This past Sunday after Mass as we sat having breakfast, we attempted to make a decision about what to do with our tithing money. Having $120 in the bank ($50 of which was donated specifically towards Eli’s trip to El Salvador), we were trying to decide what to do with the $12 we will give away. One person wanted to wait until we had $200 in the bank, so that our tithe would be $20. Another thought we should tithe on our funds as they come in: if someone gives us ten dollars, we’ll give away one, and not worry about how small an amount it is. Someone else thought that we should just give it all away, perhaps to Joseph for his asylum appeal. One person said that I should do that, and I told him it’s not my decision to make. The decision belongs to the group.
Some things became clear as I listened to the discussion. First, we can’t make decisions over breakfast. It’s too chaotic, too casual, and besides, at breakfast we should just chat and find out how each other are doing. It’s a disservice both to whatever we’re trying to decide, and to the community breakfast time. We need to set a time aside to focus on decisions.
And then, before we decide anything we need to talk about how we make decisions. Do we want to try for consensus? Do we want to vote? or possibly some mixture of the two. When we chose our name, we came to consensus – but there were only four people making the decision, and we came to it easily. The past two Sundays we’ve had fourteen people, and now there are differences of opinion. How shall we be church in this? How about if we take a little time in between Mass and Coffee Hour this Sunday, and talk about how we make decisions together. I’ll bet there are some great ideas just waiting to be born!
This week will be our last “normal” Sunday for a few weeks. On March 27 there will be a Pancake Breakfast happening all morning in the dining room (it’s a fundraiser for Haiti – come!) so we will celebrate Mass up on the third floor. If you come late that week, just keep going up until you run out of stairs. The living room is just around the corner and I’m sure you’ll be able to hear us! The two Sundays after that, April 3 and 10, Eli and I will be in El Salvador and Deacon Patti LaRosa will come and lead a Communion Service. Please do come and celebrate with Patti!
This past Friday we had our first Fish Fry for Joe. I have to tell you, Peg Gefell is one of the best cooks in Upstate New York, and this might be the best fish fry you’ve ever had. $8 per dinner, no one turned away. 6-7:30 pm every Friday in Lent. This is a fundraiser for our friend and brother Joseph Moore, so he can appeal his asylum decision. We hope you’ll come and support Joe and have some truly wonderful fish and cole slaw.
Our Feast Day Mass is coming up soon, Thursday March 24. A flyer is attached that Eli designed – you are welcome to print it, hang it up, pass it out – and we hope you will join us on the 24th. 5:30 pot luck, 7 pm Mass. We are still looking for musicians for that day – please let me know if you’d like to play.
Blessings and love to all, Chava
“…you shall walk your days in joy and you shall begin each day in peace. The world around you, even the mountains and the hills shall not restrain their song and the trees shall dance with you. Rather than injury there will be strength, instead of harm there will be healing.”
Isaiah 55:12-13, translated by Mary Anne Radmacher
Wednesday morning breakfasts are back on, if you’d like to practise your Spanish. 8 am, Pat’s Coffee Mug on Clinton Ave.
have a blessed week, and come visit us some Sunday!
Oscar Romero Church
An Inclusive Church in the Catholic Tradition
Mass: Sundays, 11 am
St Joseph's House of Hospitality, 402 South Ave, Rochester NY 14603