Pastoral Letters

Pastoral Letter October 30, 2016

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.” – Psalm 32:8

Dearly Beloved in the Lord,

Very recently I was visiting someone in the hospital and as I was leaving, the patient’s grandchild was just coming into the lobby, there to visit their grandparent with a package of Oreos in hand. Though the person in the hospital had not eaten in a few days, Oreo cookies were all that sounded good. And what’s wrong with an Oreo Diet, right?

Though there are countless varieties of cookies, Oreos sort of stand alone in their own category. The way that these delights are eaten, says a lot about the person who is consuming it at the moment. Some people take little nibbles from it; others pop the entire thing with one bite. Some twist them apart, eating the filling first on both sides, while still, others perform the same ritual with the only difference being that the practice is completely repeated with each side.

However you may eat them, the basic truth is that an Oreo has two sides and middle. This, I believe is a metaphor for life. We enjoy our youth, we live life as it comes to us in the vast space of the “middle,” then if blessed, we live our senior years.

Of course, there is no precise definition for these life-categories. There are individuals who take a long time to grow up. Some people “become older” sooner than others. And finally: the shifting, “middle years,” or filling, that we all experience between childhood and retirement.

The Church has a great interest in serving our spiritual needs, and piquing our sacred interests, no matter our individual ages. As listed in this week’s Bulletin, I highlight for you, the coming events of our St. Anna’s youth Ministry:

JOY Ministry (K-5th Grade): Following the fellowship hour today, Sunday, October 30, 2016, the children of our JOY Ministry will gather in Classroom 9 for a brief meeting before we depart for an afternoon at the Wheeler Historic Farm located at 6351 South 900 East, Murray. This will be a fun and beautiful autumn activity. Please bring $10.00 for the corn maze, hay ride, outdoor activities and a pumpkin. Fun with JOY!

GOYA Meeting (6th-12th Grade): Our First GOYA Meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 15, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. at the home of Mitchell and Matthew Mallas, 8373 South Stonefield Road, Sandy. Although their parents won’t allow another shaving cream fight in their living room, we will have just as much fun and will learn some things about our precious Faith and our love for Christ! Please join us.

GOYA Outing – Utes Basketball: On Monday, November 28, 2016, we will be going to see the Utah Runnin’ Utes play Butler University at the Huntsman Center, 1825 South Campus Drive, Salt Lake City. Tip-off is at 7:00 p.m. Admission is free with a “Pass of all Passes.” Look for more information about where we’ll meet and how to get tickets if you don’t have the “Pass.”

The activities for our youth can be considered one side of the Oreo. But the other side of the cookie, the part of life which comes after many years have been lived, countless memories have been banked, and wisdom has been gained, are our senior years.

As I stated above, the middle years of our life, our “filling” if you will, is different for everyone. There are those who live as an “Oreo Thin cookie, with not much happening in the middle, and others lead the lives of Double Stuff! Exciting. But eventually, if God wills it, we reach our senior years. AARP defines these years starting at 50. Myself, reaching the half-century mark in a few months, kindly disagree.

Never the less, God, as the Psalmist writes, instruct us and teaches us in the way we should go; and will counsel us with His eye upon us for our entire lives. He does not stop guiding us at puberty or cease to teach us after high school. We are all his children. We are all children in His eyes. We are ever-youthful and in need of guidance from Him.

Therefore, we have established a Senior’s Ministry at St. Anna’s in the interest of serving the needs of those who may have some time during the day to come together in fellowship, faith and love. We are defining “Senior” any way you wish; supposing that if you think you are a senior, as early as 50, then come join us.

Our First Meeting will take place on Tuesday, November 15th at 12:00 pm

If you consider yourself a Senior and would like to come and help plan our activities, set some goals, define our purpose and plot our course, please join us in the Fellowship Hall. Lunch will be provided.

I envision this as an opportunity to listen to speakers, plan fun field trips, engage in spiritual discussion and learning, and glorify our God who has allowed His children to reach the golden years of their lives. Carolyn Leitko has graciously offered to serve as the coordinating chairman of this group. I am ever-appreciative of her willingness to serve.

St. Anna Youth Ministry, St. Anna Senior’s Ministry and everything in-between. That’s a cookie we can all enjoy! Taste and see that the LORD is good (Psalm 34:8).

With Love in XC,
Fr. Anthony