Whatever you do, do it for the Lord
A few years ago, Erin Wathen wrote a commentary entitled “Your Church Does Not Need Volunteers.”
She introduces her view beginning with: “I know I’m not the only one who cringes when someone sees me, without kids in tow, and asks if my husband is “babysitting.” Well, no. I mean, yes, he is at home with the kids tonight. But I do not think you can effectively say “babysitting” when it is your own dang kid. I’d say we could just call that parenting.
She continues, “I feel the same when people talk about “volunteering” at church. And yes, I know it’s just a word. But it’s the wrong word, for a lot of reasons. If you ask a grandparent or an elder of your church, I’m pretty sure they will tell you that the church they grew up in never asked them to volunteer. Historically, the church has asked people to serve–as deacons, as greeters, as Sunday school teachers, or on the property committee. Whatever the job, it was considered a service. A ministry.”
But as she notes, the meaning or definition of “volunteer” has changed and perhaps it is time we stopped using the word in our Parish.
“But I balk at the secular nature of what it means to volunteer. To volunteer means that you are an outside resource, stepping in to help an organization in need. Volunteering is what we do when we pick up trash at the park, or build a house with Habitat, or help sort food at the local food pantry. Volunteering is what I do at my kids’ school on Fridays.”
“In other words, it’s what you do at a place that is important to you–but not at a place that belongs to you.”
Wathen believes that what we do with and for our Parish is so much more than just volunteering.
“And I guess that is the important distinction for me… You cannot volunteer at your own church, in the same way you cannot babysit your own kid. Because the church belongs to you in the same way your family does. It’s your own place, your own people. So, of course, you help take care of it. Of course, you do yard work and make coffee and teach the kids and sing in the choir and whatever all else it is you do for the home and the people that you love.
A volunteer, in most cases, is just visiting. A fly-by. Maybe it’s a helpful fly-by, but it’s not the same as belonging to something. It’s not the same as contributing to something bigger than you, something that’s part of who you are.”
All that said, we live in the world we live in, and we cannot realistically extract this word from the life of the church. It is both a noun and a verb, and it’s the one that just rolls off the tongue when we are asking people to come and do work. Which, in the church, we are forever asking people to do. Still, as I plan for a summer sermon series on discipleship and what it means to let the church be the church, I feel a strong nudge to challenge how we talk about–and think about–the time and energy we spend in ministry. It’s important to recognize those gifts for what they are–ministry–and I’m not sure the word “volunteer” does justice to the depths contained in the work people actually do in their churches.
Call it serving. Call it discipleship. Call it the priesthood of believers, or mission, or the ministry that we all share together. Admittedly, “Priesthood of Believers” does not look great on a t-shirt. And it maybe doesn’t invite visitors to ask you where the bathrooms are… But whatever we do, we should remember that we don’t just belong to the church–it belongs to us.
And we do not babysit that which is ours.”
So, instead of us considering an opportunity to volunteer at St. Columba Church, perhaps we need to view our role as something more. And as we change how we see our role(s), we will find our place in a Parish community that is indeed, ours.
Many of our Parish activities and organizations are for everyone, giving everyone an opportunity to contribute, to participate in age-appropriate activities that benefit our church community. Saint Columba Parish has many ways for you to become involved. Take a look at the list below and see where your talents lead you. Get in touch with the organization’s contact person and help serve our Parish.
Angel Tree Project
Our mission is to serve the poor by bringing Christ to others, sharing our treasure, and giving hope to the youngest of our community.
During the Advent season, we display gift suggestions for needy families in our area on a tree in the church.
Gifts are purchased, wrapped, and returned to the tree by a designated date.
Our gifts are then sorted and delivered to the designated families for their Christmas.
2022 ANGEL TREE PROGRAM
Applications for those in need are available at the Parish Office from now until Friday, November 4. Delivery of the Angels will be Sunday, December 18. For those new to this long-standing program, the angels from families that are in need are put on a tree at the beginning of Advent. The angels on the tree list the child’s age, clothing sizes, and any requests made by the parent for their child (please note that there is a spending limit of $50 per person).
You take an Angel from the tree and wrap the gifts you can provide for that child. Make sure you attach the angel securely to the gift then bring it back to the church and place it under the tree.
We are asking you return your Angel’s gift only on weekends of December 11/12 and 18/19. We sort and deliver them on December 19 after the 10:30 Mass. Yes, you can help sort and deliver the packages; we are always looking for help.
May your heart go out to those families that are asking for diapers, coats and boots. Please consider picking an angel and getting a gift for these children. Our focus at Christmas and all year long is love so if you do not want to participate in the Angel Tree Project, please consider giving to the Love of Neighbor fund, Your Loving Choices, visiting those who are homebound, or some other form of outreach over the Holidays to express and share the Christmas Spirit. May Christ continue to bless you for your generosity.
If you have any questions about this program, please call Gary Honabach @ 570-594 -2492
Bloomsburg Food Cupboard
The Bloomsburg Food Cupboard offers nutritious foods to anyone in our service area who requests help. We are open two days a week and feature a market in which each family can choose from different categories to select foods their families prefer.
Visit our website for more information
We distribute food every week on Tuesdays, from 11:30am-2:10pm and on Sundays, from 9:15am-10:15am. All we require is a proof of residence in Bloomsburg, Central Columbia, Benton, Millville, or Southern Columbia School Districts.
The Food Cupboard is supported by dozens of churches, schools, organizations, and community businesses.
Raise the Region donors making an impact at the Bloomsburg Food Cupboard
Thank you to our generous donors during the Raise the Region campaign. We raised over $5,000 that will go directly to our services that will soon be affected by the reduced assistance reality for many families. We are currently serving approximately 350 households each month, and over 250 backpacks are sent home weekly with local students.
AMAZING work done by many!!
Pictured above are a few Central Columbia Middle School 6th graders whose grade-level efforts were noted for their hard work in collecting the most donations of food and money for the school’s annual food drive. They helped load up the donated items into the box truck that DYCO allowed us to use to save many trips back and forth to the Bloomsburg Food Cupboard. DYCO workers, Food Cupboard director Martha Sheehe, and Mr Chad Heintzelman, CCMS principal, are also included in the photo.
Tuesdays 11:30-2:15 pm and
Sundays 9:10-10:10 am
Want to volunteer at the Food Cupboard?
Just click on the link below
Food Cupboard’s 25th Anniversary Celebration featuring Todd Cummings on guitar, Jeff and Ginny presenting Martha Sheehe flowers and a gift certificate to Turkey Hill, and volunteers from all 25 years at The Links at Hemlock Creek, August 26, 2021.
Parish Beautification Ministry
Do you have a flair for decorating, a passion for design, or color, or flowers? Or are you willing to help iron occasionally or water flowers?
We are always looking for Parish Friends to help make the church look beautiful, especially during Easter and Christmas seasons, when lilies and poinsettias need extra loving care.
Contact the office or Rachel Lauck to leave your name, and we will be happy to contact you.
We have a small team which currently determines the selection of new books for our library, their sorting, display, and organization.
If you would like to help with this program, please call.
570.784.0801 Ext. 5
The annual Parish Picnic brings Parishioners together to enjoy one another’s company while strengthening the Parish community through fellowship in the relaxing atmosphere of a picnic.
Our 2022 Parish Picnic was held on Sunday, August 28, here at St. Columba in the cafeteria. The grilling started after the 10:30 Mass! Hamburgers, hotdogs and fried chicken, and paper products were provided. And the parish responded with a good crowd which made the event truly one of fellowship. Thanks to Rhonda Dougherty and Sue Haile for organizing this year’s picnic.
Parish Picnic Memories
Click on any image to start a slide show. Use your arrow keys to navigate.
from 1981 to 2019
Our picnic is usually held on the third Sunday in August, with planning beginning earlier in the summer. Click on any image to start a slide show. Use your arrow keys to navigate.
Several men and women from the Parish initiated a volleyball night in the school gymnasium that takes place every Monday night beginning at 7.30.
This is a fun activity that includes keeping score and bragging rights. This activity is open to young adults and more veteran ones so bring good footwear, knee support, if you need any, and your best bumps and spikes and join in on the fun.
Right now, we are playing 4on4 so you are welcome to join us. We have lots of room for more players.
Volunteer Parish Mailings
A group of volunteers which are called upon twice a year to assist with stuffing envelopes and organizing mailings, for instance, the Advent and Lenten mailings to all Parishioners.
Anyone interested is invited to call the Parish office and be added to the list. This is not a binding responsibility; the office will call and check up on your availability as needed.
Winterfest at St. Columba
Winterfest 2022 was amazing!
Our 18th annual Craft and Food Festival took place on Saturday, November 19, in the gymnasium and cafeteria, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. We showcased our famous Dollar Tree, our delicious baked goods, and vendors. You had a choice to Dine-In or Take-Out food from our kitchen including a variety homemade soups, chili, Haluski, Pierogies, Steph’s subs, BBQ, Mac & cheese, pizza & hotdogs and once again offering Fr. Mowery’s Lasagna. And don’t forget Tuesday Crew’s wood creations in the cafeteria.
Parking is available in five parish lots including the new large area just off Iron Street. Volunteers are needed: please consider helping! Proceeds benefit St. Columba School. You can call the school (570-784-5932) or the church office (570-784-0801) to volunteer. Thank you.
Visit our Winterfest Facebook page
2022 WINTERFEST VENDORS
WINTERFEST 2022 – VENDORS & CRAFTERS / BOTH NEW AND RETURNING
NEW – Patty Christiansen – Tupperware
Pat Crawford – Doll cloths, sewing
NEW – Marie Cicini – repurposed gifts using costume jewelry
NEW – Julia R. Doucette – handmade felted items & watercolor/acrylic paintings
NEW – Juliet J. Doucette-Renner – handmade Fiber art
Robert Dunkelberger – Historical Society – books
Ralph Dura – honey
NEW – James Garman – scroll saw woodcrafts
Laurie Girton – wooden & paper crafts
Thomas Kile – fleece blankets
Christine Luschas – T-shirts, eggs, earrings, gnomes
NEW – Lee Ann McAfee – paper craft items
Paul Miller – fishing lures
Sandy Minnick – 31
Kimberly Molter – handmade gemstone jewelry, raw stones
Sandy Myers – handmade soap & painted items
NEW – Loretta Peters – goats milk soap, lotion, Lip balms, baby onsies, T-shirts
NEW – Wand Riley – handmade soaps, Ornaments, hand painted signs, textiles
NEW – Carol Seigfried – Scentsy
Ellen Stanley – handmade/refurbished Christmas decor
NEW – Julia VanBuren – stained glass crafts
Lisa Wheal – baked goods, Coco Bombs, pumpkin rolls, etc.
Ed Zajac – floral arrangements Holiday decor
NEW – Gabriella Zimmerman – rosaries & Crocheted items
Let’s get to know one another. Join us after 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Sunday Masses for coffee and light refreshments as members of our Parish community. St. Columba sponsors monthly get-togethers in the cafeteria and all are welcome.
If you would like to bring baked goods for the next fellowship, talk to Chrissy in the cafeteria or email Chrissy at Christine.email@example.com
SUNDAY’S FELLOWSHIP BRUNCH ON FEBRUARY 19, 2023
Groups of parishioners gathered in the cafeteria after Masses this past Sunday for some tasty treats, good conversation, and the opportunity to meet a few fresh faces. (photos courtesy of Elaine Luschas)
FELLOWSHIP ON OCTOBER 16, 2022
Click any image to begin a slide show of one of our Sunday fellowship breakfasts.
(photos courtesy of Elaine Luschas)