pop-Up Stor

The St. Raymond Basketball team is selling popcorn to raise funds for expenses and fees for Region 58 Basketball League. 50% of each purchase benefits this fundraiser. Shop now.


 

Career Opportunities

Are you interested in pursuing a career in masonry or carpentry? The City’s Rebuild initiative in partnership with the Preservation Trades Center (PTC) is recruiting participants for our Winter 2024 Carpentry and Masonry Academies. These full-time, paid training programs ($15/hr) are 40 hours per week for six weeks. At the end of the 6-week program, participants will have the chance to interview for a full-time apprenticeship. No experience is required!


Visit the website for more information.

 

Constituent Service Sundays


Sunday, December 17th at 12 pm in the School Hall (after 10am Mass)

Staff from Councilman Isaiah Thomas’ office will be onsite to offer help and support with your issues, concerns and questions. Free legal advice will also be provided.

 

The Word Made Flesh: Artists of Color Shine Light on the Incarnation


Sponsored by: New Encounters - Catholics Facing Racism


Join us for an Advent Series of Visual Meditations and Reflections on Henry Ossawa Tanner, Our Lady of Guadalupe, and multi-cultural religious art.


The final session takes place on Tuesday 12/19 from 7 to 8 pm on Zoom. It will be a reflection and open discussion on multi-cultural religious art, led by the question of “Who belongs in our Crèche?” New Encounters leadership will facilitate this final session.

Registration is FREE, thanks to ongoing financial support from The Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia. Register here.

 

Missionary Discipleship in 2024


Learn more about this great opportunity and register here.

 

News From the Office of Black Catholics

Check out the December Newsletter for many exciting events.

 

Sunday's "Go Forth" Suggestion from Archbishop


 

Archdiocese of Philadelphia Updates

Please sign up to find out what is happening around the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.



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