Growing up Catholic, attending Catholic grade school and then a Catholic high school, I never once heard anyone say that Mass on Sunday ought to be a non-negotiable for any Catholic.
The idea of keeping Sunday holy just never was mentioned, and sadly, I think we see the fruit of that failure to talk about an issue now causing spiritual havoc in many people's lives.
Catholics are often portrayed as having 500 billion rules to follow, but the church actually only has five things that a Catholic in good standing ought to practice, and at the top of that list is Mass on Sundays and Holy Days. We have a lot of work to do as Catholics to help reeducate those in the faith and outside it about what we think Sunday is and why Mass on Sunday isn't an option.
Many people know, in the back of their mind, that Mass on Sunday is something that ought to be a non-negotiable, but the two main excuses I hear are "vacation" and "I was out of town with a sports travel team on Sunday."
In response, I always try to mention how, in our day and age, we can find a Catholic Church, the Sunday Mass times at that church and directions to that church in about two minutes on our phones.
I also really enjoy going to Mass when I'm out of town because it is an opportunity to see other Catholic Churches, other communities, hear other preachers and yet at the same time be reminded of how much our Catholic faith is the exact same no matter where in the world I happen to find myself.
Finally, I'll just mention that often times, I hear from people when they are talking about missing Mass something to the effect of, "Father, when I miss Mass, something is just off with my week. But I find when I get up and go to church, the week just seems a lot smoother."
I think it is yet another reminder of how God's laws work -- God asks us to do things a certain way for our own good, and when we don't do it God's way things go badly and we find we are unexplainably "off" or even miserable.
Let's pray that Christians everywhere begin to reprioritize their Sundays to put church and our Lord back in the center of it.
In other news:
* Our preschool is back under way, but it isn't too late to join in. Contact the parish office at 448-1901 if you are interested in signing up your young one,
* Our classes for those considering joining the church this year will begin Wednesday, Sept. 12. The meeting will take place in the church and will begin at 6:30 p.m. Even if you are unable to attend the meetings, the classes will be posted online at on-this-rock.blogspot.com,
* Registration for Religious Education Classes will be the weekend of Sept. 1-2, in the parish center basement. There will be a brief parent/student meeting on Sunday, Sept. 9, beginning at 9:15 a.m., with the first class immediately following. Parents and grandparents, please encourage the youth in your life to participate and learn more about their faith,
* Brazil Life Chain: The National Life Chain is the largest peaceful, prayerful, pro-life public witness in the world. More than 1,5000 cities across the United States and Canada are expected to participate Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, from 2-3 p.m. Last year was our largest turnout. Please join us and participate in the Brazil Life Chain on United States 40 and Alabama Street. For more information, please contact Jeffrey Etling at 448-9147,
* Job opening: St. Patrick School is looking for a compassionate, energetic, and caring individual to be a kindergarten and first-grade teacher's aide. Would you like to be a part of a progressive staff and work with some of the school's smallest children to help them learn to read, write, and become scholars? If so, please contact the office at 8912-232-2157, and
* Age to Age: Generations of Faith Concert, Sept. 13, at 7:30 p.m., at St. Joseph's University Parish, 113 S. 5th St., Terre Haute. The event will feature Steve Angrisano, Dan Schutte and Curtis Stephan. Tickets can be purchased at agetoagetour.com, or at St. Joseph University Parish.
* If you are interested in working with youth in the church, please consider attending an upcoming Virtus Training. Virtus is required for any adult working with youth throughout the Archdiocese. It is important that individuals register at http://www.virtusonline.org/. They may also call the Deanery Pastor Center at 812-232-8400 and register online.
Blessings to you and your families and friends.
Bee Ridge Church
Bee Ridge Church is located one-and-a-half miles north on Kennedy Crossing Road.
We are the brick church on the top of the hill.
Sunday school for all ages begins at 9:15 a.m. Worship service and Children's Church begin at 10:30.
Our church congregation is growing and we welcome new members or visitors anytime.
Come join us for worship.
Jeff Bridgewater is our pastor, and he can be reached at 812-241-3036 or through e-mail at email@example.com.
Hope to see you this Sunday.
Benwood Mt. Lebanon Church
Blessings to you from Benwood Mt. Lebanon Church.
We are located two miles north of United States 40 on Knightsville Road, or two miles east of State Road 59 on Rio Grande Road.
Our church phone number is 446-0531.
If you do not have a church home, we invite you to come worship with us. We are a non-denominational church that worships God through Jesus Christ.
This week at Benwood Mt. Lebanon Church:
9:30 a.m. -- Sunday school, all ages,
10:30 a.m. -- Morning worship; Children's Church (Brad, Kim and Connor Hapenny)
7 p.m. -- Evening Worship,
2 p.m. -- Ladies Nursing Home Ministries at Exceptional Living
7 p.m. -- Prayer/Bible Study
9:45 a.m. -- Ladies Bible Study
From the Pastor:
This week's message is "Christ -- The Only Hope" from Colossians 1:5 the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel.
Take your aluminum cans to Wallace Disposal and tell them to credit the Benwood Mt. Lebanon account. They will send a check to the church that will be used for various mission projects.
The Father and Son dinner will be Sept. 9, at 4:30 p.m. This will include a dinner and prizes for the men. At 5:45 p.m., the Jack Boswell Country Gospel Band will perform and that is open to all, followed by the Ice Cream Social.
Several of you have a different outlook on the word meaning of hope so I went to Pastor Dick to get his input on this and his one word answer -- assurance.
Our sermon for this week also had the word hope in it -- maybe you can find more meaning to this word if you could come visit us this week.
Fall is fast approaching and the holidays aren't far behind. Pumpkin pie, spiced apple cider, turkey, dressing, fresh corn pudding. What is your favorite part of the holidays? Which holiday? Thanksgiving or Christmas, and why?
I will take e-mails on this until the end of September so please send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me your favorite.
One very young lady tells me that her favorite time is Christmas Day and that it is not for the toys or the food (even though she really likes both), but it is because on that day, her Jesus, her Dad, and her brother were born. She says those are the gifts she loves the most and that she, her mommy and her brother pray together that Dad will be home for this Christmas.
I will pray for you on this one sweetie as I am sure a lot of us will after reading this. Thank you for sharing your story and why Christmas is your favorite.
Hard to believe she is in the third-grade. Did you notice she said Her Jesus?
I want to invite all the ladies to come to our Ladies Bible Study class on Thursday at 9:45 a.m. We learn, we have fun and great fellowship together.
Even though it is four months away, maybe now is the time to start thinking about that New Year's Resolution. Maybe this year, instead of an "I" resolution, it could be what "we" as a community can do to help each other, our community and/or both.
Instead of saying I will save more money, lose weight, stop smoking, say who could benefit from stop smoking as a group? Lose weight as a group? Exercise as a group? Clean up your block?
That doesn't cost money, it costs your willingness to give of yourself and your time. Giving and sharing isn't a once-a-year thing. It is a 365-day thing.
Until next week: Give that smile away.
Amos 8:4-5, "Hear this, you who trample the needy and do away with the poor of the land, saying, 'when will the new moon be over that we may sell grain, and the Sabbath be ended that we may market wheat?' skimping the measure, boosting the price and cheating with dishonest scales."
Brazil Bible Fellowship Church
So what makes a marriage work?
There is such an emphasis on "being in love," and being attracted to one another that one would think that it's all about how you feel.
But have you ever read the story about Isaac and Rebekah in Genesis 24? It is not looks and "love" that makes a marriage last. Isaac and Rebekah's marriage lasted a lifetime and they did not know each other's names or what they even looked like until they said, "I do."
Pastor Gordon highlighted some important principles in his messaged titled, "Lessons on Love and Marriage."
First of all, Abraham gave some particular instructions that were to be followed in seeking a wife for his son. They were not to find a wife for Isaac from just anywhere. Abraham limited the scope of consideration.
God gives some clear instructions to everyone but specifically for a Christian when they prepare to get married. By broader application, that falls in line with 2 Cor. 6:14, a Christian is not to marry someone who is not.
In 24:5-6, there was a clear instruction that they were not to take Isaac with them to find her. The men were relieved of the oath if a lady would not come back with them. Abraham sought to find a wife for his son, but if it was not to be, Abraham was not going to compromise God's promise to him.
He would rather take no for an immediate answer and trust God in the future than compromise. It is better for a Christian to remain single and trusting God for a lifetime spouse than to compromise in the present, which is easier said than done when you are single.
Since Isaac did not even see Rebekah's face until after they married, we know that it is not looks that makes a marriage work. It is commitment. Marriage is a covenant between a man and a womanbefore God that is to be until one dies (Matthew 19:6; Mark 10:9).
Clearly that does not mean that we need to find a spouse the way this beautiful story unfolds. However, we must take a hard look at what is being communicated today on what makes a marriage work. It is not "being in love" that will make a marriage last a lifetime. Even if the lady is very attractive and beautiful or the guy is handsome (or hot or whatever the term is today) that is not what will make the marriage work. That is just an additional blessing.
For those who are married, no matter how much you really knew or understood about marriage before getting married, your marriage can work and grow in true love even if your main motivation was because you were "in love" at the start.
You made a vow, keep it and work through the tough days when you have them. If you are single, do not run ahead of God or convince yourself that you just have to be married to be happy or fulfilled. Trust God for the right person and time.
God has given us a very special treasure: The Bible. It is packed full of His wisdom for us. It unpacks for us the wonderful good news that Jesus Christ came to save sinners so that one can be made right with God and have the promise of eternal life. It is loaded with hope and help. God's Word is truth and that is our conviction.
That is why the Bible is the emphasis of our ministry. Do you want to know God? His will for your life? Are you in need of help and hope? Come.
Join us as we strive to be "approved unto God ... rightly handling the Word of truth" so that we can know God more and more each day and how to handle life's problems.
Our Sunday school is at 10 a.m. Worship is at 11. Our men's and women's Bible study is meeting at 6 p.m. You can learn more about us, listen to a message, etc., by going to our website at www.brazilbible.org. We are located south of town on State Road 59 directly across from the 4-H Fairgrounds.
Today (Sept. 1), we are taking the challenge to spend 10 minutes a day in the Bible. We are starting by reading a chapter a day in the Gospel of John. How about taking the challenge with us?
Our Wednesday evening study will begin meeting at 7 p.m., and will focus on our Bible reading and you can join us for that as well.
Carbon Baptist Church
The month of September has arrived and there is much going on in our country and community.
We may receive rain (which we still need) from the Hurricane Isaac that has done much damage in the south and we must remember all those affected in our prayers.
We thank Brian and Cathy Fagg for sharing about their mission work in East Asia last Sunday evening. Their furlough is now over and they've returned "home" with their four children.
Continue to lift them up in prayer.
Sunday morning will be our monthly communion time during the 10:30 a.m., worship service.
This is a very special time of remembrance that represents the death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
The "Marriage Builders" class that started last Sunday at 9:30 a.m., was great. The couples who attended are really excited and hope more will come and join them. The class is being led by Pastor Barry and Carolyn Corder.
Mark your calendar for the Italian pitch-in that will be after church Sunday, Sept. 9. Everyone really enjoys this time of great food and fellowship.
Another event that is starting back up is the monthly Men's Prayer Breakfast that will be the third Saturday morning, Sept. 15, at 8 a.m. The cooks will begin at 7 a.m., and please note these are new times and hope all the men and sons come and support this time together.
The evening of Sept. 15 is the annual Van Buren Volunteer Fire Department Jonah Fish Fry, held in Carbon.
Thanks to Don and Linda Mitchell for bringing those square donuts every fourth Sunday before Sunday school begins.
Each day, we read and hear the news about all topics and wonder how much of it is really the truth.
The scripture is always truth and Isaiah 40:8 tells us, "The grass withereth, the flower fadeth; but the word of our God shall stand forever."
Pastor Barry is preaching about the seven churches in the book of Revelation and this Sunday will be about the third church, Pergamos. The sermons are really eye openers and we must all wake up to the message we are being told and be prepared.
Our church phone is 442-7729 (pray) and Pastor Barry's cell phone is 812-239-7050. Call for any questions or concerns.
Come and join a loving and warm fellowship at Carbon Baptist Church. You will be blessed.
Center Point United Methodist Church
How are you spending your Labor Day weekend?
I hope you have a safe and happy three days.
We use that word ... hope ... a lot, don't we? Pastor Bob Kumpf has a message for us tomorrow called, "Building Hope."
He shares the following about Nehemiah 1:1-11.
"Of course, the reading is about Nehemiah learning about the Holy City (Jerusalem) lying in ruins. But the focus of the message concerns seeing a need and, with the help of God, doing something about it.
"The emphasis is centered on prayer, listening to the Holy Spirit and taking action even when we know that the odds are stacked against us. George Bernard Show once said, 'The worst sin toward our fellow man is not to hate him, but to be indifferent to him.' If sin is the absence of God in our lives, then nothing says it more loudly than having an, 'I don't care' attitude. God calls us to care ... to love ... and to take action. Nehemiah built a wall. What will we build so that the world may know His love?"
I have read that love is an action word. I hope your love is demonstrated through your actions, as well as your words. I'm working on mine. How about you?
Join us tomorrow to hear how Pastor Bob shares God's Word through Nehemiah.
I want to remind you, too, about next Saturday's community yard sale in Center Point.
Saturday, Sept. 8, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m., there will be approximately 20 yard sales going on in and around Center Point. There will be lunch items available at the church from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The money from the lunch will go to missions.
From 6-10 a.m., that morning, the Center Point Volunteer Fire Department will host a pancake breakfast at the firehouse. Come and support their needs and enjoy pancakes, sausage or biscuits and gravy.
Once again, have a safe and happy Labor Day weekend. May God bless you all.
Community Missionary Church
Brother Thomas opened with greetings to all and a reminder of birthdays and anniversaries in the evening, then leading in the opening prayer.
Carol Vanatti led the congregational singing, after which pastor called for tithes and offerings then led the doxology.
Brother Thomas asked for spoken/unspoken requests for prayer leading with praise and thanks for a wonderful day, blessing our shut-ins, nursing home residents, hospitalized and military in harms way.
Mindy Vanatti then sang our special, "The Little Girl." We always enjoy a song like that one, which reminds me of a grandpa that had taken his two grandchildren on a family outing and returning for an appointment with me; both had a treat in their hand and I asked the one little fellow who was the greatest man he ever knew in Cloverdale (his home) and he gave me an answer I'll not forget. "God." Grandpa said to me, "He gotcha, didn't he?" That little fellow comes from a fine family in the insurance business in Cloverdale. God loves the little children as they are precious. Thanks Mindy.
Brother Thomas refers to Matthew Chapter 7 and it tells us that for many things not to make rash judgment, be much in prayer, and enter in at the straight gate; remember though that it is the narrow way. So many people today are self-centered, lovers of pleasure. Vs. 9, "Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?"
Vs. 10, "Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?" Does an evil man know how to give good gifts unto your children; comparing how much more our Father in heaven giving them to those whom ask. Preachers are still preaching to some and many are justifying what they are doing today.
Brother Thomas says he doesn't like the word religious or religion as they don't always have Christian with them for without "Christian," they are luke-warm words and going to meet God someday, he will spew out those who are luke-warm.
Matthew 23:3, "All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works; For they say, and do not."
You sayeth the Lord: How can you escape the damnation of hell? People want to justify their lifestyle although God still loves us, but not what we do.
Let's remember not to judge someone worse than we are. Let God be the Judge.
Being Godly is living for God and doing His works. We cannot be Godly without the Holy Spirit. The question is: Godly or Godless? The Bible is the real answer and has always been and never changes. I believe in the Bible and He that sits on the throne.
Come visit us at 21 W. Pinckley St., Brazil.
Sunday school is at 9:30 a.m., and morning worship is at 10:30. Evening worship is at 6.
Brother Thomas, wife Beverly and congregation invite one and all to join our friendly people for services.
East Side Christian Church
If you were at East Side Christian Church last Sunday, what a blessing you received.
The Angela Lilly Trio was with us and gave a wonderful concert in the name of the Lord.
If you happened to pass by the church around our service time, you probably heard some hand clapping and praising going on, for we were having a great time expressing our love for God.
What a wonderful testimony they give through their music. If you ever get a chance to hear them, you will receive a blessing.
We want to thank them for being with us and hope to see them again soon.
After the morning worship, we had a fellowship meal. The men grilled hamburgers and hot dogs and then there were many sides to choose from. A great time was had by all.
We want to send our prayers to those who are having difficulties of any kind. Prayer does work. God is always listening. He may not answer the way you want, but He will do His will.
We also want to thank God for the progress that Pastor Bill is making.
We also want to pray for our military men and women, that they may get to come home soon.
If you do not have a church home, we would love to have you come be with us. We love the Lord and have a great time in His name. We would love to meet you.
First Baptist Church
Please join us at First Baptist Church this Sunday.
Sunday school classes begin at 9:30 a.m. Worship service is at 10:30. Communion is observed on the first Sunday of each month.
A nursery is available in the educational wing. Children are invited to attend the KidMo services.
The Youth group will meet at 5:30 p.m. Evening service is at 6 p.m., followed by choir practice at 7 p.m.
AWANA -- We are looking forward to AWANA beginning again on Sept. 9. This program is for children 3-years-old to fifth-grade, and will be from 5:30-7 p.m. There will be a planning meeting Sept. 5, at 6 p.m., for all volunteers helping with AWANA.
Also scheduled this week:
* Tuesday -- 7 p.m., Young Women's Bible Study,
* Wednesday -- 12:15 p.m., Bible Study,
* Thursday -- 7 p.m., The ROCK, and
* Friday -- 7 p.m., Young Men's Bible Study.
First Baptist Church is located at 413 S. Walnut St., Brazil. Our pastor is Rev. Mark Thompson.
Otter Creek Christian Church
Hello from your friends at the Otter Creek Christian Church.
Well, thanks to God and Isaac, looks like we might get some much needed rain. God really does know what is best for us even we think that we know what is best. Have you taken time this week to really spend time talking to people? Well, I would like to share with you my thoughts about that.
Over the years, I've noticed a recurring theme in conversations with other believers. Right after affirming their salvation in Christ, they conclude with these words, "But I know I haven't grown as I should."
How tragic would it be for parents if their children advanced in age but never grew bigger, stronger and more capable? We'd all know something was drastically wrong.
Yet, that is what many Christians experience in their spiritual lives. Even more surprising, some of them are unaware or unconcerned about their condition. Imagine if next Sunday in your church, everyone's spiritual maturity was displayed by their physical stature? How many would even be visible in the pews? Would there be any giants standing among the congregation?
Too many Christians think that receiving the Lord's gift of salvation is the end goal -- they say a prayer, purchase a Bible, and then coast through life as if nothing significant happened.
Yet, "being born again," as Jesus described the beginning of the Christian journey (John 3:3-8) implies that with new life comes growth.It's a basic principle: Living things grow, whether in the physical or spiritual realm.
The wisest decision you can make is to set your heart, mind and will on doing whatever is necessary to grow up in Christ. Then, whenever the Lord gives you a specific responsibility of any kind, you will be prepared and equipped to fulfill your calling. However, if you're still a spiritual baby, it doesn't matter how mentally or physically prepared you are, you still won't have what it takes to fulfill that responsibility with biblical wisdom and insight. And in the end, that's what really matters.
Special events at OCCC:
* Sept. 8 -- 8 a.m., Men's Prayer Breakfast,
* Sept. 8 -- 4-8 p.m., Homemade Ice Cream Social. There will be lots of food, plus a moonwalk for the kids (even the young at heart). The Stanley Family Singers from Cloverdale will be singing. Come one, come all and enjoy an evening of fun and fellowship and the best part is that it is all free.
We would like to invite you and your family to any or all of our events and services. Our Sunday school (age appropriate classes) starts at 9:30 a.m., and our worship service starts at 10:40. We have a Women's Bible Study each week on Tuesday at 10 a.m.
If you have a prayer need, you can call the church at 446-5300. Leave a message or call Pastor Steve's home at 446-4007 or cell at 1-812-531-9347.
Please be in prayer for our military men and women and their families, our country and its leaders, jobs for those who do not have one and most of all, that someone will come to Christ through this article.
God bless you until we meet again.
Peniel United Methodist Church
Labor Day weekend already.
Seems like yesterday we were looking for spring.
Communion will be offered to all who wish to partake.
Peniel will hold its annual homecoming at the end of this month on Sept. 30. Be sure and put it on your calendar and invite your friends and neighbors.
I understand we are going to have a very special speaker.
Stay tuned for more hints in the coming weeks as to the identity of this person.
Sept. 5 is choir practice at 7 p.m. They do such a good job and they are always pleased to have a new member join.
Sept. 13, at 7 p.m., will be the Administrative Board Meeting.
Sept. 20 is the co-workers/Fidelis Class meeting at 6 p.m. (That time means food will be an attraction).
The food pantry will need canned fruits.
The scripture this Sunday is from James 1:17-27.
Pastor Pippin's message is, "The Power of Words."
For more information, feel free to contact Pastor Pippin at 443-8489.
Rock Run Church
Rock Run Church, 14360 N. Rock Run Church Rd., Rosedale, will conduct its annual Homecoming Service Sept. 23, at 11 a.m.
A dinner will take place after the 11 a.m., service, followed by another service.
No evening service will take place.
The church will also conduct revival services Sept. 21-22, at 7 p.m.
Union Chapel United Methodist Church
It's almost time for the annual Fish Fry at Union Chapel.
Union Chapel United Methodist Church will host its annual Fish Fry Saturday, Sept. 15, with serving beginning at 4 p.m.
In addition to fish, the menu will include hot dogs, homemade barbecue, a variety of side dishes, and lots of delicious desserts and drinks. A freewill donation will be accepted, with proceeds from the event being used for community outreach projects.
Entertainment will be provided by Boswell's Country Gospel Band and will begin around 6 p.m. The band has provided music and entertainment at the fish fry for several years and is always enjoyed by those in attendance.
The congregation always looks forward to hosting the annual event, which provides an opportunity for family, friends, neighbors and passersby to spend an evening together for food, fellowship, fun and lots of reminiscing.
Union Chapel is located on United States 36, one mile west of Morton (or four miles west of United States 231), or five miles east of Raccoon Lake.
The fish fry will take place in the church's shelter house on the west side of the church.
For the children, there's a playground adjacent to the shelter house.
Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church
Worship hour is 9-10 a.m., with Pastor Randy Dragan.
Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church is located five miles east of SR 59 on Billville Rd., Brazil.
Everyone is welcome.