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GIVING UP LIBERTY

GIVING UP LIBERTY
Coronavirus Response
For a time, Incarnation Church, PREP and School will be requiring masks. There are at least two good reasons to wear masks, one practical and one spiritual.                                                                                                                                                                                          The practical reason to mask is due to the local increase of COVID cases. In fact, currently, the graph
curve of increases looks as steep as when the pandemic was at its worst. Clearly, there are more COVID cases in local hospitals and their COVID policies changed two weeks ago, for example limiting visitors. To my mind wearing masks for shorter periods of time will be the “new normal.” At any given time, the more open/flexible we can be with the discipline of masking the sooner we’ll be able to unmask with confidence.
There is also a spiritual dimension to masking. Just as religious symbols such as Holy Water point to Jesus, so does wearing a mask. Let me explain.                                                                                                                                                                                                          When a person chooses to wear a mask, one of the things they are doing is giving away a bit of their freedom
or liberty. We know that sometimes, freedoms need to be sacrificed to preserve ultimate freedom. A soldier offering himself to serve his country gives up all kinds of freedoms to ultimately preserve freedom. Masking becomes theological when a person masks in union with Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice on the cross, where Jesus gave away all his freedom/liberty as God to be victorious over sin and
evil.
Stewardship Weeks
September and the uptick of parish life means that it’s time for stewardship weeks at Incarnation, one of my favorite realities in parish life! During stewardship weeks we celebrate the incredible generosity of God’s people and their love for Jesus and his Body, the Church, embodied in their gifts of Time, Talent and Treasure. As I hope you notice, I give lots of thanks in my bulletin contributions. In fact, I could easily fill up every bulletin with ways that parishioners love and serve Jesus and each other!
We will be using our stewardship cards again this year. As always, I am asking all parishioners to please complete a card during homily time on September 12, 19 and 26. The cards have two purposes. 1. We can list the ways we are already being good stewards in parish life and 2. We can reach out with both hands to try something new.
Please see the sample stewardship card on the back of the That Man is You flyer inserted into the bulletin and found on the website and social media. Our first one will be “Time” in which we mean time spent on lifelong/ongoing faith formation. If our faith is not growing, it is dying. Making sure we are actively engaged in some kind of lifelong faith formation is insurance that our faith is
growing!

Renovation
Weeks ago, the renovation team met for a third time with Elevar Design Group regarding the pre-work for the Incarnation Church Renovation Master Plan. Thursday, August 19 meeting was interesting and fun. It was interesting because we considered the architecture of our church and the story behind it. We also looked at examples of other “brutalist” architecture.                                   The meeting was fun because, we divided into five groups and were given markers and a very large areal picture of the church and immediate grounds, we were told to draw what our imaginations saw the renovation looking like. In other words, how would we extend or expand the footprint of the church to include a gathering space, cry room and other meeting space.                              Indeed, there was a great deal of interest, creativity, healthy competition and positive energy in the room by the time the meeting drew to a close, anticipating next
month’s meeting!

Server Training
I love training servers! There is no joy better than connecting young people to the Lord and finding creative ways to help them, help themselves be successful! Indeed, our servers are achieving great success! After witnessing a couple of trainings, Fr. Ignatius is off and
running leading the serving program. Training and coordinating servers is a big job with lots of moving parts, for example coordinating with school and working to get schedules with so many families and following up. Thanks to Fr. Ignatius for entering into this learning curve and working so hard for the Lord and his children!

Fr. Ignatius’ one year Anniversary
Speaking of Fr. Ignatius, be sure to wish him a happy one year anniversary at Incarnation Church! And speaking of learning curves, he’s jumping in with both feet learning some things he’s never learned before. For example (see the pictures below with this article) recently, he took maintenance person Tommy Roe’s spot atop the John Deere mower, making a few rounds of the rectory lawn.
As well, he changed the oil in his car and rotated the tires in the rectory garage. Finally, loving cucumbers, eating about a cucumber a day, he’s growing dozens of cucumbers in the rectory garden this year. Happy Anniversary and we’re glad you’re with us Fr. Ignatius!
Sincerely and with Love in Christ,
Fr. Pat

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