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199 Brandon Road
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
tel: 925-682-2486

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August 31, 2014

Dear Parishioners,

We’re not getting any younger!  Maybe it is approaching retirement or health issues (Parkinson’s, stroke and normal aging) that elicits this comment which I keep getting as “consoling advice”. The “consoling advice” from so many of you that makes me reflect that this is very true for all of us and our whole population.  In fact, we have a “new normal” which has crept up on us unnoticed and affects our personal lives, our parish life and our Church.  Here are a few reflections on this “new normal”.
The major cultural change that has moved us permanently into a “new normal” is the reversal in the aging structure which affects us all.  When I was in high school the largest segment of the population were children under five years of age with a small minority of elderly and the aged which we thought of as about 65 years old.  The largest segment were the middle aged, people from 20-50 years or so.   Today that number has turned upside down and is completely different.  In 2013, the number of people over 65 was equal to that of children under five!  By 2050 the number of people over 65 will be double to the number of children under five and fully a third of the population will be well and far over 65.  The average U.S. person alive today will live to 80 years of age and even well beyond 80.  For example, a recent funeral we had celebrated a life of a woman who have lived through 10 different Popes and 18 Presidents.  Increasingly people in their 80’s (think of Mother Teresa or John XXXIII) and  90’s (think of Jimmy Carter, Georgia O’Keefe, Martha Graham, Nelson Mandela who died at 95 and Msgr. Wade who was active until 94) and beyond are fully active, productive people occupying positions of leadership and influence. 
Once upon a time we thought of human life of having three stages.  Childhood, which ended at 18; adulthood which lasted until sometime in your 50’s; and old age which ended somewhere between 60 and 70.  Today we think of: 1) adolescence up to 18; 2) emerging adulthood, which can last into the 30’s (which was midlife in 1950); 3) young adulthood which runs from the early 30’s to about 55; 4) older adulthood, which goes from 55 to the late 70’s or 80’s (which almost none lived to in 1950); and then finally, 5) elder-hood or seniority which now includes many years of being fully independent and highly productive. 

The “new normal” influences how we think about our personal life and future; plus how we think about parish life and the Church.  For our personal lives it gives us continuing hope for the future, for our parish life it helps us to be positive when we see bigger percentages of older people in our congregation and for our Church life, it helps us to be positive when we see the turnout at public gatherings and ministries to include many older and retired people than in the past.  It also helps us to rethink the recruitment of vocations, so that we pray for and focus more on emerging adults, that is people in their early 30’s and not adolescence or teenagers. 

We also need to change our ideas about leadership.  We expect our leaders to be more adequately experienced and personally prepared to deal with the people who make up the congregation and its future.
What about the future at Christ the King?  We must look forward joyfully to our new pastor, Fr. Paulson, who at 50 years old will bring not only experience and vision, but energy and enthusiasm to the life of our parish.  During this week he is spending several days at a conference in Denver on “The Amazing Parish.”  It’s a two-day conference featuring compelling and practical workshops, interactive forums, presentations and discussions focusing upon parish vision, teamwork, and innovative parish programming.  Fr. Paulson wrote in his July 6th bulletin: “The leadership of Christ the King has been exceptionally kind.  They have made sure that I was part of the many important decisions being made in the parish.  I was invited to a very cordial staff meeting and then to a dinner meeting by the Pastoral Council, where I was gifted with a priestly stole with the logo of Christ the King.  Christ the King is an exciting parish with great leadership and vibrant ministries.”   He is excited that he is coming and we should be too!

Your Pastor,
Brian T. Joyce




St. Vincent de Paul – This weekend the St. Vincent de Paul Society will have their 5th Sunday Collection.  Thank you for your continued support of their ministry.  If you know anyone who could use their ministry, please call the parish house, ask for St. Vincent de Paul, leave them a message and they will do their best to “make a difference”.

Taize Prayer Around the Cross – Each month five Christian Churches of Pleasant Hill sponsor an hour of devotional prayer in the spirit of Taize (the ecumenical community in Southern France).  The prayer time (one hour) rotates on the first Sunday of each month through each of the five Christian churches.  Sept 7th at 7 pm the monthly Taize Prayers will be here at Christ the King Church.  Plan on joining us.  Quiet, prayerful, gentle and refreshing.

High School Confirmation Registration
 - If you are a junior or senior in high school and have completed your pre-requisite hours; registration for the sacrament of confirmation is now open. You can download a registration form on our website at ctkym.org or find a registration form with a calendar in the back of the church. Registration deadline is September 17th.  If you have any questions, please contact Kate Doherty at kate@ctkph.org.

High School Youth Group Registration - Youth Group is for all high school teens 9th-12th grade. We meet every Sunday night in the parish hall from 7pm to 9pm. We will kick off our new year with a youth mass and ice cream social on Sunday, September 21st at 7pm in the church. Registration forms and calendar can be found in the back of the church or you can now register directly on-line at ctkym.org. Become a fan on our facebook page or follow ctkym on instagram. Our parent information night is, Wednesday, September 17th at 7pm in the church. If you have any questions, please call the youth ministry office at 676-0979. 

Christ the King CYO Basketball registration is now open through this Monday, Sept. 1st. Information pertaining to the program, including the appropriate link to online registration, can be found at ctkcyohoops.org.  For questions please send an email to ctkcyohoops (at) gmail.com.

Announcing Bible Study for MEN and WOMEN at CTK - Bible study on the Sacraments September 2014 – December 2014 (12 weeks) in the Parish Hall beginning Monday, September 8th.  We will gather at 8:30 am; 8:45-9:40 DVD presentation; 9:45 – 10:30 optional discussion period.  For more information contact Mary Kerfs(946-9751) oror MaryKerfs (at) yahoo.com

Volunteers Needed - If you have some extra time in your schedule to help out in various ways in the parish, please contact Sr. Joanne at the parish House at 682-2486.  This is a great way to get to know our CTK Community.

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