Next Sunday, we begin the season of Advent.
“Advent” comes from the Latin word “Advenire” which means “to come” or “to arrive.” We use the word to refer to Jesus’ coming for our salvation. Although there is a historical sense in which we remember Jesus’ coming when He was born, there is also a future sense in which we recall our belief that Jesus will come again to complete the work of salvation. Advent, then looks both backward and forward. Backward to the events of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection which ground our salvation and forward to His second coming when we believe every evil will be destroyed. In this perspective, Advent is clearly a time of reflection upon what God has done in our lives and what we trust God will do in the future.
Advent then is a time of hope, a time in which we continue to trust that no matter how much confusion or disappointment occurs in our lives, God is still with us. We do not always understand, but we believe that God will be faithful.
On Wednesday, December 7th at 7:00 p.m., we will celebrate the sacrament of Penance as a community. Like the season of Advent, this sacrament calls us to acknowledge our dependence on God and God’s mercy toward us.
Throughout the next few weeks let us live more consciously in light of God’s promises and await Christ’s coming in our lives and in our world.
CATHOLIC CAMPAIGN FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT – This weekend, November 19th & 20th, our ushers will be in the Narthex to accept your donations for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development.
SOCIAL JUSTICE/ST. AUGUSTINE – On Sunday, November 27th, our volunteers will be serving the meal at the St. Augustine Hunger Center. There is a sign-up sheet on the kiosk if you are able to lend a hand.
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.
NOEL CONCERT SERIES – offers you three wonderful performances: Sunday, December 4th at 4:00 p.m., St. Noel Music Ministry will present choirs, bells and more (free); Friday, December 9th at 7:30 p.m. Citymusic Cleveland takes us to A Night in Venice with compositions by Johann Strauss II (free) and Sunday, December 11th at 4:00 p.m. we will hear Apollo’s Fire perform the Messiah by George Friedrich Handel (for tickets information visit apollosfire.org.or call 216-320-0012 / 800-314-2535, x 1). Please join us in any or all of these great winter concerts.
ADVENT CALENDARS AND REFLECTION BOOKS for adults, families and children are available on the table in the Narthex. Please help yourself.
CRS FAIR TRADE SALE – Thanks to all who attended the Fair Trade Holiday Sale to benefit Catholic Relief Services that was held November 5-6. Thanks also to our amazing volunteers for their help. All of you exceeded our expectations, as we sold out nearly all our crafts and food with over $3,000 in total sales. We were also able to provide CRS with an additional $229.44.
We hope you enjoy the items you purchased. Behind every basket, ornament and chocolate bar there is a story of positive change and a story of an empowered artisan or farmer who works in a safe environment, can send his or her children to school, and can save for the future with the reliable income he or she earns through fair trade. You have partnered with CRS and SERRV, a nonprofit, fair trade organization, to lift disadvantaged artisans, farmers, and their families out of poverty. Thank you.
Our CRS ambassadors, Marti Matuska and Jed Trombley will be in the narthex passing out CRS catalogs. There’s still plenty of time to make a difference.
PARISH DAYTIME RETREAT – will be on Wednesday, December 7th, from 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. The Incarnation: Living in the Awareness of God’s Greatest Gift will be facilitated by the Retreat Community. Sign up on the kiosk or call Fran at 440-625-1228. A suggested donation of $6.00. All are welcome!
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. Nomination forms are available in the Narthex. We ask that the forms be returned to the box in the Narthex or to the parish office by December 1st.
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 this 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.
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]
NOEL FOOD PANTRY – Now is the perfect time to support the pantry. Most needed items include: tuna fish, tomato sauce in jars, peanut butter, jelly, macaroni & cheese, toilet paper. Please pick up a blue grocery bag in the narthex, fill it with non-perishable food, and return it to St. Noel. Our pantry served 70 families during the month of October. Thanks to all who support the pantry. Remember, online donation is always available at https://stnoel.org/social-justice/.
COOKIES FOR THE PANTRY – Join members of the parish on Saturday, December 10th at 9:00 a.m. in the Small Hall to create trays of homemade cookies which are distributed through the St. Noel Food Pantry. Please bring your cookies already baked and ready to go. We will have all the necessary materials to create beautiful trays for our pantry guests. Families are welcome. Thanks to Ada Gornik for organizing this yearly event.
THE CHRISTMAS PROJECT – Volunteers are needed to bake cookies, wrap baskets (both on Wednesday, December 14th) and deliver baskets (Saturday, December 17th). Sign-up on the kiosk. Details can be found at stnoel.org
YOUNG NEIGHBORS IN ACTION – Registration for our summer service trip to Chicago is due back on December 1st. This trip is open to all teens in grades 9-12. Information and registration forms can be found in the kiosk.
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.
ADVENT COLORING PRAYER – Do you want some time for quiet reflection in the week before Christmas? Do you like to color? Join us on Monday, December 19th from 7-8 pm in the Small Hall to color and pray. Materials will be provided, but if you have a favorite set of colored pencils you can bring them along. All ages are welcome. Contact Michele ([email protected] or 440-946-1128 x121) to reserve your space.
CHRISTMAS CARDS FOR OUR NEIGHBORS – The Catholic Commission of Lake & Geauga is hosting an evening of card making on Monday, December 5th at the Center for Pastoral Leadership (Borromeo) in Wickliffe. Witness to God’s mercy by signing cards to our forgotten neighbors including 371 inmates at the Lake County Jail, local homeless, those in nursing facilities and victims of domestic violence. The evening is free and families are welcome. A light dinner will be served from 5:30-6:00 p.m. Prayer and card-signing from 6-8 p.m. RSVP to Kelly Davis at [email protected] or 440-943-7612. See the kiosk for more details.
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.
NOEL FELLOWSHIP – Meetings are held on Thursdays at 12:00 Noon in the St. Noel Banquet Center Small Hall. Activities are: On No meeting on November 24th. Meetings will resume on December 1st. Everyone is welcome!
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/.
LOOKING AHEAD TO LENT – The Jesuit Retreat House invites you to participate in “Embracing the Mystery,” a four-part series designed specifically for St. Noel Parish. The series will be held at St. Noel on Mondays, February 6, March 6 and April 3, from 6-9 p.m. and conclude with a retreat on Saturday, May 6 from 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Cost for the series is $40, which includes Henry Nouwen’s book, “Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World.” Participants will explore landmarks on the spiritual journey, including suffering and death, grace and redemption, enhancing their Lenten and Easter experience. The series will be led by parishioner Emma Krueger, a certified spiritual director, graduate of the Ignatian Spirtuality Institute at John Carroll University, and certified leader of Contemplative Prayer and Retreat through the Shalem Insitute. You can find more information and a registration form on the kiosk in the Narthex or on the parish website (stnoel.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!
FLOCK OF FRIENDSHIP (Singles: 40 and over) – On Saturday, November 26th at 7 p.m. Join us for our monthly game night at St. Paschals’ Life Center. This is one of our best-attended events and is good for old and new members. Please bring a snack to share, money for pizza, and your favorite game. RSVP Dan at 440-223-8707 to let him know you are coming.