It was the summer of 1940. Great Britain was on the ropes. Germany was conquering all of Europe. Hitler had his sights on Britain. Churchill said, “Bring it on!” He told the people, “If we lose, it will be on our terms. But we will NOT surrender!” The nation followed his leadership.
Scrappy churches don’t quit. They have boldness. They also have a belief system. What does that look like?
Take a look at the following. On a scale of 1 to 100, where do you think St. Raymond falls? What are we doing well? Where are the areas where we are doing something but can improve?
First: They Believe That God Still Has a Plan for Them. They believe that they are not where they are by accident. So they bloom where they are planted. They make a difference in their neighborhood. Now, they have issues. They struggle for resources. They have critics. But they don't focus on that. They focus on God’s plan for them.
Second: For The Turnaround - They Turn to Prayer. A reporter once interviewed Mother Theresa. The reporter was amazed at how much the sisters accomplished each day. She asked Mother Theresa how they did that. The future saint said that all her sisters spent two hours in front of the Blessed Sacrament every day. Incredulous, the reporter asked, “Well what about those crazy days when unexpected things are happening, plans are not working and you are really busy? Mother responded, “Oh, on THOSE days, we spend three hours.”
Scrappy Churches don’t become comfortable in their own power. Prayer is never an afterthought.
Rainer found that prayer styles varied from church to church. Different churches had different parish-prayer patterns. They have different prayer customs and different prayer traditions - but they have one! They often quoted Acts 2:42… They devoted themselves to --
The Apostles’ teachings
Breaking of bread
Do we do this, St. Raymond? How? How often? How well? Do YOU do this? How? How often? How well?
We’ll look at the next two “belief system” components of Scrappy churches next week.
Fr. Charles Zlock
Good Things are Happening at St. Raymond!
Advent Life Groups started THIS WEEK and last for four weeks. Fliers with information are in the back of the Church. Find a convenient day and time, then contact the Life Group Leader shown on the flier. Want to know more? Call Minta Brown at 610-329-7256 or email email@example.com. Don't forget that Jesus is the reason for the season!
Are you curious about what you missed? Take a look at the attached Week One Guide.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 215-549-3760.
Last Sunday after the 10 am Mass, nine children of our Generation Grace Youth Ministry made S'mores and had a conversation about Jesus (Give me S'more of Jesus).
Upcoming Youth Events
Sunday, 11/19 - Sorting Thanksgiving Donations with Ms. Arleen
Saturday, 12/9 - Christmas Light Show
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 email@example.com 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!
11/25 and 11/26 Monthly Prayer Team after Mass (always last Sunday)
Bring your prayer intentions to our prayer teams and let us pray for you!
Feast of the Immaculate Conception
Friday, 12/8 is a Holy Day of Obligation for The Immaculate Conception of The Blessed Virgin Mary. Mass is 8 am.
Upcoming Special Collections:
11/23/23 Thanksgiving Offering
12/10/23 Christmas Flowers Offering
12/23/23 Christmas Offering
Celebrate! November is Black Catholic History Month
The weekend of November 18-19, we will host a young man attending seminary class at St. Charles Seminary. Since 1832, St. Charles has been training and forming young men for the priesthood to minister to the spiritual needs of Philadelphia and beyond. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is fortunate to have such an outstanding seminary that assists in this endeavor.
Our guest, Cody Hynes, will tell us his vocation story and relate his experience at St. Charles to us. He will also ask for your generous support of our seminary. Let's greet him with a great "St. Raymond welcome."
Thanksgiving Food Bags are available in the rear of the church, as well as envelopes for monetary donations. Food donations can be left in the vestibule of the Church or dropped off at the Rectory. Monetary donations can be placed in the Sunday collection basket or dropped off at the Rectory. Please have your contributions in prior to Sunday, November 19th. If you or someone you know are in need of a Thanksgiving Food Basket, please contact the Rectory Office at 215-549-3760.
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!
St Raymond Christmas Concert
A Soulful Christmas at the Kimmel Center
Soulful Christmas returns to the Kimmel Center Tuesday, December 12th at 7:30pm. Several members of the St. Raymond Choir will join the Philadelphia Catholic Gospel Mass Choir in singing in this year's concert. A block of tickets has been ordered for ease of purchase and transportation by bus will be available from St. Raymond. More information will be provided soon. Stay tuned!
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 or use the signup sheets in the back of the church this weekend.
Candlelight Decorated Tables
Instead of decorating trees, use your imagination to decorate a beautiful and seasonal table! Join us for "Advent by Candlelight" December 2nd from 6-8pm at St. Raymond. This event for women will offer an elegant, relaxing, and memorable evening of friendship, while centering our thoughts on inviting the Christ Child to enter our lives in a new and profound way, particularly by candlelight.
We are asking women to decorate and host a table. As guests enter, they are greeted with the ambiance of soft Christmas music and the glow of candlelight. There will be time to socialize, eat, and admire the decorated tables. A guest speaker will share how “There is a Blessing Coming Your Way”.
Table Hosts do not have to be a member of St. Raymond’s Parish. A love for God and the desire to reflect on the true meaning of this most holy season is the only requirement. Fliers will be in the back of the church.
Contact Brandi, Arleen or Minta at 215-549-3760 for additional information or to sign up. Let us share the light of Christ with all!
USCCB 2023 Daily Advent Calendar
Upcoming Community Events
Missionary Discipleship in 2024
Learn more about this great opportunity and register here.
News From the Office of Black Catholics
Check out the November Newsletter for many exciting events!
This Week's "Go Forth" Suggestion from Archbishop Perez
Archdiocese of Philadelphia Updates
Please sign up to find out what is happening around the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.