Dear Mom and Dad • September 10, 2023

Dear Mom and Dad,

Wow, next week is back to church Sunday!  It is always a great weekend for folks to invite neighbors and friends to church.  I know it is awkward sometimes to invite people to church, but I really think we have an amazing community of believers whose faith is visible in the way we live.  Many people who visit us really enjoy the radical hospitality they feel when here. Most folks come back and join in our mission to love the God we cannot see by loving the neighbor we can.  I could not be a happier pastor being part of such an amazing group of “saints”.  We are more than a church; we are a family.  

I am very grateful Tyler and Michelle band are leading a 10-week recovery class, “Obstacles to Faith and Addiction”. The recovery class will focus on how our faith can assist and educate us on how to live a sober life and support those that still struggle. I hope people check it out.  It is so much of who we are, trying our best to meet the needs of folks wherever they are on their journey.

One consistent problem I encounter is with folks who don’t know how to live on a budget.  Dad, I am more than grateful you taught me fiscal literacy and fiscal responsibility.  I remember taking a friend shopping and he had no idea how to look at price per ounce when shopping.  He only looked at what appeared to be the size of packaging.  I tried to teach him   Thanks Dad for teaching me how to shop.  I know when preparing couples for marriage one of the greatest areas of conflict is over finances.  We all have different “money” issues.  I asked Sara to help us out.  She will be doing a 7-week seminar, “Balanced” on gaining and maintaining financial stability to help folks manage their money better.  I am really grateful and hope it is well attended.  I couldn’t teach it because I would just put everyone on the austerity plan, which only works for us Egittos.  Our money issues are being overly frugal or as others call it being “cheap”.  I do know being penny wise and pound foolish is not a good thing.  

I am grateful that Derm will be here for Drum Circle.  I just love being part of a parish that has so many opportunities to connect in so many different ways.  Spirituality is our entire life, not just when contemplating on God.  

I am also grateful for those who signed up for house meetings.  As I said last Sunday, it is an important way to engage in our Justice work.

Next, we will be signing up for Dinner Church.  Church is not just a spiritual gas station where we come for an hour a week for a fill up.  Church is a place where we love and are loved.  It is a place to belong.  Dinner “Church” is a smaller gathering where we get to care more intimately with each other.  When a loved one dies, the church needs to bring food, love, and support.  The “Church” that does this is the Dinner Church group.  When one is sick the “Church” needs to help, visit, let the dog out, even help tidy up.  Church is not “Fr. Phil”, but church is the many places we get to be known and know others.  Church are the people who are willing to really care about each other.   If we are expecting “Fr. Phil” to let the dog out when we are in the hospital, I will do the best I can, but….  our Dinner Church groups can make it all happen.  Mary Lewis, Darren Nash, and Gina Bruno will help sign folks up and coordinate this.  We need hosts to sign up this weekend from our many different neighborhoods. You don’t need to be able to cook, (many groups do a potluck) and only need space for 8 to 10 people. I am very grateful for the folks who are willing to host a Dinner Church at their home, clubhouse, community room, etc. . 

Hopefully by next weekend and we have the host list, people can sign up for which Dinner Church they want to belong. 

I guess that is all for now.



Dear Mom and Dad • September 3, 2023

September 3, 2023

Dear Mom and Dad,

As I write this, I hope Idalia, has brought us some rain, but no damage. It is so important to have rain, but we don’t need the destruction hurricanes often bring. With the increase of hurricane intensity, we certainly need to plan a better infrastructure, and home codes when building. I see stick construction going up on the west side of town and can’t help to think to myself what are we thinking? I know wafer board is cheaper and more environmentally friendly than plywood, but I also know perhaps not a good idea in a coastal community. I think we learned this from the story of the 3 little pigs. Sometimes we can be penny wise and pound foolish.

Our air conditioner was out due to the corrosion of critical parts because of the salt air. I know we tend to think our air conditioner is “new”, but we got it over 4 years ago and forget it was pre Covid. That salt air really wreaks havoc on air systems. It wasn’t too bad, but I hope it is up and running this week.

This is the “house meeting” season before the Community Problems Assembly on Monday, October 30th. This year the CPA is at Allen Chapel at 6:30 PM. I am very grateful that we have a way to “do justice” rather than just sing about it or say it. Most communities I know are not really active at what love looks like in public, which is justice.

I heard from folks that they didn’t like FAITH, because we are not respected by some, and affordable housing is not a winnable issue. What people don’t realize are some of our “wins” and yes being a prophet sometimes (all the time) encounters opposition. But also, this is “our” organization and people need to be involved to make us the organization we want to be. House meetings are extremely important because we get to know each other and we also connect injustice to real people. Injustice isn’t something about those people but people we know.

I will be out of the office next week at our yearly convocation with my brother priests and the Bishop.

We are really trying to think about who to invite that we know to back to church Sunday on September 17th. Our focus needs to be on those who perhaps have felt wounded by the church. Very often I encounter folks who experienced divorce and feel excluded from the church, so they just stop coming. l know our LGBTQ+ community and their family and friends struggle with feeling a sense of belonging, BUT they always have a place here at Our Lady of Lourdes. We certainly need to spread the good news of our community and God’s love and how we love the God we cannot see by loving the neighbor we can. We also can share that “love” means more than just a word, but it means willing the good of the other And ACTING on it. We love through charity, service, and justice-building the kingdom of God in our community.

On September 23rd, I am having a workshop for people who are interested in becoming ministers of Holy Eucharist. People are making a commit- ment to this ministry for 5 years. Mandates from the bishop can be renewed for another 5 years with pastoral necessity. My hope is to get more people involved in this ministry.

Our Lady of Lourdes is alive and continuing to grow. In addition to our young family ministry, we have a young adult ministry run by Seth. They will be hosting a get together on Friday, September 8th at 7 PM on the patio. Hillary and I will be hosting a young family get together on Friday, October 13th at 6 PM. We hope to see our families with newly baptized children there.

I want to remind folks to write to our Governor and let him know we want a stay of execution for Michael Zack. He says he is doing this because his constituents want this… We need to let him know that is not true.

I guess that is all for now. Love,