As the first season of our “All Good Gifts Garden” comes to a close, I wanted to take this time to update you on how things went. Our goal when this garden was planted was not only to create something beautiful, but to harvest food that could be shared with others. With the help of both youth and adults from our parish, we prepared an area at the entrance of our parking lot, constructed 4 garden beds, put a fence in place, and planted over 25 different items ranging from herbs to vegetables. There were even a few watermelons and pumpkins in the mix. The flowers grown were used as centerpieces for our GIFT and Neighbor to Neighbor meals and in the altar arrangement for the Feast of St. Noel. Each week, the garden was watered and tended by volunteers, and the produce they gathered was given to our Food Pantry to distribute.
In an effort to better meet the needs of our Food Pantry clients, a survey was provided to them. Clients were asked how often they took home fresh produce, what their favorite items were and what they would like to see provided in the future. Fifteen people responded and the feedback was as follows:
Most popular items (in order of preference):
Items clients would like to see offered in the future (in order of preference):
As a result of this feedback, adjustments will be made as we plan for the next growing season. For example, in place of the sunflowers, the “All Good Gifts Garden” may choose to plant a few rows of corn. This information may also be helpful to parishioners who would like to donate fresh produce to our Pantry. This survey lets you know what the preferred items are so feel free to stock up!
I would like to thank everyone who lent a hand preparing, maintaining, and cleaning up our garden this year as well as all of you who stopped by to admire the beauty. We are grateful to the Endowment of St. Noel for its support. In a special way I would like to acknowledge our parishioner, Susan Kiss, who generously offered not only her expertise but hours of her time, allowing the garden to thrive so well.
Keep an eye out for ways to get involved with our “All Good Gifts Garden” in the future. May it serve as a reminder of not only the splendor of God’s creation but our call to share our gifts with one another.
EVENING FOR USHERS AND MASS COORDINATORS – has been POSTPONED until January. Watch the bulletin for further details.
CATHOLIC CAMPAIGN FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT – Next weekend, November 19th & 20th, our ushers will be in the Narthex to accept your donations for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
THANKSGIVING – The sign-up sheet for liturgical ministers for Thanksgiving Day, November 24th – 9:00 a.m. Mass is on the bulletin board by the coatroom. Please sign up if you are able to minister.
FACEBOOK EDITOR – For the last few years Joel Vidonish has served as the editor of the St. Noel Facebook page. He has done an excellent job of providing regular pictures of events in our parish and invitations to upcoming programs. Joel is stepping down from his role. We are therefore looking for a parishioner willing to assume his position. If you are interested in social media, have a familiarity with the Facebook platform, and are willing to take pictures of our parish life, please consider helping in this important role. Call the office for more information.
PPC RECOMMENDATIONS – Beginning this weekend and continuing throughout November, we are asking you to nominate parishioners to serve on our Parish Pastoral Council. Representatives from our present council will be in the Narthex after all Masses this weekend to explain the role of the council and to distribute green nomination forms. We ask that the forms be returned to the box in the Narthex or to the parish office by December 1st.
JANUARY 2017 HOSPITALITY VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – The Hospitality Committee needs more volunteers to serve coffee, hot chocolate and doughnuts after all Masses. The commitment is for once every four or five weeks beginning in January 2017. Please call Betty Louis 440-942-4009 or St. Noel office 440-946-0887 if you are interested in helping.
ADDITIONAL USHERS FOR 9 AM MASS ARE REQUESTED – We could use additional ushers for the 9 a.m. Mass. Schedules are made for a rotational assignment. Ushers are assigned for 4 weeks on and then off for a time based on the total number of ushers. If interested contact Ed McKenna 440-944-6492 or [email protected]
PANCAKE BREAKFAST – Mark your calendar for the first of two Pancake Breakfasts whose proceeds will benefit our Youth Ministry. This will take place on Sunday, November 13th from 10:00 a.m-1:00 p.m. in the Banquet Center. Tickets are not required and a free-will donation will be taken. Spread the news!
THE CHRISTMAS PROJECT – continues this weekend. As in past years, each participant in the Christmas Project will receive a basket filled with items that bring holiday cheer. Each basket will also hold gift cards to Target and Giant Eagle or Marc’s so that families can do their own Christmas shopping. We are in need of monetary donations which will cover the cost of the gifts cards for unsponsored baskets. Or, if you prefer, you can pick up gift cards in the amount of $10 when you are doing your shopping at Target, Giant Eagle and Marc’s. Those cards will go into baskets as well. We will continue to collect your donations of money and gift cards throughout the month of November.
ADVENT TEA SIGN-UP – Mark your calendars now for the Advent Tea which is scheduled for Saturday, December 3rd at 1:00 p.m. The Tea provides a respite from the chaotic activity which often attends the holidays and offers an afternoon of encouragement and support for women. This year’s theme is Angels. All women are welcome. The cost of the tea is $18.00 per person and proceeds go to the Social Justice Fund. Everyone attending is asked to also bring a food item for the food pantry. Please call Karen Spehar (216-481-6579) or Annie Zahradnik (440-724-2532) for more information.
GIRLS’ BOOK CLUB – will meet again on Tuesday, November 22nd from 6:30-8:00 p.m. The book we will be discussing is “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak. Copies of the book are available to sign out in the parish office. Sign up on the kiosk. Details about this book can be found at www.commonsensemedia.org.
WINE AND PAINT – Join us on Friday, November 18th from 7:00-9:00 p.m. in the Small Hall for an evening of art and fun. The cost of this event is $30 which includes all art supplies, a canvas, wine, soft drinks, and light appetizers. To sign up for this event, mail payment (with the names of those attending) to St. Noel or drop it off in the parish office by this Tuesday, November 15th. Act soon! Space is limited.
YOUNG ADULT LEADERSHIP POSITIONS AVAILABLE – Our college-aged parishioners (18-21) are encouraged to apply to be on the Camp YAC Leadership Team. This team will work together to plan and facilitate Camp YAC in June 2017. This paid opportunity will provide young adults an exciting and meaningful way to develop leadership skills and make a positive impact in our community. Contact Erica Zalar (946-1128 x120) to apply.
YNIA – Registration for next summer’s high school service trip with “Young Neighbors in Action” has begun. Registration forms can be found in the kiosk.
NOEL AERC UPDATE – Our prayers are coming to fruition for the Adult Education Resource Center (AERC). God has blessed us with many students. We are in need of additional tutors in math or language arts for the GED program. Every week or fill in tutors are needed. If you can help either Monday evenings and/or Thursday evenings, please call the church office.
NOEL FELLOWSHIP – Meetings are held on Thursdays at 12:00 Noon in the St. Noel Banquet Center Small Hall. Activities are: On November 17th, Thanksgiving Luncheon: turkey with gravy, mashed potatoes, stuffing, salad, cranberry sauce, mixed vegetables, rolls & butter, cheesecake. For tickets call Theresa Durik at 440-585-9088. Deadline for tickets is Monday, November 14th. Also celebrate Birthdays and Anniversaries. Bring something for the food pantry and get a free 50/50 ticket. No meeting on November 24th. Meetings will resume on December 1st. Everyone is welcome!
BONE MARROW REGISTRY DRIVE – Our Bone Marrow Registry Drive is this weekend. Each year, thousands of people undergo bone marrow transplants, a life-saving treatment for those dealing with blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma. Often, donors are identified through a world-wide registry called Be The Match operated by the National Marrow Donor Program. Registration is free and involves a painless swab of the cheek. The registry is targeting people 18-44yrs old as this is the optimum donor age-range for a successful transplant. You can also donate to support the registry; it costs about $100 to process the swab and add someone to the registry. More information is available at bethematch.org.
LEAF – If you have a loved one or family member who is incarcerated, consider attending LEAF (Listening, Empowering, Assisting Families) at St. Noel. Sessions take place on the third Monday of each month at 7pm. The next meeting is on Monday November 21st. LEAF is a non-denominational ministry where relatives and friends of those incarcerated can join with others in conversation and fellowship. Meetings are anonymous and registration is not required. Visit www.leafministry.org or call the St. Noel parish office at 440-946-0887 for more information.
UPCOMING BLOOD DRIVE – our next blood drive is scheduled for Sunday, December 18th from 9-1pm in the Banquet Center. Give the gift of life this season; signup to donate at www.redcrossblood.org/.
SLEEPING BAGS NEEDED – our friends at St. Mary in Painesville report that the homeless population is struggling as the weather turns cold. One way we can help is to offer sleeping bags that can be distributed through St. Mary’s outreach ministry. Please bring clean, useable sleeping bags to the parish anytime.
GIVE HOPE TO SOMEONE IN NEED: Donate Your Car to St. Vincent de Paul Society. Your car can become food, medicine and rent for the poor in our community. Donate your car, truck, RV or boat to the St. Vincent de Paul Society and receive a tax donation. It’s quick and easy. Call 800-322-8284 or donate online: www.svdpusa.org.
DIVORCED OR SEPARATED – and struggling with the holidays? Join us for a special 4-week mini support group for those having difficulty facing the holidays as a result of separation and divorce. This special program is intended to offer practical advice, support, and the skills to get through the holidays and move forward. Building new holiday traditions, identifying and managing the emotions of divorce, opening opportunities for growth and new beginnings, and turning a corner and facing a new year are some of the topics that will be covered. Attend one session, all four, or anything in between. We will meet Tuesday evenings from 7:00-9:00 p.m., on December 6th and 13th and January 3rd and 10th, 2017, at St. Noel Church, 35200 Chardon Rd., Willoughby Hills. To register or for more info: call Karen @ 440-352-8282 or email: [email protected]
BREAKFAST WITH SANTA – Come join Santa for breakfast on Saturday, December 10th from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Willoughby Hills Community Center, 35400 Chardon Rd. Please make your reservation and payment berfore December 5th to enjoy pancakes, sausage and juice with Santa. Cost for children ages 12 and under is $3 (includes photo) & $5 for Adults. Extra photos are $2 and can be purchased at the event. Call 440-975-3540 to reserve your time and pay by credit card. You can get registration forms at www.willoughbyhills-oh-gov or pick up at the Community Center. Space is Limited!