As I announced previously, beginning in 2017 your regular collection envelopes will no longer be mailed each quarter. This is a change which will allow us to save $2,000 per year in postage cost.
Instead, beginning this weekend, I invite you to pick up in the Narthex after Mass a box which includes all the envelopes you will need for 2017. As in the past you will need to write your name and amount on the envelopes you use. The envelopes in the box are not designated for any particular day, with the exception of two envelopes you will find at the back of the box. These are for Mother’s Day and for All Souls’ Day. Money offered on these days will be used to pay for the flowers we use in the church throughout the year. At the end of the year you can return any unused envelopes.
Parishioners who donate to St. Noel Catholic Education Fund should pick up their box of envelopes in the parish office.
I also want to take this opportunity to encourage you to eliminate envelopes entirely by using automatic bank withdrawal. This paperless option is easy and completely in your control. You can set a weekly or monthly amount to be deducted from your checking account. The amount and the frequency of the withdrawal can be changed at any time at your discretion. When you use this option, we save the cost of envelopes and you do not need to remember to bring them with you to church. You will find forms for automatic withdrawal on the table with the envelope boxes. Your completed form along with a voided check can be returned to the parish office.
I would like to thank you in advance for your cooperation in implementing this change in our envelope procedure. I believe it will be simpler and more economical for our parish to adopt this approach.
The goal of the Endowment Fund is to provide for the future needs of St. Noel Church. Each year the fund uses a small percentage of its earnings for present purposes. To show appreciation to the parish for its support of the Endowment, the fund is covering the cost of coffee and doughnuts for the month of December.
RETIREMENT FUND FOR RELIGIOUS – This weekend our ushers will be in the Narthex to accept your donations to the Retirement Fund for Religious. Help make a difference in lives of senior sisters, brothers, and religious order priests who benefit from the annual appeal.
LITURGICAL MINISTER SCHEDULES – have been emailed. If you have not received one please stop in the parish office or pick one up in the kiosk.
BULLETIN ARTICLES – Due to the holiday printing schedule, all articles for the December 24th-25th bulletin and January monthly calendar events must be in the office by Monday, December 12th. Articles for the December 31st-January 1st bulletin must be in the office by Monday, December 19th.
LITURGICAL MINISTERS – Sign-up sheets for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are on the bulletin board by the coatroom. Please sign up if you are able to minister.
PARISH PICTURE DIRECTORY – The final version of the directory has been delayed and will not be available until after the first of the year. Questions can be directed to Anthony at 440-946-1128 x 122.
AUGUSTINE RAFFLE CALENDARS – are being sold to support the Hunger Center. They are $25 each and offer 365 chances to win throughout the year. They make good Christmas gifts. Calendars will be available after Masses the weekend of December 17th and 18th.
CHRISTMAS DECORATING VOLUNTEERS – We will be decorating the church for Christmas on Thursday, December 22nd at 4:00 p.m. If you would like to help decorate, please call the parish office at 440-946-0887.
HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE STUDENTS – If you play an instrument or are willing to sing please consider joining our Music Ministry for Masses on Christmas Eve (4:30 p.m., 6:30 p.m. or midnight) and/ or Christmas Day (11:00 a.m.). Our repertoire will include the Christmas carols only. It would be ideal if you could join us for two out of three rehearsals (Thursday, December 15th, Tuesday, December 20th and Thursday, December 22nd 7:00-9:00 p.m.). Other parishioners and their guests are also invited to join this short term musical project. If you are interested, please contact Agnieszka (Aga) Bieniek at [email protected] or 440-318-4680.
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.
2017 MASS BOOK – The Mass Book is open, and we are currently offering Mass Intentions throughout the year. Intentions are $10 per Mass. Please stop by the Parish Office if you would like to schedule Masses.
BLOOD DRIVE – Our next blood drive is scheduled for Sunday, December 18th from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. in the Banquet Center. Give the gift of life this season; signup to donate at www.redcrossblood.org/. Thanks to the Repkos for coordinating this blood drive.
HELP NEEDED – On Monday, December 19th, from 2:30-4:30 p.m., the Greater Cleveland Food Bank is dropping off fresh produce at Abbott’s Manor, a subsidized, senior living building in Willoughby (next to Heinens). Volunteers are needed to distribute the produce to the residents. Please call Anthony to help (946-1128). Hopefully, this will be a monthly event.
BLANKET SUNDAY – Thanks to your generosity, our parish contributed $611 to the 30th annual collection through the Society of St. Vincent de Paul. The Society purchases items such as blankets, winter hats, gloves, and scarves for those most in need in our communities. The SVDP has been providing assistance to those in need since 1865.
BAGELS FOR THE PANTRY – Brueggers Bagels in Willoughby (near Heinens) has partnered with the Greater Cleveland Food Bank and is donating bagels to the St. Noel Food Pantry 4 days per week. We’re looking for people willing to pick up bagels (5-6 dozen) in the morning and transport them to St. Noel. Pick-up days are Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The bagels will be bagged and ready to go. Please call Anthony (946-1128 x122) if you can help.
NOEL FOOD PANTRY – Now is the perfect time to support the pantry. Most needed items include: tuna fish, spaghetti 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/.
TECH TALK – Over the holidays, many people receive new electronics. Do you have a device such as a cell phone or iPad that you could use some basic help navigating? Parishioners of all ages are invited to take advantage of free tech support offered by the youth of our parish after all masses January 7th and 8th. Simply bring the device with you to Mass and stop in the Resurrection Room afterwards where our very own tech team will be ready to help! Contact Erica Zalar with questions.
NOEL FELLOWSHIP – Meetings are held on Thursdays at 12:00 Noon in the St. Noel Banquet Center Small Hall. Activities are: On December 15th, socializing meeting; 12:30 p.m., Christmas Luncheon Menu: Sirloin filet w/ mushrooms, baked potatoes w/ sour cream, salad, green beans and carrots, rolls and butter, cheese cake w/topping. For tickets call Theresa Durik at 440-585-9088. Cost is $12.00. Deadline for tickets and payments is December 12th; also will be Birthdays and Anniversaries. Bring something for the food pantry and get a free 50/50ticket. NO MEETING on December 22nd and 29th. Everyone is welcome!
GIRLS’ BOOK CLUB – will meet again on Tuesday, January 24th at 6:30 p.m. The book we will be discussing is “Hatchet” by Gary Paulsen. Copies of the book will be available to sign out in the parish office. Sign up on the table in the narthex. This event is open to all girls in grades 6-12.
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).
DIVORCED OR SEPARATED and struggling with the Holidays? It’s not too late to join us for our remaining three sessions! This special program is intended to offer practical advice, support, and the skills to move forward. We will meet Tuesday evenings from 7:00-9:00 p.m., on December 13, 2016, 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].
NEED THE PERFECT GIFT for your spouse this Christmas? Give your spouse the gift of your time and love by taking him/her on a Worldwide Marriage Encounter Weekend in Hudson at the Clarion Inn and Conference Center on February 17-19, 2017. Applications and further information is available online: www.GreatMariagesOhio.org or call 330-305-9963.
“WHEN CHRISTMAS HURTS” – During this Advent Season, Grace Episcopal Church in Willoughby is hosting a special service on Wednesday, December 14th at 7:00 p.m. This service is a time for fellowship, prayer, and reflection. We welcome the community to attend this service, both those in need and those willing to offer support and compassion. Any questions, contact 440-942-1015.