Thursday, August 31, 2017

Monday, August 21, 2017

America's Struggle with Unity

Galatians 3:26-29     “Through faith you are all children of God in Christ Jesus.  For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendant, heirs according to the promise.”

This passage is a powerful statement of our unity in God and in Christ Jesus.  If we are seeing with the eyes of our faith, we see a wonderful unity in the whole human family.  We do not see differences as things that divide us; we see those differences as sources of enrichment to all of us.  At this point in our history as a nation, Americans are struggling with this issue.  On the surface of our national culture, many of us are divided.  We look at each other in terms of race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, and economic status.  We are divided into the whites and the non-whites, the Europeans and the foreigners, the Christians and the non-Christians.  Our response to these differences has prompted hate and intolerance in some people.  We are not like “them.”  We are “better than them.”  We have a rightful place here; “they” do not.  We want to associate with people who are like us, who share our culture.  This way of thinking has contributed to violence such as we experienced at Charlottesville, Virginia, a week ago.  It has been the cause of a rise of the number of “hate groups” across our nation.  There are those who call for the elimination of “them” or those who are different from “us.”  We do not want to live with them, we do not want our children to associate with their children.  We do not want our sons and daughters marrying them, etc.  Some of this comes from the belief that we are better than others, that our rights are being taken away by others, that we are threatened by those who are not like us.  Into all this rhetoric of hate and this willingness on the part of some people to engage in violence and even death, the voice of God says, “Stop.  You are all my children.  I love every one of you and if you say you love me, then you need to take care of each other and help each other and respect each other.  Your world cannot survive on hatred and judgment.  It will only survive and thrive when you start looking at each other as I look at you, and as my Son looks at you.  He died for every person, not just those who are like you.  He taught you to love one another.  Do not follow those who say something different.  Those who speak with hate will pull everyone down.  It will only result in suffering and dying.  You must learn to forgive and move forward together.  I will always be with you to help you do that.”

We are all created in the image and likeness of God, no matter where we come from, what language we speak, how we worship God, how much money we make, or who we love.  That divine stamp upon our spirits is the same for all of us.  It is God’s claim upon us and our birthright.  It is the key to how we look at each other and how we treat each other.  If we fail to look at this common identity as children of God, we are taken on the path of indifference to the fate of others, apathy in the face of human misery, hatred of those who are different from us or who do not agree with our ways of thinking.  That path leads to enmity, sorrow, suffering, isolation, blaming, injury and death.  It can never be the path of God, no matter how much we say we love God and seek to do God’s will.  History has shown that whenever a group of people sees itself as privileged and whenever others are seen as the enemy or inferior, there is only the way of death.  We are created for life, and for that life to come about and to grow, we must follow the path that God has set for us.  It is the path of kindness, goodness to others, forgiveness and mercy, active love, and the refusal to judge others according to superficial criteria.  It is the path of love, not hate.  It is the path of acceptance, not rejection.  It is the path of unity, not isolation.  It is the path of life.

Written by Gene Ulses

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Our Religious Education Stewards

On Tuesday we welcomed our new and returning Religious Education (RE) catechists. We have an amazing group of dedicated stewards that teach our RE classes on Monday and Wednesday evenings. THANK YOU to everyone who so generously gives of their time and talents to serve the parish and share his/her faith with our youth. Our program at St. Columbkille is an active one -- not only do our students participate in weekly class instruction, they are active in class liturgies, family events, service and preparing for the sacraments throughout the year. 

We are blessed to have all of you as part of our 2017-18 Religious Education program!

Pictured: Judie O'Connor (RE Office Manager), Fr. Dave Reeson, Kacie Lindeman, Rachel Bramblett, Anne Albracht, Regan Small, Stacy Hagemann, Theresa Krajicek, Jim Krajicek, Annie Krajicek, Kristen JohnsonBrandy Palatas Hall, Katrina Knipping, Karen McMillan, Amy Boling, Kim Erickson, Cathy Jamison, Teresa Archuleta, Molly Petricek, Patrice Wolf, Chris Wolf, Heidi Emig Avalon, Jody Kingery, Julia Hoult, Nathan Budden, Inès Dagnon, Denise Smith-Ervin, Sherilyn Albino, Laura Vitera, Kelli Nelson, Ann Marie Fraser, Rebecca Cargill, Dawn Lasaitis, Linda Gries
Not Pictured: Lori Long (RE Director), Fr. Pat Nields, Shannon Vytlas, John Bramblett, Matt Howick, Patty Romshek, Shilo Hamblin, Sami Hamblin, Kyla Frederick, David LaGrone, Sandy Watson, Stacy Hug, Rick DenneAnne Anderson-PriceLynette Corbin, Angie Kurcz 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

New Parish Staff Member

St. Columbkille is pleased to introduce our newest parish staff member, Tess Sousek.  Tess will be serving the parish as our Director of Communications.  This new position will help us more effectively develop our message of stewardship, based in love and a recognition that our many blessings are gifts from God that we should share with others.  Tess has a journalism degree from UNL, has been a writer for the diocesan newspaper in Lincoln and is skilled with videography and photography.  She was on the UNL Newman Center's Advisory Board and its Video/Media Chair, served with Teens Encounter Christ retreats and involved in several other groups and camps. 

We are excited for Tess to join the parish staff and think her strong faith, multimedia experience and ability to connect with others make her an invaluable addition.  Please be sure to give her a warm welcome when you see her around the campus.