Dear friends in Christ,
This Sunday is our monthly potluck luncheon. As always, members of our church family are asked to bring a main dish, or a side dish and a desert or drink. Our guests do not have to bring a thing. Our monthly potlucks are a real highlight in the life of Holy Cross parish and there is always plenty of good food and warm fellowship, so be sure to invite family and friends!
So far in 2014 we have contributed 874 pounds of much needed food to the Open Door Mission, and our weekly bread deliveries continue to the Francis and Sienna House shelters. Our food bin is already filling up. Let's try to fill it to over-flowing this Sunday so the food can be taken to the Open Door Mission. In his Epistle, James writes, "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone" (James 2:14-17).
Next week we will celebrate the Holy Eucharist on Wednesday at 12:10 PM and on Thursday morning at 7:00 AM. Midweek attendance is increasing, and there is no better time for you to begin attending than in pre-Lent. Receiving the Blessed Sacrament in the midst of a busy week will refresh you and change your life, but you don't have to take my word for it, come and experience the blessings for yourself.
Choir practice will be held on Wednesday evening at 6:15 PM.
Ash Wednesday is on March 5th this year. Ash Wednesday Services start at 6:30 PM.
This Sunday we will begin an overview of the Book of Revelation in our adult Christian Education class. This will not be a flight of fantasy, but a sober look at this important book in light of what Christians have historically believed about it. If you do not want to be misled by pop eschatology and want to be able to make sense of this important book, then you will want to be in class at 9:00 AM on Sunday. Invite your friends!
On Sunday I plan to administer the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick (Holy Unction) during our 10:00 AM celebration of the Holy Eucharist. This sacrament of healing is available to anyone who is physically, mentally or emotionally ill. Those seeking the Lord's healing touch will be invited to come and kneel at the communion rail immediately after the General Confession and Absolution in the Liturgy.
We do not rush through Sunday mornings at Holy Cross parish. Sunday is the Lord's Day, not the Lord's forty-five minutes before we rush out the door to begin "our" day. We take our Faith very seriously here. Services are reverent and prayerful, and the preaching is expository. Many years ago an elderly priest whom I greatly respected gave me a small sign to put in my sacristy. The sign read, "Priest of God, celebrate this Mass as though it were your first Mass, your last Mass, your only Mass." I have always taken that message to heart. Before the celebration of every Eucharistic Liturgy the priest and his assistants pray Psalm 43. "And that I may go unto the altar of God, even unto the God of my joy and gladness" (Ps. 43:4, 1928 BCP p. 394). Is God your joy and gladness? Do you approach the holy altar with joy and gladness? Do you view coming to worship as an obligation to get over with as quickly as possible, or as an opportunity to gather with the family of God at the feet of Jesus? How should we view coming to church? The Bible tells us: "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven!" (Gen. 28:17 NKJV). "Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be ye thankful unto him, and bless His Name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations" (Ps. 100:4-5 KJV).
Sunday School begins at 9:00 AM, followed by Morning Prayer at 9:30 AM and the Holy Eucharist at 10:00 AM. Nursery care for children under the age of four is available during our 10:00 AM Liturgy. Our monthly potluck luncheon follows Worship. We are a faithful, friendly and active congregation and we have a place for you! I'll be looking forward to seeing you on Sunday.
Wishing you every grace and blessing,
V. Rev. Victor E. Novak
HOLY CROSS PARISH
7545 Main Street
Ralston, Nebraska 68127
Rectory: (402) 687-9458
Church: (402) 573-6558