Winner, Washington Township VIP Beautification Award
Bulletin readers will remember that in early summer I thanked and praised the Lord Jesus for the good stewardship, generosity and hard work of our volunteer gardeners. At that time, I witnessed to the fact that our grounds look awesome! Shortly thereafter Washington Township declared Incarnation Church a finalist for their annual VIP Beautification Award.
We received notice a week ago that The Church of the Incarnation was selected to receive a 2021 VIP Washington Township Beautification Award, to be awarded in October!! Many thanks to our gardeners as they receive well deserved recognition for their over-the-top excellence!
As of this past Tuesday, reported Montgomery County COVID cases are running hundreds less than in previous weeks and appear to be stabilizing. Incarnation School is also reporting a leveling in the reported cases and quarantines. Therefore, hopefully even by this weekend, we will be back a “strongly recommended” masking policy. As I have said in past articles, I think our future will hold periodic times when masking will be required. Wonderfully, if we choose, masking can be a spiritual discipline. Let me explain.
Masking a Spiritual Discipline
Personally, I detest masking. I do it for Jesus and others. Indeed, to me, masking is a spiritual discipline and a great gift. Jesus himself and all his teachings about the Kingdom of God point to giving away freedom and liberty…to him and others. Essentials of the Faith, like The Beatitudes, even peripheral stories of Jesus’ such as being sued for your coat and giving your tunic too and walking two miles instead of one, and ultimately Jesus’ whole birth, life, suffering and death speak powerfully of giving away freedom, privilege and power. With the right mindset and “heartset,” masking exercises essentially Christian muscles. The more we are exercised in giving away proper and non-essential freedoms, the better we live and the more easily we will let go of the last and greatest freedom: earthly life. True joy on earth and for eternity awaits those who follow Jesus’/Christianity’s crazy way!
New Parishioners for July and August
Please see the bulletin block with the new parishioner listings for July and August. With an average of more than a dozen new parishioners a month, I encourage all parishioners to reach out with both hands when we greet people before Mass and the again after Mass.
If you don’t recognize someone, please reach out with both hands to ask their names. Introduce yourself. Ask them how long they have been a member. This is a great “safe” question because it has so many safe answers. 1. If they say they are new to the parish, go out of your way to talk with them more. You have just helped new parishioners to know how we notice and how we are welcoming. 2. If they say I’ve been a member for twenty years, no harm. Don’t miss a beat. Simply say thanks for being members for so long. What do you like most about Incarnation? 3. If they say they are visiting or are not members. Ask them to say more. Again, you have just made a favorable impression that we are being true to our core values of reaching out with both hands in welcome!
Anne Monnin “Heading South”
Two weeks ago, newly hired Youth and Young Adult Ministry coordinator, Anne Monnin, had some exciting news about her future and some disappointing news for us. She accepted a job at a parish in Texas, where several of her good friends live and where she often attends ballroom dance competitions. While we are joyful for her, we are also sad because Anne has been a wonderful and dedicated addition to our staff. Her letter of farewell and thanks is below.
Sincerely and with Love in Christ,
Message from Anne Monnin
To everyone I’ve been blessed to meet at Incarnation the past couple of months, thank you for your welcoming spirit and excitement for the youth and young adult ministries. These past few months have been both fruitful and very busy. Big things are happening here at Incarnation, and I am sad that I will miss all that is to come. Being a part of the ministry team at Incarnation has been everything I had hoped and prayed it would be.
As I continue to grow professionally and personally, God has called me away from the place I’ve grown up. I’ve taken a position at St. Louis King of France in Austin, Texas as the Young Adult and Family Evangelization Minister. Leaving Incarnation is a very difficult decision and didn’t come without many weeks of discernment. I have truly loved being a part of this community and will miss being here. With my family still being around the corner, I’ll be sure to visit from time to time while visiting my family.
Yours in service and prayerful blessings,