Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,
As I write this letter, winter in January has returned and more cold and snow promised for the week.
This last week, I enjoyed joining Jenifer and Brian Mulcahy’s family for their extended family brunch - great food! Monday and Tuesday the construction folks were working at our building site and my brother Tom, Dick Johnson and I met with them for the regular Tuesday Construction meeting. Lots of activity is underway - steel roofing on the worship space, drywall in the school hallways, preparations for the roof top units, preparation for classroom drywall, the electricity transformer being placed and wired and more. Progress is being made.
Wednesday, December 31 and Thursday, January 1, we celebrated the Holy Day, Mary the Mother of God, with Masses at St. Anne’s. I am sure many of you welcomed in the New Year in appropriate ways and made good resolutions.
On Friday, January 2, I joined several St. Luke’s parishioners at the Vintage Hills 1st Friday 9:15 am Mass. It is good to celebrate the Eucharist on a regular basis with the residents joined by parishioners who visit.
On Saturday, January 3, I attended the retirement party for Bill Konnath at OLIH. Bill has served as the business manager at St. Joseph’s for some years. He was joined by the Ankeny Community Chorus to sing songs of joy for those gathered to celebrate with Bill.
Sunday, January 4, I attended the graduation party for Carolyn Teggatz. Later that afternoon, I joined St. Luke’s parishioners for the Epiphany Fair at St. Anne’s. Then we moved into the return to a regular schedule of school, work and parish activities.
On the weekend of January 17-18, we will have a Stewardship of Treasure weekend. My homily will focus on Stewardship of our Treasure. Stewardship is realizing our need to give back to God some portion of what He has given to us. As stewards, God has entrusted his gifts to us. As good stewards, we use well what has been given to us and give back to God an increase.
Practically that means we have a need to give. We have a need to be faithful in regular support of our parish and other charity. When we’re faithful like that, we are trusting that God will bless us. And he does!
At the same time, the parish needs us to give. Last year, we had about 180 families in the parish. We based a budget on what those 180 families were giving to the parish. Since then, we now have about 250 families. The amount being given is the about same as the 180 families were giving. We are going to be facing significant parish expenses when we move into our new facilities - power, gas and water bills - added staff even before St. Luke’s School begins.
I ask you to seriously consider a regular (weekly, monthly), significant contribution to St. Luke’s as we begin this New Year. If we all make regular financial support of St. Luke’s part of our giving, we will be able to meet the growing expenses St. Luke’s will experience. Consider using ACH, automatic withdrawal from a bank account, as your way of giving. It helps St. Luke be able to predict the level of support that will come.
I want to thank all of you who already support St. Luke’s with your regular parish financial support. Thanks as well for your generous and faithful payments to our “Together We Build” capital campaign. That you see your “Need to Give Back to God” is obvious and welcome.
May all of you be blessed in this New Year.
Fr. Larry Hoffmann