It was a joy to hear a report from the strategic planning committee charged to survey parishioners and make recommendations regarding Incarnation’s Mass music. Recall that two weeks ago we took a brief survey about music at Masses. Those surveys’ results were expertly put on different spreadsheets to glean every bit of valuable information possible. Mike Sobecki, past pastoral council president, the subcommittee’s head, stopped in to relay initial action items. He will be sharing a report in an upcoming bulletin article. The mile high, initial report on the survey results was just as I like them, with two wonderful results. The first clear statement is that the music programs at our Masses are very highly regarded by Mass participants. The second clear statement is that we can make improvements! I particularly appreciate the second observation.

Throughout Jesus’ ministry, it was clear that he loved those he was sent to save. However, he never lost sight of the fact that as he loved and forgave, he called to repentance and conversion. In other words, he called people to continuing conversion. I hear that constant theme of Jesus, to both love…and strive to be and do

I like to apply Jesus approach to all dimensions of parish life. For example, we have top notch pastoral ministry, liturgical ministry, PREP and day school. We love and are loved in those ways. However, that doesn’t mean we stop stretching and reaching beyond to do better. Well done ministries in Christ ought to propel us to continued development and improvement!

First Quarter Financial Results
Additional outstanding news includes things financial. I have asked Sarah Seckt, our business manager, to share Incarnation’s first quarter financial results in a future bulletin. Again, the high altitude news is very good. Increases in offertory giving, school enrollment, and qualified charitable deductions (QCD) have made for a positive first quarter! This good news and incredible generosity was a joy to me because at the November 9 finance committee meeting, I couldn’t help but be distracted by the 2020-2025 capital needs forecast. It is estimated that $2.2 million worth of capital improvements are probable. Two major roofs, PAC and school, and a parking lot will cost $1.5 million dollars alone. Again, thanks to generous parishioners!

Changing of the Guard
Speaking of finance committee, I marvel at and am inspired by “numbers” people. I kid, with a great deal of truth, that I became a priest due to my aversion to numbers and things financial. I marvel at people like Steve Skerl, our finance committee chairperson, who can juggle and analyze numbers and help Incarnation be outstanding as a good fiscal steward, guarding the parish’s future temporal vitality for generations to come. Thanks to Steve, who has led finance committee for fifteen years! While he will remain on finance committee, he is retiring from the leadership role. I’m thinking there is a special place in heaven for finance committee members
and especially chairpersons! For assuredly, stock options and profit sharing do not motivate the sharing of their time and talent or benefit their retirement! Mike Krug has agreed to take finance committee lead. Thanks to Mike for saying “yes” to the invitation to take on greater service and leadership!

Website Development
Thanks to parishioners who pardoned the use of video cameras during some of this past Sunday’s Masses. We welcomed members of Talgrace Marketing and Media. They are working to help us continue improving our new website. If you have suggestions about improvements, complete a pastoral council feedback card, found at the church doors, or talk with a pastoral council member on
the last Sunday of the month…or any time. Their names are on the front of the bulletin.

Advent Begins
Next weekend finds us welcoming a new Church year. One of the most important things we can do in Advent is wait, wait for the coming of the Lord. To help wait for the Lord it is good to exercise the muscles of our will by postponing the gratification of celebrating Christmas. Any little counter cultural effort in this regard can go a long way. For example, even though Christmas is already in the stores and on the radio, I like to make the Third Sunday of Advent my target date, as does the Church, for beginning preparation to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Sure I might put outside lights up early on a warm day in December, but, I won’t light them until December 12. For inside decorations and Christmas music, which I love, I work to make time to set up the tree on that Third Sunday of Advent weekend. Then, I keep the lights lit and the music going until January 9, the liturgical end of Christmas.

Happy Advent!

Sincerely in Christ,

Fr. Pat