“…Brothers and sisters: As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also is Christ.”    The second reading this weekend is from Saint Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians.  Saint Paul continues to reflect on the Body of Christ and how each of us are integral, essential parts of the living body – the Church.  As we heard last week (for those who braved the snow), each of us have unique gifts and talents –wonderful and amazing – given to us by the Lord.  We all have the call – the mandate – to use our gifts and talents in service to the Lord.  Each of us make up the one body of Christ – the Church.    What is a gift and talent that makes you wonderful – extraordinary – amazing – unique?  We all have one – or two – or three.  How can we use that gift in service to the Lord and in the building up of the family of God at Saint Ambrose?

…Over the past several weeks, you have been reading and hearing about ways each of us can give, help and share for the good of our community.  Even amid the snowstorm last week, four people at Mass signed up to help in feeding the hungry in Akron this week.   This past week, two more members signed up to make prayer blankets for children being baptized and for our infirmed members.  Two additional members signed up to visit the sick and the homebound.  Each of us have ways we can give, help and serve.

…The best example of the week of serving God and neighbor comes from Deacon Gary.  Long story short, one of our members was ‘snowed in’.   They had a doctor’s appointment on Monday and worried if they were going to be able to get there.   Deacon Gary got word of this and was being asked to find someone to help her.  Instead of looking around…he looked in the mirror….and… went himself to shovel her out.  The member wrote in an email, “I will be able to go thanks to his wonderful and unexpected help.  I really do need this appointment, so I am most grateful for the kindness and friendship.”  All of us can find a way to serve!

…Remember Project S.N.O.W. (Serving our Neighbor – it’s Our Way).  As we journey through the end of the winter season, please remember to help out your neighbors by calling, shoveling their snow, and offering them the support they need so they know that they are not alone.  Many hands make for a more loving, caring and supportive community.

…Speaking of snow…..it was quite a different experience at Mass with the small crowds.  Many thanks to our maintenance staff who worked so hard last weekend (and always) to keep the campus open and the sidewalks cleared.  Thanks also to N.E.O. for making sure our lots were plowed and ready for all who joined us on Sunday – and always.  Special thanks to all who stopped by this week to drop off their collection envelope from last weekend.   Thanks, too, to all who use Automatic Giving.  It ‘saved the day’ and helps give our parish the consistent support we need.  Let’s pray that God will keep all of our members safe during these winter months.  Let’s also pray for a mild winter so the roofers can finish the roof of the Church.  God bless you one and all!

…We have about 750 families who support our parish through Automatic Giving.  It’s safe, discerning, and consistent for you and our parish.   With the increase in postage this week, it also saves our parish lots of money.  If you would like to learn more, or sign up for Automatic Giving, please contact Lynn Rogers at 330.460.7335 or lrogers@StAmbrose.usYou can also find information online at:  www.stambrose.us/ACH.

…You should have received your 2018 Tax Statement in the mail this week both for your wonderful support for the Offertory/Tithe for our parish (weekly/monthly collection), along with the Generations of Faith Capital Campaign.  If you did not receive your statement, or need additional information, please contact Linda at lstipes@StAmbrose.us.  Thank you for your support for our parish community.  May God bless you for your goodness.

…Speaking of sharing gifts and talents….we are in the process of renewing all of our parish groups, organizations and ministries.  As we renew the church building….following the example and guidance of Saint Paul….inviting and calling forth all of our members to share their gifts and talents is really the most important way we can ‘renew’ the Church.   Lisa Homady is working to renew our Health and Wellness Committee.  If you have a background in health care, or fitness/nutrition/training, we need you.   If you can give 8-10 hours over the course of the year, it helps our parish promote healthy, holy living.   Some members of the group help plan the Health and Wellness Fair.  Others have stirred up Walking Groups, or Family Rec Nights, or Walk to School Day for the students at SAS.  Others have helped with blood pressure screenings at our Community Meals.  If you are open to learning more, please contact Lisa at lhomady@StAmbrose.us.  Ten hours – over the course of the year – can help keep our parish family fit and alive in Christ.

 …This is National Catholic Schools Week.  We are so blessed as a parish community to have a strong and thriving school.  Our Littlest Angels Preschool is caring, compassionate and five-star rated.  Our K-8 program is STEAM designated…P21 exemplar…with a principal who just received the Innovation in  Education Award by the National Catholic Education Association.  We are so blessed.  The MAP scores show GREAT progress across all the grades.  Our School Advisory Board is constantly working to make sure our school is growing, thriving and responding to the needs of our students and families.  Come and learn more about Saint Ambrose School and Littlest Angels Preschool by contacting Breanne Logue (blogue@StASchool.us).

…Many thanks to Mrs. Cinadr, Mr. Dziedzicki, Mrs. Mitchell and our entire faculty, staff, and team that work so hard to continue the mission of Christ in Catholic education.  BTW….special thanks to Mrs. Newrones and Mrs. Bremmer in our school office.  As we all know, they really set the wonderful tone for our school and keep the place going!!!

…Make plans to join us for World Marriage Day on Saturday, February 9 for a special time of prayer at 6 pm followed by a great reception.  It’s open to all….and is free.  It’s the perfect Valentine’s gift.  Father Dan Schlegel, my classmate and friend, will be with us to offer a great message of hope and renewal for married love.  Invite your family, neighbors and friends to join you as we ask God’s blessing on your marriage and on all married couples in our community.  Help us plan enough food by RSVP’ing to Helen Sheridan at hsheridan@StAmbrose.us.

…This Sunday afternoon we are hosting our annual Wedding Fair for couples preparing for Marriage this year at Saint Ambrose.  Please keep our engaged couples in your prayers, along with our Marriage Ministry Team.  BTW….with the renovations of the Church….we already started booking weddings for 2020 and 2021!!  Praise be God.

…All of us are an integral part of the Body of Christ.   All of us are important and needed to have a Church strong and alive.  Thank you for all you do for our community so we can continue the mission and work of Christ.