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Good News for November 22nd



Last week we began looking at two characteristics that “Scrappy Churches” believe in. What are some others?


The Third Characteristic: They Celebrate the Presence of Other Churches. A report of church attendance generally showed that 80% of people do not attend church - ever. It's not that there are not enough churches around. There are plenty. The issue is not the churches in the community. The issue is that there is not enough of the community in the churches. Why? There are not enough churches reaching people.


We’re not a competitor of nearby churches. We need to become allies. How we do that is another topic that I’ll discuss later. For now, we need an attitude that local churches are fields of fellow disciples.


Fourth: They Greatly Increase Their Effort on Outward Focus. Thom Rainer wrote another book entitled Am I A Church Member? Members belong to country clubs. They feel they are entitled to be served. Rainer sees this as a huge issue in our churches today. I've seen it myself. One litmus test is what percentage of people come to me to complain or to compliment; to suggest or to slander. Those percentages measure the health of your congregation.


The more time a church spends on serving others in the neighborhood and beyond, the more the congregation will increase. The more finances a church spends on serving others rather than taking care of their own needs, the more attractive the church will be.


An organization that serves others is one of the biggest draws of our young people. I see thousands of college students sacrifice their Easter break to participate in ASBs (“Alternative Spring Breaks"). They're not drinking on beaches. They’re flying to Central- and South America to build houses for a week. Go to the Philadelphia Airport at the beginning of Easter Break. You’ll see them in their university and college sweatshirts - by the hundreds.


We’re known for serving. St. Raymond does well here. REST. Thanksgiving Drive. Home for Christmas. We provide a bus service to bring people to church. This is significant, selfless, and often anonymous, assistance to parishioners and others in need. And yet - Can we do more? Remember the parish priority goal of EVERY parishioner doing at least 2 hours of something each month for the church or others? Have we hit that goal?


Thom Rainer takes these church beliefs and key transition steps and puts them together in a “Scrappy Church” blueprint. I’ll dive into that next week.


Fr. Charles Zlock

 

Good Things are Happening at St. Raymond!

Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, Life Groups do not meet this week. Life Groups resume the week of 11/26/23.

 

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 Sorting Spree

This past Sunday, lots of energetic St. Raymond's youth joined Fr. Zlock in sorting the many donations for our Thanksgiving baskets, to be distributed to our neighbors in need. There was enough food for 60 families!


Upcoming Youth Events


Saturday, 12/9 - Christmas Light Show - stay tuned for details!

 

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!

 

Extraordinary Ministers of the Eucharist Commissioning

This weekend at all the Masses, we will have a short Commissioning Ceremony for all those who volunteered to serve as an Extraordinary Minister to assist with Holy Communion and to bring Jesus, in the Blessed Sacrament to those who are homebound.

 

Supporting the Youth in Our City

Some of St. Raymond's Parishioners, Kerry Henkels, Dan McVay, Samuel Pauling and Kelly Ingram joined more than 200 others for a Sleep Out in Center City Philadelphia last week in support of Covenant House.


A whopping $600,000 was raised in the event, which has been taking place for the past 12 years. These critical funds help to provide 24/7 Shelters, Sanctuaries, and Support to youth in our City.

 

Church Announcements

Prayer Teams

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!


Confessions (Sacrament of Reconciliation) will NOT be heard 6:00 PM Monday afternoons for the next two weeks (November 27th and December 4th). Instead, confessions will be offered at 6:30 AM Tuesdays - Nov 28 and Dec 5.


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


St. Raymond Bling (Merchandise)

Back by popular demand! St. Raymond Bling (Merchandise) is available for purchase in the church office during week days, or after Mass. 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!

 

Celebrate! November is Black Catholic History Month

 

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.


TICKETS: A block of tickets has been ordered for ease of purchase. Tickets cost $32 and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. To allow us to spread the joy, there is a two-ticket maximum. Tickets are available in person at the Church office between 10 am and 1 pm, or by contacting Brandi at 215-549-3760. Phone reservations have a 24-hour grace period between your call and your payment (cash or check). In fairness to all, tickets will not be held beyond that 24-hour window.


TRANSPORTATION: St. Raymond will provide bus transportation to and from the Kimmel Center, departing from the Church lot at 6:30 pm. Our seating capacity is 48. When placing your order, please let us know if you would like a ride.

 

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. Sr. Lynn Marie Ralph, SBS, our 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



 

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.


Sessions take place on the first three Tuesdays in December: December 5, 12 and 19th at 7pm on Zoom. Sessions will last approximately an hour.

On December 5th, we will reflect on Henry Ossawa Tanner’s paintings. Tanner was the first African-American painter to receive international acclaim. The reflection will be led by Dejay B. Duckett, who is the Director of Curatorial Services at the African-American Museum of Philadelphia.

On December 12th, we will reflect on the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The reflection will be led by Aurora Camacho de Schmidt, who is a professor emerita of Spanish and Latin American Literature at Swarthmore College and an immigration activist with the New Sanctuary Movement.

On December 19th, we will have 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 November Newsletter for many exciting events!

 

This Week's "Go Forth" Suggestion from Archbishop

This needs to be updated.

 

Archdiocese of Philadelphia Updates

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



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