The American Red Cross and the Knights of Columbus will hold their quarterly Blood Drive in the hall of the Holy Family Center on Sunday, Aug. 16 from 7:45am to 1pm. The Knights kitchen crew will provide a light breakfast at no charge for all prospective donors and their family members provided by our friends at Waffle House. Signups begin this weekend by going to www.redcrossblood.org and putting in sponsor code: ststephen, or by signing up at the table in the old church after Mass. If you have any questions, please call Mark Marsh at 615-207-9434.
PREP Registration for the 2015-2016 program (PREP/EDGE Middle School Ministry/Catechesis of the Good Shepherd/3-4-5 Church/Special Needs) will be held following all Masses on Saturday, July 25 and Sunday, July 26 in the old church. We will help you register and answer any questions. If you are unable to register then, we will hold a second registration following all the Masses on Aug. 8 and 9. Pre-registration is open until then. Contact Greg Karn in the Religious Education Office for a pre-registration form or stop by the church office to pick one up.
Rite of Christian Initiation for Children (RCIC) is for children 7 years of age who have not been baptized or who have not been raised in the Catholic faith, and older youth to prepare for Eucharist. Sessions begin Sept. 3. To register call Connie Blevins, 615-397-9255.
St. Stephen Knights of Columbus will host a cookout on Aug. 1 after the 5pm Mass in the hall of the Holy Family Center. There will be FREE hot dogs, and you can meet the children and teens from Empower Me Day Camp and Mt Juliet Challenger League that are helped with your donations. On Aug. 2 after the 8:30am Mass, you can enjoy a complimentary sausage biscuit in the hall of the Holy Family Center. Donations will be accepted at each of these events and will also be taken up at the doors of the church after these two Masses if you are unable to attend. All donations go to help children with physical and intellectual disabilities.
The Knights of Columbus Ladies Auxiliary is holding “Christmas in July” to support Catholic Charities Caring Choices. This organization provides pregnancy and adoption services. Please help by donating wipes, onesies–size newborn, 6, 9, and 12 months, receiving blankets and other infant clothing, strollers, high chairs, newer car seats and diapers size 4, 5, and 6. Please place your donations under the Christmas Tree in the old church during the month of July.
The Trea$ure Hunt POD arrives this weekend (July 18-19)! Volunteers will be staffing the POD following all Masses. Drop off your small items to the POD. For furniture and major appliance pick-up or delivery, call Bob Young at 615-772-6402. Go to http://www.mysignup.com/ pod_sign_up to volunteer your time at the POD or the Trea$ure Hunt. We need your help. The Knights gave St. Stephen $7000 in 2014 from the Trea$ure Hunt proceeds. With your help, we can increase that in 2015. The Trea$ure Hunt will occur in the upper parking lot rain or shine, Sept. 11-12.
Top 10 Reasons to Come Back Home: Leading up to our first Catholics Returning Home session in September, we are sharing the Top Ten Reasons to Come Back to the Catholic Church from Our Sunday Visitor. Enjoy! Number 7: Because we need to forgive others. Sometimes we hold on to anger and resentment toward individuals who have hurt us deeply. Maybe it was a family member or friend. Maybe it was someone or something in the Church. Our modern culture condones and encourages anger and revenge. But hatred and bitterness are spiritual cancers that eat at the heart of a person. The Catholic Church provides the opportunity to seek God’s help in forgiving others, even when the other person does not ask for forgiveness or does not deserve it. The ability to forgive is a gift that opens a person’s heart more fully to God’s love and peace. If you have been away from the Catholic Church, welcome back home! We miss you! If you have a relative, friend, neighbor or co-worker who has been away from the Church, we need your help. Please invite them back. To help update Catholics that have been away from regular participation in church life, we will offer a 6-week Catholics Returning Home session starting on Sept. 10. Get details from the cards on the poster in the Old Church. Contact Jerry Marcec email@example.com or 630-362-7150 to register or for more information.
Collections for the Haiti Sewing Workshop are ongoing through the summer months. Gently used or new pillowcases, grosgrain and satin ribbons are needed, as well as gently used boys sized shorts and tee-shirts. Pillowcase dresses made from the donated pillowcases are sent for distribution to little girls in our Petit Goave sister parish. The collected boys-sized shorts and tee-shirts accompany the little dresses when the shipment goes to Haiti next April. Thank you for your donations. They can be placed in the designated collection box located in the old church area. Sewing workshops are scheduled this year as follows: 2015 – Sept. 19, Oct. 24, Dec. 12; 2016 – Jan. 9, Feb. 13, March 19 – all Saturdays, beginning at 10am. For more info about donations or the workshops, contact Bettyann (615-883-3422) or Linda (615-883-5961).
Are you considering becoming a Catholic Christian? Are you interested in learning more about the Catholic faith? Perhaps you are searching quietly and need some answers. If you are looking for a pressure-free, non-judgemental environment where you can find answers, please call Scott Goudeau at 758-2424, Ext. 30, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Stephen has a new ministry. We make fleece blankets for those who are seriously ill, injured, confined to either home, hospital or nursing home. They are made prayerfully, blessed and given to express caring and concern from St. Stephen Catholic Community for our parishioners, their immediate family members or their close friends. The following prayer is sewn on each blanket: “May the Risen Christ bless you with HOPE, COURAGE, and PEACE. St. Stephen Catholic Community holds you in prayer and covers you with love.” If you know of someone who would benefit from receiving a Prayer Blanket, call or email Lorine Bourland 615-754-6899 email@example.com; Elaine Bustillos 615-758-8303 firstname.lastname@example.org; Joyce Davis 615-754-6899 Joyce_davis07@comcast.net; Bettyann Tompson 615-883-3422 email@example.com; or Janet Youmans 615-525-3920 firstname.lastname@example.org.