News Item-Crisis in Minnesota-Call for Peace and Justice

Dear Friends,

I have been thinking how best to address all of you regarding the events surrounding the murder of George Floyd at the hands of some Minneapolis policemen and the aftermath of protest and violence the last several nights in Minneapolis and St. Paul.  I wanted to reach out to you because we are a community that believes in peace and justice and fair treatment for all our brothers and sisters–we are a community of love and care and at a time like this, we need to know that we are united.  Please know of my love and care for each of you and my promise of prayer that at this time of Pentecost, the Spirit of our brother Jesus would show us the best and most needed responses in this time of crisis.

I listened as some of you may have to our state leaders; the governor, lieutenant governor, our state senators, attorney general, as well as faith leaders from across denominations in the Twin Cities speak at a noon news conference today* with a great deal of compassion and concern about the rising crisis in Minneapolis and St. Paul over the past few nights. They have made the point of letting us know that the people causing the destruction at present are not those people who are legitimately grieving the loss of yet another black brother, but anarchist types who have an entirely different agenda, and aren’t, for the most part, even from Minnesota and are taking advantage of this sad time.

With that in mind, the governor and all others present at the news conference who spoke were imploring the people of St. Paul and Minneapolis to stay home tonight, to abide by the 8 p.m. curfew and keep off the streets so that those who are bent on destruction can be apprehended.  The work of justice can’t be accomplished until the violence stops Governor Walz let us know.  Everyone present who spoke impressed upon their communities of faith and neighborhoods that “tomorrow” would come and that this issue of racism, laid so bare by this most recent example of brutality, would be addressed and that the help of everyone would be needed for that most important work.

A time like this calls forth a response from us–many of us want to do something to show our support. One of the pastors suggested that folks in Minneapolis and St. Paul go home tonight at 8 p.m. and pray as the best way to express their support. We all have different ways of showing our support–some of us can write letters, make calls in order that this  issue, not die. Maybe this time, along with what we have learned of the inequities in our country for those who are poor, black, or both, in this time of pandemic, along with the racism clearly exposed in the too frequent deaths of blacks by policemen in our state and country due to the color of their skin will finally, finally bring much needed change. Another something that you may want to partake in tomorrow at 4 p.m. is a car caravan for peace and justice, sponsored by the Winona Interfaith Council, starting at the high school, driving through the streets of Winona in support of all that is good and with hope of a better future for all of us.  Whatever you choose to do friends, choose to do something. This issue is the responsibility of all of us.

My love and support for each of you–Peace, Pastor Kathy

* I would you suggest if you didn’t hear this news conference, going on-line to listen to the many speakers from the governor on down–about one hour and 15 minutes–well worth the time.

News Item–Ascension Thursday–in a Time of Pandemic

Dear Friends,

Tomorrow as you know the Church marks Ascension Thursday and I simply wanted to comment on it and we will “talk” more about it with the Sunday liturgy, homily and prayers. Now whether Jesus’ time on this physical earth ended on a Thursday or not is not really the most important thing to keep in mind as it is what this piece of religious history signifies for us as his followers.

With this feast, Jesus is basically saying, my physical work is done and now, I am entrusting my mission to you because I believe in you, love you and won’t “leave you orphans.” “Don’t be afraid, I am with you always!”

So, there you have it friends! This coming Sunday will be the 7th and final Sunday of Easter with the feast of Pentecost coming the following Sunday–Jesus will send his very Spirit to guide and show us the way.  With the Spirit comes courage, strength, and confidence. The seven gifts of the Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of God.

I would say that these gifts are basically about coming to know that we are first loved by God and are called to love God  in return, which is about finding time to spend with consciousness each day of God–we call this prayer, who is our source and being (piety). The Spirit of Jesus gives us knowledge and wisdom and helps us to revere (fear) God in each other and all the universe. Let us ask this Spirit to be truly with us as we learn how to become better followers of our brother, Jesus. –Pastor Kathy


 

News Item – during a time of pandemic

Dear Friends,

During this time of pandemic, through your generosity; we have been able to give two gifts to our community of $300 each. The following are some of the comments I received from each in thank you notes that I thought would interest you:

First came a note from the Winona Volunteer Services with much gratitude expressed for our generosity and especially during this time of pandemic. Sandra Burke, the executive director let us know the changes they have been called to make to assure that their staff and clients are save in the wake of Covid 19.

At first WVS was allowing only one person to come in and “shop” at a time and very soon after they were required to simply give out pre-packed food boxes from Channel One Food Bank as an added measure to keep folks safe. Only one person from a family can come into the building, waiting in a designated area with a staff member placing the box into a cart for the person to take to again limit exposure to each other. They are also offering curbside pick-up.

Sandra concluded by saying that we should remember that our generosity makes their work possible!

The other donation was to Habitat for Humanity. In the spring of the year,  Habitat usually has two fund-raisers that cover many of their needs throughout the year along with the ReStore which now is closed. In lieu of needing to cancel the fund-raisers, Habitat asked for donations from the community to assist their work in absence of the other income.  Amanda Hedlund, executive director said of our gift to them:  You help us do so much. You help Habitat provide an essential service, and that work must go on! Thank you for helping to build wheelchair ramps for people who can’t get safely in and out of their homes. Thank you for helping to repair roofs for people getting rained on inside their homes.  Thank you for painting siding before it weathers beyond repair, and for cleaning brush before it lifts siding from the walls.  You are so important to Habitat for Humanity–you make this work happen.

So, my friends, there you have it–I wanted you to know the good your gifts do! Stay safe and well—Pastor Kathy


 

News Item

Dear Friends, 

I just realized that I overlooked mentioning one of our special deceased members in my Holy Thursday homily,  and that is, Bob Sherman. We continue to miss his good and gentle presence among us. My apologies to his wife, Mary and their family. 

Peace and love in this Easter time,  

Pastor Kathy


 

News Item–Update on Covid 19

Dear Friends,

From previous communiques, you know that I presided at Mass yesterday.  Four others besides Robert and I were present and we observed safety measures including hand-sanitizing, no hand-holding at the Our Father or hugging at the “Kiss of Peace.”  We also dispensed with the cup for wine at communion and used social distancing somewhat as far as sitting close to others.

Even though no one was unwell within our gathering, I feel that it is time to stop gathering for liturgy as a measure to keep us all safe for a certain amount of time.  Social distancing seems to be the method to choice being applied within our schools, nursing homes and the hospital and a wise choice I feel.

My suggestion to our board was that we suspend Masses for two weeks, bringing us to Palm Sunday and then we can reassess from there–most have weighed in and are all in agreement with this plan.   We are in a very fluid situation and just have to take things almost a day at a time.

I will continue to do homilies for the weeks that we will miss gathering as a group and try to be in contact with you in other ways.  Please give me a call (507) 429-3616, or email, krredig@hbci.com  if you are experiencing any unmet needs due to illness.

Our Interfaith Group in town is meeting via Zoom today to brainstorm about ways that we can, as faith communities, assist those in need who may be quarantined  due to the coronavirus.

In the meantime, let us pray for each other and do all that we can to stay safe. There may be opportunities for our parish to assist financially the city-wide efforts to care for our community–I will keep you posted as I hear more.

Peace and love and all other blessings,

Pastor Kathy