Division within families

In Luke’s Gospel, we hear Jesus say things that seem very uncharacteristic of Him; He said: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing! Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division.” (Lk12:49, 51) How can the Prince of Peace, who is supposed to bring people together, claim to bring division such that some members of a household would be against the other members of the same household?

We can make sense out of all this by looking at the root of the division. A classic example comes from the life of St. Francis of Assisi. Francis and his father were at odds regarding his future. Francis’ father was a wealthy cloth merchant and he wanted Francis to follow him in his business. However, Francis had already answered another calling – a call from Christ to repair His Church. His father tried everything to dissuade him. When he heard that Francis was begging in the streets, he dragged him home and locked him in a closet. He beat him up for making his family the town’s laughing stock. In the end, they both went to see the bishop in order to settle this issue once and for all. At that meeting, before all the townspeople, Francis took off his clothes, gave them back to his father and said, “I have called you father on earth, but now I say, ‘Our Father, who art in heaven.’” Francis gave back everything he had to his father so that he could freely follow Christ.

It is not difficult to point out some of the things that divide families and communities, and we are not just talking about race or income. Issues like abortion, immigration and gay marriage are bound to cause division because there are some who are for them and some who are against them. There is a premium today on false peace, whereby everyone is entitled to their own opinion and that there is no right or wrong because everything is subjective. The world teaches us to be politically correct at the expense of God’s word. Are there Christians out there willing to speak out God’s word, no matter how unpopular? Are there Christians who are willing to be harassed, ill-treated and beaten like the prophet Jeremiah because of their unwavering position on the truth?

Please volunteer an hour of your time on Sundays to maintain the security of our church. Security watch volunteers keep an eye on the front door and parking lot for suspicious persons. When there is suspicious activity, volunteers will immediately lock the front door and warn people inside the church. We need volunteers for 12pm to 1pm, 1pm to 2pm and 2pm to 3pm. Help keep our church safe. Please sign up with Arthur Tsai.

The Catholic Foundation of North Georgia (CFNGA) helps to grow the financial resources of parishes and missions by investing donations for church endowments. Our church, the Holy Name of Jesus Chinese Catholic Mission, has an endowment fund managed by the CFNGA. Since our church fund was established in 2016 with an initial donation of $10,000 through Archbishop Wilton Gregory, it has grown to the present market value of $20,000 through capital gains and special donations. How does the Endowment Fund help our church? When the balance in our endowment fund reaches at least $25,000, our church can begin receiving annual fund distributions. The greater the fund balance, the greater the distributions. The endowment fund is one way of getting continuous income for the church, while at the same time preserving church funds for the future. Please consider making a donation to the Holy Name of Jesus Chinese Catholic Mission Endowment Fund. If you wish to donate by check, make checks payable to HNOJ, and write “ENDOWMENT FUND” on the memo. Or if you prefer to donate online, go to the “DONATE” page on our church website.

Have you noticed the playground equipment on the Northwest part of the church property? After a recent inspection, the equipment was deemed to be in need of repair, and the playground equipment was not installed up to code.  Our 3 biggest code violations against public playground safety are: 1) Playground equipment must have protective surfacing which is at least 12 inches of wood chips, mulch, sand, or pea gravel, or are mats made of safety-tested rubber or rubber-like materials. Grass is not permitted as surface for slides, swings, and other moving play structures. 2) Protective surfacing must extend at least 6 feet in all directions from play equipment. For swings, surfacing must extend back and front at least twice the height of the suspending bar. 3) Play structures more than 30 inches high must be spaced at least 9 feet apart. The cost to repair the equipment, to install proper playground surface and to reinstall the playground equipment up to code is not feasible. In the August meeting, the Pastoral Council and Finance Council advised that the playground equipment should be removed from church property.