My thoughts this weekend are swirling around the ideas of plans and planning.

There are several recent events and experiences that have moved me to explore some ideas in this particular realm.

They include the parish picnic, the Gospel this weekend, the ‘Disciple Maker’s Index’ that many of us completed back in the spring, our Pastoral Council’s current activity and how we each are ‘organizing’ for both our individual and our shared futures.

The Gospel seems to be the best place for people of faith to begin, no?

Today we hear Jesus, continuing to try to get his disciples (including us!) to understand his life and the Hope-filled Wisdom he has come to share, inviting us to be last, the least of all! What? Why is the shepherd saying such a thing? Why is He trying to lead us that way? Where’d he get that idea anyway?

Last week we heard the answer.

Jesus is the Christ and all He does comes from His Loving Father and ours.

Leastliness is God’s way—he did not deem equality with God something to be held on to, but emptied himself, accepting the cross for us—to free us, to teach us, and to lead us on the only path to Life’s fullness.

So, back to plans and planning. Have you made any plans to pursue His path to leastliness?

Some of us perhaps have a ‘plan’, a budget, for instance, regarding that portion of the money we’ve been entrusted to manage that we will return to those in need, return grateful to our Creator for our gifts, opportunities and income?

You might say that’s a plan for emptying some of our lives and livelihood.

Maybe, we need a plan to understand Jesus’ words and wisdom more fully? Maybe participation in our Monday evening ‘THE CHOSEN’ series is part of that plan? Or maybe the prayer that nourishes our faith and strengthens us for such growth, sacrifice and service? Or perhaps it is a greater involvement in service organizations like our Knights of Columbus or service activities like our times at Open Door that fit into your plans for such growth?

As you know, as a parish family we offer and share various sorts of opportunities for growing in leastliness.

We do it together as a family of faith because each of us has been ‘chosen’, gifted and called to growth as a disciple of Jesus AND as part of the Body of Christ.

The ‘Disciple Maker’s Index’ (DMI) is a tool to, if you will, take the ‘parish pulse’ as we continue to live out our faith in Jesus and His Wisdom of selfless service and sacrifice.

Many thanks to the 115 of us who took the time to complete that survey. The data output from our responses has been received, and, as you’ll note from the enclosed copy of our Pastoral Council minutes, these parish leaders are looking at and using that data for planning the events and opportunities that will continue to nourish our growth as a family of faith.

Those discussions and that planning are ongoing and the DMI is one source of information we are using as we ponder, pray and discuss together how to guide this parish family to greater growth and leastliness.

This family of faith will celebrate our 105th birthday in October and current plans for that celebration revolve around a big ole’ Polish dinner. I’d suggest you now make a plan to join us the evening of Saturday, October 9th!

For that plan and fest to be accomplished, we’ll need lots of help, so please consider how you might pitch in on that family feast. What sort of service will you plan to help our anniversary idea come to life?

Last Sunday, we had our ‘parish picnic’ and the plans for that came off very very well. Everyone had a great time. The food was fantastic (imho anyway), the folks were delightful, the entertainment was engaging for kids of all ages—like the mega-giant bubbles that got blown with the help of the breeze! So kool!

Yes, the breeze! Even the weather cooperated just about perfectly for Eucharist and enjoyment under the tent. We did have some morning moments wondering whether the weather would dictate our working out a ‘plan B’. But we pursued ‘plan A’ with everything outside and our choice was blessed.

Thanks to so many who pitched in on all the aspects of our picnic plan! It was wunnerfull and we couldn’ta done it without you. Serving and sharing produced a good time for all!

So, back again to your plans and mine—to God’s plan for you and me—and to the Wisdom Jesus offers to guide us…to joy, to peace, to fullness of life—LOVE!

If it’s not ‘plan A’, then...

“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs." (Colossians 3:16)