Advent: "to come to"...

December 2, 2018

Welcome to the new liturgical year on this First Sunday of Advent. The word “advent” in Latin means “to come to.” This is a time to prepare our hearts and minds “to come to” the main celebration, Christmas. There is a second “to come to” celebration as well: The Second of Coming of Jesus. We prepare for both arrivals of Jesus: the first coming, Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem and the second coming of the Messiah in the end times.

With this in mind, we officially launch the ALPHA program. ALPHA invites both the churched and the un-churched to journey to a deeper faith experience. Alpha is much more an experience rather than a religion or catechetical class. ALPHA begins with a shared meal, watching a video presentation and a group discussion. This format emphasizes the relational aspect of faith. It provides an atmosphere where any question can be asked, and every person is respected. Focusing on fundamentals of the Christian faith in a welcoming and non-judgmental way, this program can lead a person to take a next step in the faith journey. It doesn’t matter what the next step is, what matters is that we take a new step. I am very excited about this program and strongly encourage you to consider participating in this new experience.

Along with the liturgical year, the 2018 calendar year is ending. I sincerely ask all of you to consider the following in your end-of-the-year contribution to St. Martin of Tours Church:

1) Cash Gifts: The easiest way for you to support SMT is a gift of cash. By making a cash gift by check, credit card, or online giving, you can help us meeting our most urgent needs and carry out our mission daily.

2) Stocks.

3) Include SMT in your will or trust.

4) Donate real estate.

The Department of Development of the Archdiocese of Los Angele will provide support if you are interested in the last two items. Please contact the Rectory for further information.

As I shared with you in our financial report, we incurred a significant deficit our last fiscal year. To make matters worse, our weekly collections are down considerably this year. I am asking you for your support in considering St. Martin of Tours in your 2018 end of the year contributions. Any amount, great or small, is greatly appreciated and needed.

I can’t thank you enough for your continued support of our parish. I am truly grateful and appreciative of your generosity. May the abundance of blessings from our God be upon you during this Holy Season.

Kathryn Richards