21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Dear Epiphany Family,
Come to him, a living stone, rejected by human beings but chosen and precious in the sight of God, and, like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood to oﬀer spiritual sacriﬁces acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:4-5). Our Epiphany parish and the former East Side parishes have gone through many diﬃcult changes, but Jesus calls us to come to him and be living stones built upon him. Since Epiphany of the Lord was formed in 2013 challenges regarding the maintenance of our many facilities have been significant. These issues have taken up much time, energy, and resources. To better evaluate the care and stewardship of our buildings our Finance and Pastoral Councils approved the undertaking of a Facilities Assessment and Master Planning process with RCM architects from Findlay. Our Facilities Task Force (made up of parishioners representing all three campuses and including council representatives) helped select RCM. Their architects and contracted engineers performed a thorough physical assessment of each facility (structural, mechanical, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, codes, and accessibility) in late 2021. In the spring RCM also surveyed and did in person interviews of our parish ministries with regards to their facility needs.
Please join us for a parish-wide meeting on Sunday, September 18th from 2-4:30pm at the Cardinal Stritch High School gymnasium. RCM architects will present us with multiple facilities proposals for our parish family to consider moving forward. Andrew Reinhart from the Diocesan Intentional Planning Office will also give us a broader context and perspective. Those attending will have the chance to ask questions and will also be surveyed about the various proposals. No decisions will be made that afternoon, but we pray the Holy Spirit will guide us in the most fruitful path for our parish to be further discerned later. Our meeting will not mark the end of a process, but the beginning, after which more prayer and consultation with councils, the Task Force, and parishioners will be sought to lead us to decisions.
In a recent meeting with my spiritual director, he reminded me of the story of St. Francis of Assisi being told by Jesus to “Rebuild my Church”. St. Francis first took it to mean that he should repair the dilapidated church where he was praying and other churches around Assisi. He later discovered that the Lord was calling him to lead a renewal of the Church, the people of God. The Lord is calling us all as well to be renewed in our faith, in our relationship with Him. This is the most important renewal and rebuilding we are called to. He is inviting us to be stronger living stones united in and strengthened by Him. He calls us to live out the great commission to make disciples and manifest God’s love to the East Side and beyond. Our greatest strength is in being united to Him and one another.