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This week's "gold nugget" comes from Philippians 4:7 which tells us, " And the peace of God which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."
I feel privileged to live in an area of the country where we get to experience the splendor of the four seasons. The beautiful fall foliage is breathtaking this time of year. But with that thought, I can't help to compare it to the similar "seasons" of life. The fall would then correspond to the "golden years" of ones life and yes, sometimes the most beautiful.
Many, however , miss out on the "splendor" of things in this time of their life because they're full of anxiety regarding the death of "winter" that will soon be here. Plagued with uncertainties and fears along with regrets and "woulda, coulda, shouldas," their joy is diminished. But this ought not be for the child of God, for death holds no fear or dread for those who truly have trusted in Christ.
I'm reminded of a visit one day to an elderly lady who lived through much adversity. Amazingly, she had outlived the doctor who had described her condition as terminal, many years earlier! The lady had a contagious confidence in the Lord. As we talked about death and the importance of being prepared for eternity, she responded that although she was not afraid of death, she preferred to concentrate on the Bible's promises of Christ's return. " I'm not looking for the undertaker," she exclaimed confidently. "I'm looking for the uppertaker!"
I'm so glad that whether we go through the valley of death or live to meet the "uppertaker," that God's people can live these "golden years" with joy and confidence in the Lord, with a peace that passes all understanding, knowing that either way... we're covered by the saving grace of the Lord.
Holy Name of Mary Church, Montrose, will celebrate the November 1 Feast of All Saints with a vigil Mass at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 31 and a Mass at 7:00 a.m., 12:10 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. on Friday, November 1.
Friday, November 1 is also the First Friday and Eucharistic Adoration will begin after the 12:10 p.m. Mass and continue until Benediction at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, November 2 followed by a Mass at 9:00 a.m. which is also All Souls Day the day to remember all departed loved ones. On Sunday, November 3, after the 10:30 Mass, or at about 11:45 a.m. as a continuance of the All Souls remembrance, everyone is invited to the Blessing of Graves at the parish cemetery. Father James Nash serves as Pastor of Holy Name of Mary.
Theresa Karminski Burke, Ph.D. and her husband Kevin Burke, M.S.W., founded Rachaels Vineyard in 1994. In 1986 Theresa had started the first therapeutic support group for post aborted women with the founding of The Center for Post Abortion Healing which, in 1995, was expanded into a format for weekend retreats.
Rachaels Vineyard Ministries (www.rachaelsvineyard.org), a division of American Life League, Inc. will hold a retreat in our area for women who are troubled by a decision to abort. Some women experience post-abortion syndrome, a sense of depression and anxiety that can last a lifetime. Common signs of post-abortion syndrome are extended grief and heartache over the procedure and feelings of loss and victimization. Many have problems processing the trauma and deny or repress her thoughts and feelings. When a traumatic abortion experience is not acknowledged, a psychological barrier is erected and an emotional toxicity is perpetrated. In addition to denial and avoidance, a woman may experience numbing, amnesia, phobic responses and interpersonal distancing. Other symptoms of post abortion syndrome include guilt feelings, dreams and nightmares about the baby, flashbacks of the abortion, remorse, low self-esteem, sexual coldness, abuse of alcohol and/or drugs, promiscuity, depression and a withdrawal from their church.
The upcoming retreat, which will be held at St. Gabriels Retreat Center, Clark Summit November 1 3, will be focused on emotional and spiritual healing, helping the women to forgive themselves as well as accepting forgiveness from God. The retreat is private and available to any man or woman grieving an abortion. Lodging and meals are provided. Participants are asked to contribute only what they can afford toward the actual cost of the weekend. For more information or a registration form you may call 570 756-2915 or 570 207-2228.
A very special evening program will be held at Montrose Bible Conference on November 12. This "Ladies Night Out", with a theme of Abundant Joy, will provide a refreshing break from normal busy schedules.
Dinner will be served at 6:00 pm in Dreyer Lodge Tea Room and after the meal Carrie Brush, vocal soloist, will be in concert. The program will conclude at 8:00 pm. Childcare is available (feed children before arrival please). Reservations requested.
The registration desk will open at 5:30. Contact Montrose Bible Conference at (570) 278-1001 or 1-800-598-5030 for reservations.
The Springville United Methodist Church is offering a series of grief healing groups, beginning October 22. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." Grieving is an active process, more than a slow passive waiting, or an attempt to divert the pain until, "it doesnt hurt so much." It can also be an occasion for growth.
A series of videotapes has been produced with the hope they can provide a new and significant breakthrough in an effort to help heal the wounds of the spirit called grief.
Topics are: the five tasks of grief work; healing guilt; fear and anger; growth from divorce; infections of the grief wound; saying "good-bye" to our losses.
The basic skills needed to use grief as an opportunity to grow can be taught and learned. The power to transform loss into growth is released in two ways; by being in relationships of mutual caring and by finding spiritual meaning in losses. A grief healing group can help.
For more information contact Reverend Sandy Kraft, at 965-2304.
Father Pio Mandato, a Capuchin priest from Auburn, will celebrate a Mass for Healing on Thursday, October 24, 7:00 p.m. at Holy Name of Mary Parish in Montrose. Following Mass, Eucharistic Adoration will be held and Father Pio will pray for the healing of Jesus Christ for all who wish to approach him. The Sacrament of Reconciliation will also be available during this time. The evening of prayer for healing and reconciliation will conclude with Benediction. The Franciscan Capuchin Sisters from Tunkhannock will enhance the Liturgy with their music. All who seek spiritual or physical healing are invited to attend this special evening. Father James Nash serves as Pastor of Holy Name of Mary.
The churches in the Mountain View area are looking forward to producing their third annual cantata. All voices are needed. They will also need a few actors for a dramatic presentation. This year's cantata is "A Child is Born, Child Divine", by Dennis and Nan Allen.
Rehearsals will begin on Thursday evening, November 7, from 7 to 8 p.m. at Grace Lutheran Church, Greenwood St., Hop Bottom (across from the borough park). Come and join your friends and neighbors for some good singing and fellowship. Call 289-4468 or 289-4640 for more information.
The Great Bend Hallstead Lutheran Church has moved to 302 Main Street, Great Bend, PA. With the new worship location the church will be able to offer more weekly Bible studies, worship services and activities. On Tuesdays, from 7-8 p.m., Pastors Bode and Werly are conducting classes on the basic teachings of the Christian Church. All are welcome to attend. Refreshments served.
For more information call: (570) 289-4468, (607) 698-8104, or (570) 789-5154.
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