St. Thomas Aquinas Human Concerns Committee Meeting Minutes, September 22, 2009
Laura Chiu, Patricia Markee, Ruth and George Chippendale, Terry Atkinson, Gerard McGuire, Walt Lundin
1. Patricia's Faith-Sharing Question: What is your earliest memory of being aware that you were truly loved?
2. We approved the July minutes by acclamation.
1. Catholic Green Initiative -a. We distributed most of the cloth bags and have ordered 500 more. These are for distribution 10/4 and for the holiday food drive.
b. The 9/15 Valley Catholic has several articles on the Initiative.
c. We reviewed Laura's update on the nine Green parish projects presented at our July meeting. All are chugging along with "unperturbed pace, deliberate speed, [and] majestic instancy" [The Hound of Heaven"]. Their further progress will be the task of the newly-formed Parish Green Committee (see below) and the parish ministries involved.
2. "Safety net" and United Way - George said the United Way has agreed to meet with a PIA team on 10/13 to discuss loosening its purse strings in assisting the needy.
3. JustFaith start-up -a. Looks like our deanery may have a group of 8 or 9. The first meeting is at St. William parish, Los Altos, 7pm, Tuesday, 9/29 and on subsequent Tuesdays.
b. Patricia said she has about 6 people enrolled in the JustMatters segment on non-violence. The group will meet Monday Oct. 19 at 7:30pm at the Pastoral Center and on the third Mondays of succeeding months.
4. Books for Elmwood - a total of 475 books! Good-o!
5. St. Vincent de Paul -a. STA Conference: Roberta has 3-4 volunteer prospects and Walt put her in touch with another possibility.
b. St. Francis of Assisi Conference: George always needs help. Walt will draft a bulletin appeal for George's OK. We're hopeful that Time & Talent (see below) will be fruitful.
1. Catholic Green Initiative -a. Parish Green Committee: Present membership (it's expandable): Gerard, Laura, Walt, Mary Sullivan, Jerry Martinson, Rosemary Gill, Ann Akey, Paul Chestnut. (First meeting Monday, 9/28, OLRH, 7:30pm.)
b. St. Francis Pledge: Gerard and Walt met with Fr. George to iron out details of taking the Pledge at all 10/4 Masses. This will involve a homiletic exhortation, assembly's reciting and later signing the pledge and collection of the slips. Concurrently, on this date we will have more green bags to distribute.
2. South Palo Alto Food Closet needs help - Its volunteer are aging and failing and needing replacements. Dick Freeman made a bulletin appeal, received 6 responses and gave the names to the Food Closet coordinator. Good-o!
3. Day Worker Center got (and needs) help -a. A donor pledged to match DWC donations received by the end of this month if they totalled $7,500. The HCC sent its budgeted contribution and HCC members were (just recently) asked to help if possible. IF YOU CAN, THERE'S NOT MUCH TIME LEFT BEFORE SEPTEMBER 30.
b. Patricia finds many ESL students can take instruction entirely in English. This should make it easier to get volunteer teachers.
c. DWC is planning its Capital Campaign to prepare a permanent location.
4. Ecumenical Youth Ministry - Chris Miller is working with his opposite numbers in other local churches to plan a Holy Week youth event. It will likely be a procession along Church Row (Middlefield Road) to draw attention to some social justice issue(s). HCC is happy to assist.
5. Time and Talent - STA 10/11, SAG l0/17-18, OLR 10/25. HCC will need to staff our table at all Masses with appropriate literature, etc. Homilies on 10/3-4, we hope, will lay the groundwork for eager stewardship. (PLEASE BE EAGER TO ASSIST US IF YOU ARE ASKED.)
6. New HCC meeting date - With Spirituality Tuesday Assembly beginning next month we concluded (after animated discussion) to make our future meeting date the SECOND Tuesday of each month.
7. What's On Your Mind? - Walt said Fr. Rohlheiser's column in the Sept. 15 Valley Catholic "The Eucharist as a call to justice" is an excellent energizer for HCC folks!
Next meeting - (see #6 above) Tuesday, Oct. THIRTEENTH, same time and place.
VOLUNTEER FOR FAITH-SHARING QUESTION? PLEASE?
P.S. What Was On Walt's Mind That Walt Forgot? - California People of Faith Working Against the Death Penalty has asked our pastoral stewardship council to subscribe to its "1000 Congregations Campaign". The Campaign urges congregations "to engage in dialogue, discernment, education and prayer . . ." about the death penalty. By doing so "your organization is not taking a position on the death penalty; rather, you are indicating your desire to engage in open and honest discussion and reflection on this issue." [Our HCC has a long history of having co-sponsored and joined in just what is being urged. We have read and discussed the thrust of Scripture, various papal and episcopal writings, arranged educational meetings, held prayer vigils on executions' eves and have taken note, as well, of the secular arguments for the death penalty's end: cost, failure to deter, numerous exonerations, indications of racial bias, inept defense counsel and others.] In view of the above I propose to urge the PSC to subscribe to the Campaign and to assist CPoF if we are asked and able.Next meeting - October 13, 2009