Father Larry's Letters

"Father Larry's Letters" are a weekly letter/journal about the many events occurring within and around the St. Luke's community.

Warmly watching and Waiting for Jesus

Dear St. Luke’s Parishioners,

2012 is continuing to be a year of contrasts. Last week it was cold and windy. This weekend, we are lost in the heavy fog with 100% moisture and very pleasant temperatures. We are not complaining about the unseasonable temperatures!

The New Liturgical Year began with our celebration of the 1st Sunday of Advent last weekend. It is a great way to get us all in the mood for this time of watching, waiting and preparing for the coming of the Lord Jesus. May we make time to pray and reflect during these very special days.

Last Tuesday, November 27, the Social Concerns Team met for our monthly meeting. We completed the Team Charter - the way of operating; we reviewed our assignments from last meeting. They included setting up our Advent Project - hats, mittens, new socks, underwear and gently used coats - will be collected each weekend in Advent for those in need. We will be visiting The Ankeny Service Center to become familiar with the opportunities offered there. Among the Tithe of the Tithe recommendations will include utility and rent funds for Redrock, support for Holy Family School students for Christmas, Ankeny Backpack Buddies and a St. Luke’s emergency fund. Copies for further study of the Compendium of Social Teaching of the Church were distributed for the next meeting.

On Wednesday, I attended the Ankeny Ministerial Association meeting at the United Methodist Church. We heard a presentation from AHEPAl, an Affordable Senior Housing Community that has two units here in Ankeny and one in Johnston. Lots of community activity was shown to be part of these apartments. Later that evening, the Strategic Planning Team met with the Architects once again. They presented their latest development and refinement of the master plan for St. Luke’s future facilities. You can see their efforts on our web site by pushing the “Construction Zone” button.

On Thursday, Tom Varilek and I attended a meeting hosted by AMOS at the 1st Christian Church in Des Moines. It was a presentation of what A Mid Iowa Organizing Strategy is currently doing and how it operates. It was a good presentation with many examples of how work for justice can happen by cooperation among member church communities. That evening, we had our Advent Penance Service at St. Anne’s.

Friday, I attended the funeral for Catherine Gubbels at St. Michaels in Harlan. She is the mother of Fr. Wayne Gubbels from Adel. He was in my ordination class and a good friend through the years.

On Saturday morning, I took part in the Advent presentation by Matt Hallbach, director of the St. Joseph’s Education Center. It was a wonderful time to hear about and to talk about the coming of the Lord Jesus in this Advent season.

The weekend saw us celebrating the beginning of Advent. We are now watching, waiting, praying and preparing for the coming of the Lord Jesus. May we open our hearts to his coming among us.

Fr. Larry Hoffmann