If you are reading this before Saturday, August 26th, then I invite you that evening to our Parish Outdoor Summer Concert hosted by our St. Peter and St. Paul Art and Soul Committee. Our Concert starts at 5:30 PM immediately following the Saturday evening Mass at St. Peter. There is food, beverages, some kids games and great music provided by our own Steve Lungstrom and his “Full Deck” band. (I always kid Steve as to whether or not he is playing with a “full deck,” but of course I know he does! Steve has a rare talent which he willingly shares with all of us.) This said, I want to thank Steve and his band for offering to play. They always do a wonderful job, and in my mind this concert essentially is a great way to mark the end of summer as we celebrate these past summer months.
Believe it or not, one of the reasons for hosting an Outdoor Summer Concert is as a sort of evangelization tool. For example, in order to have live, outdoor music, our city requires that we give people in our neighborhood a written notice. Some of the volunteers from our Art and Soul do just that. By simply going door to door or having this note dropped in a mailbox, this can help initiate some curiosity (and in some cases) a conversation not only about our concert, but also about our parishes as well! If we can spark people’s interest, that may be a first, big step in helping them discover who we are and possibly wanting to be part of us. Even by hearing the music a block or two away may draw other people to come and see what we are all about.
In the Gospel of John, when the disciples first met Jesus, they asked, “Rabbi, where do you stay?” Rather than simply giving them an address like, “I live on #144th , Trinity Street, downtown Nazareth….It’s near the St. Joseph Carpenter Shop on the left. You can’t miss it!” No, Jesus’ response to them was, “Come and see!” In other words, he invites them on a journey, which begins with an personal invitation and ends with an experience of the full revelation of God.
There are times when we can all invite someone to “Come and see!” If a person were to ask you, “What church do you go to?” rather than just say, “St. Peter,” or “St. Paul,” we could say, “Come with me!” “Come join me!” at one of our weekend Masses or parish events. For some people, this may also be a first step to their ever growing relationship with God and our twinned parish communities. People respond best with real connections and so what better way than to invite them! Enticing others is not just a job for the priest, deacon, paid staff member or professional parish minister. We can all do our part to evangelize whether it’s to Mass, or other parish events like a concert, parish bazaar or theater production. By our reaching out we may be surprised at the positive response!
Words to live by: “Success is more attitude than aptitude.”