This is the First Sunday of Advent and we begin a new liturgical year. Although we commonly perceive Advent to be a time for preparing to celebrate Christ’s birth, this is only partially true. In the last days before Christmas we do begin to reflect on Christ’s coming at Bethlehem. But in the first weeks of Advent we consider not His first coming but His second coming at the end of time. We will hear passages from the Hebrew prophets Jeremiah, Baruch, and Zephania which describe a new world in conformity to God’s will.
So, in Advent we begin with the end. We remember our belief that Jesus will return in glory to establish a world of justice and peace. This is the fundamental hope of the gospel: evil will be destroyed and new life will abound.
This very hope calls for our participation. We are meant to become agents in our world for what is good and just. As the Hebrew prophets remind us of the renewed world which God intends to establish, let us recommit ourselves to be men and women who in Jesus’ name assist in building the Kingdom of God.
Fr. George Smiga
SOCIAL JUSTICE COLLECTION – This weekend (Dec.1th & 2nd) our ushers will be in the Narthex to accept your donations to our Social Justice Fund.
EUCHARISTIC ADORATION – On Monday, December 3rd the hours for Adoration will be from 1:00 – 6:00 p.m. due to First Reconciliation which begins at 6:30 p.m.
FEAST OF IMMACULATE CONCEPTION MASS – will be Saturday, December 8th at 9:00 a.m. The sign-up sheet for Liturgical Ministers for this Mass are on the bulletin board by the kitchenette. Please sign up if you are able to minister.
ADVENT REFLECTION BOOKLETS – can be found on the table in the narthex. Please help yourself.
RETIREMENT FUND FOR RELIGIOUS – Next weekend (Dec. 8th & 9th) our ushers will be in the Narthex to accept your donations to the Retirement Fund for Religious. Help make a difference in the lives of senior sisters, brothers, and religious order priests who benefit from the annual appeal.
SACRISTANS – are needed to serve for our weekend liturgies. Please contact the parish office if you are interested.
2019 HOSPITALITY VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – The Hospitality Committee needs more volunteers to serve coffee, hot chocolate and doughnuts at all Masses. The commitment is for once every four or five weeks beginning in January 2019. Please call Betty Louis, 440-942-4009 or St. Noel parish office, 440-946-0887 if you are interested in serving.
AUGUSTINE CALENDARS – are available for purchase in the parish office for $25 each. Checks are made payable to St. Augustine.
SIGN-UP FOR YNIA TRIP – This summer, teens who have completed their first year of high school through senior year are invited to join us as we travel to Buffalo, New York from July 7th-12th. Young Neighbors in Action is more than just a week of doing service. It is a mission experience which engages youth in exploring the call to work for justice while serving those in need. If you are interested, please pick up a letter and registration form in the kiosk. Deposits and registration are due by December 3rd.
ANGEL CHOIR – We would like to continue inviting all young people in grades 1-12 to join us. The Angel Choir rehearsals are scheduled on Sundays between the Masses (10:15-10:45 a.m.) in the Resurrection Room. We hope to see you all. Any questions, contact Agnieszka (Aga) Bieniek at 440-946-1128 x119 or [email protected].
NOEL CONCERT SERIES – offers three Christmas concerts:
Sunday, December 2nd at 4:00 p.m. St. Noel Music Ministry will present Rejoice! Rejoice! You will hear our choirs, bell choirs, and invited guests. There will be an opportunity to listen and to sing-along. What better way is there to begin your Christmas celebration than with music and songs proclaimed to the newborn child? This concert is free with a free will offering. Enjoy delicious Christmas goodies right after the concert.
Friday, December 7th at 8:00 p.m. Apollo’s Fire will bring the program CHRISTMAS on Sugarloaf Mountain An Irish-Appalachian Christmas Celebration. A pre-concert talk happens in the Resurrection Room at 7:00 p.m. Afterward, join in a carol or two with the cast while enjoying free hot cider and old-fashioned ginger cake. For ticket information call 216.320.0012 /800.314.2535 ex1 or visit apollosfire.org.
Sunday, December 16th at 4:00 p.m. you can hear CityMusic Cleveland in the program MAGIC WINDS. CONDUCTOR: Stefan Willich and SOLOIST: Frank Rosenwein, Principal Oboe of The Cleveland Orchestra, bring for us compositions of Mozart and Strauss. This concert is free with a free will offering. We hope to see you all.
NOEL BANQUET CENTER – has some dates still available in December for family, friends or company holiday parties. Chef Randy is prepared to give you a great deal on your event. Also, please keep the Banquet Center in mind for weddings, showers, birthday parties, anniversaries, fundraisers, etc. There will be many engagements over the holidays. Please recommend the Banquet Center. We are remodeling during the month of January, so we will be excited to show the new Banquet Center to everyone.
NEIGHBOR TO NEIGHBOR MEAL – Join us at the next N2N meal this Thursday, December 6, 2018. We’ll celebrate St. Nicholas and have a wonderful time together! Doors open at 5:30pm; dinner served at 6:00pm. Contact Sharon as [email protected] for volunteer.
CHRISTMAS PROJECT 2018 UPDATE – Thanks to your warm generosity to the annual Christmas Project, we are well on the way to our goal of $15,000 to serve more than 75 families in the Lake County area. We are still in need of cash and gift card donations, as well as pre-selected gift basket items. Visit the Christmas Project table in the Narthex to join in the spirit and choose how you can help:
* Donate a gift of cash or $10 Giant Eagle or Target gift cards
* Pick up a ticket to purchase one or more pre-selected gift basket items.
* Sign up on the kiosk to help assemble and wrap baskets on Wednesday, December 12th, or to deliver baskets on Saturday, December 15th.
Bring your cash donations, gift cards and basket items to the Christmas Project table before or after weekend Masses or weekdays to the parish office by December 9th at noon. Together we will touch the lives of those who most need the love and support we know as the true meaning of Christmas. We’re almost there and we are grateful for your efforts!
ADVENT PRAYER FOR YOUNG ADULTS – If you are a young adult in your 20s or 30s in need of some time out of your busy holiday preparations for prayer and reflection, then join the MORE Young Adults for an Advent prayer on Saturday, December 8th at 7:00 p.m. We will gather in the Chapel for a reflective prayer experience that includes singing, readings, silence, and intercessions. It’s a perfect style of prayer for Advent as we take time to slow down and reflect in the midst of a busy schedule.
FOOD PANTRY NEEDS – The pantry is in need of the following items: cereal, and spaghetti sauce in jars. You can financially support the pantry through our social justice collections and through the website.
READING GLASSES NEEDED – The N2N Resource Room is also looking for reading glasses to distribute at the Neighbor to Neighbor meal. Do you have an extra pair of readers lying around? Bring them to the Church office anytime.
PARISH DAYTIME ADVENT RETREAT – Will be Wednesday, December 5th, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Christmas is Coming! Prepare to be a Gift”, facilitated by Fran Armbruster. Sign up on the kiosk or call Fran at 440-625-1228. Cost is $6.00 to cover lunch, if you are able. All are welcome!
NOEL FELLOWSHIP – Meetings are held on Thursdays at Noon in the St. Noel Banquet Center Small Hall. On December 6th & 13th, Bingo. Everyone is welcome! No meetings on December 20th & 27th. There will be no meetings the months of January and February 2019. Meetings will resume March 7, 2019.
IMMIGRATION ACTION NEEDED – The federal government has proposed a rule change to the eligibility requirements of those hoping to immigrate to the USA or change immigration status to something more permanent. Public comment is needed on these proposed changes as they will have a negative effect on families trying to reunite and on those trying to enter the unskilled labor force legally. Deadline for comments is December 10th. See the website (stnoel.org) for information.
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. This program is intended to offer practical advice, support, and the skills to get through the holidays and move forward. Attend one session, all four, or anything in between. We will meet Tuesday evenings from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m., on December 4th & 11th and January 8th & 15th, at St. Noel Church. To register or for more information, call Karen at 440-352-8282 or email: [email protected].
ALWAYS OUR CHILDREN – The parents support group for families and friends of gay and lesbian Catholics welcomes you to join us at our next meeting, Sunday, December 9th, from 2:00-3:30 p.m. in the SJV Philomena Center of St. John Vianney Parish on Bellflower Rd., Mentor.
CARDS FOR OUR NEIGHBORS – The Catholic Commission of Lake/Geauga is sponsoring a prayerful evening at the Center for Pastoral Leadership on Monday, December 3rd to decorate Christmas cards for those in nursing homes, shelters, and jails in our counties. The evening runs from 6-8 p.m. with a light dinner. An RSVP is required; see the kiosk or website (stnoel.org) for details.
OHIO BISHOPS & GUN VIOLENCE – The Catholic Bishops of Ohio call upon Ohio’s elected leaders to adopt prudent policies to help curb gun violence. HB 228, as passed by the Ohio House, raises concerns over “duty to retreat” provisions. The Bishops are urging constituents to contact their Ohio senators to amend the bill in the Senate to include reforms suggested by the Governor’s workgroup on addressing gun violence. More information is available on the table in the narthex and on the website (stnoel.org
CLEVELAND RETROUVAILLE WEEKEND – is scheduled for January 25 – 27, 2019. Has your marriage become unloving or uncaring – your relationship cold, distant – thinking about a separation or divorce? Are you already separated/divorced but both of you want to try again? Then the Retrouvaille program may help. RETROUVAILLE, which means rediscovery, is supported by the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, but it is open to couples of all faiths. This program consists of a weekend experience for couples and six follow up sessions. A registration fee of $150 is required to confirm your reservation. For more information concerning the program, or to register, please call Marce or Liz Gliha at 440-357-6580 or 800-470-2230, or go online to www.helpourmarriage.org.