Christ the King Church
195A Brandon Road
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

Parish Newsletter
November 25, 2020
Keeping Us Connected
On behalf of the priests and staff of Christ the King and St. Stephen we would like to wish you and your family a
Happy Thanksgiving!
A Letter from our Pastor - Fr. Paulson
Dear Friends,

As we celebrate ‘Thanksgiving’ tomorrow, my heart is filled with gratitude for our communities of Christ the King and St. Stephen, for the manifold blessings bestowed on us even in this pandemic.

“Boost your health with a dose of gratitude” was the title of a web launch by a medical group. The essay cited thousands of years of philosophic and religious teaching urging gratitude and then cited new evidence that grateful people, for whom gratitude is a permanent trait, have a health edge. Commenting on this website, preacher John Buchanan writes, “It may be that grateful people take better care of themselves, but there is evidence that gratitude alone is a stress reducer, that grateful people are more hopeful, and that there are links between gratitude and the immune system. So, your mother was right when she made you call your grandmother and thank her for the birthday card.” I invite you to celebrate ‘Thanksgiving’ with us at 9.00am at CTK or 9.30am at St. Stephen, and then take the grace of such a grateful celebration to your loved ones.
This weekend, we celebrate the first Sunday of Advent. In this week’s bulletin, Julie Ashmore writes, “What if, in response to this crucible that we call ‘2020’—a year marked by suffering, discord, and death that only an unprecedented pandemic, over-the-top natural disasters, racial injustice, and contentious elections could bring--What if, in response to all that, we choose selfless love?” She continues, “Of course, this involves more than just rising above the devastation and ugliness of this year--as commendable as that would be. It also involves being “alert” and “mindful of Him,” “doing right,” so we are not “lacking in any spiritual gift.” It means not allowing the good of the season--the roasting of chestnuts and the flurry of family fun—to supplant what’s essential—selfless, loving acts of corporal and spiritual mercy. These help us grow in love of God and others and make the world a better place.”
 
This year, we have a unique opportunity to focus on the true mystery of the incarnation, as our movements are very much restricted due to the pandemic. We can savor the silence, as St. Joseph did. We can ponder on the meaning of advent as Mary treasured the days leading up to the birth of Jesus. Join us for Mass online every day at 9.00am or view it later at your convenience. On weekend masses during Advent, one of our women ministers will share a short reflection at the start of mass, to remind us about the meaning of each week of the season, followed by mass and sermon by the Presider.
 
I have attended a number of sessions on Racial Justice together with Kathy Gannon Briggs from our parish as we were nominated into the Diocesan Task Force. The Bishop has asked the group to develop educational materials and pastoral care support, as the Diocese of Oakland acknowledged that more must be done within the diocese to address and end inequalities. I would like to recommend a book for your reading during this time, BECOMING BRAVE: FINDING THE COURAGE TO PURSUE RACIAL JUSTICE NOW.
 
In Becoming Brave, Brenda Salter McNeil traces the journey of realization that came to her after 30 years of teaching and working in the field of racial justice. Triggered by a question asked by a young seminarian at one of her workshops, "Dr. Brenda, when are you going to talk about justice?" she reveals in this book how she awakened to the understanding that what she was doing, the programs she had developed, the workshops she had given, the lectures she had proclaimed were simply not enough.

During the Advent Season, we remember that “Though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” 
(Phil 2:6-7). Jesus was entitled to majesty as God, but He gave up His privileges as the Son of God, in order to embrace us and be one with us. In bringing about reconciliation and racial justice, there is always the element of sacrifice or letting go of some of our privileges. There is no better time to learn about Racial Justice than the Season of Advent.
 
Fr. Paulson
Thanksgiving Day Mass
Thursday, November 26

You are invited to attend our outdoor mass.
(It will also be livestreamed)

CTK at 9am
St. Stephen at 9:30am

Bring the bread and wine you will be serving on Thanksgiving Day for a special blessing.
Note: We will not have our 6pm Thursday mass.
This Sunday, November 29th
Begins our Advent Season
Little Blue Book for Advent

The Little Blue Advent Book which consists of prayers, devotions and stories for Advent are available for pick up at our parish office. Our offices are open Mon-Fri 9am to 1pm.
Please note we are closed Thursday and Friday this week.

The Little Books App is now available for your iOS and Android devices. For a simple $10/year subscription, you’ll get all the seasonal books in the app for easy daily reading. Here
Daily Advent Reflections

Daily Reflections, sent straight to your email:

Advent Prayer Service

Join us on Thursday, December 3rd at 5pm under the tent at CTK for an Advent Reflection Prayer Service, as we prepare for Christmas. It will also be livestreamed.
Advent Reconciliation Service

You are invited to attend our Advent Reconciliation Service on line:
Friday, December 11th at 7:00pm. Streamed Live on Facebook and YouTube

Then join us for individual confessions at
CTK on Saturday, December 12th 
from 3pm to 4pm outdoors under the tent.

or St. Stephen Church on Saturday, Dec. 12th at 10:30am on the lawn.
Our 6pm Sunday Mass is Changing to 4pm Beginning December 6
6pm Sunday Mass will Change Time

Now that the weather is colder and it is getting darker earlier, we have decided to change the time of our Sunday evening outdoor mass to 4pm, beginning Sunday, Dec. 6. Thank you as we continue to navigate through these changing times.
Over the Weekend
Congratulations to Michelle Quicho and Jonathan Abena who were married outdoors on a beautiful November afternoon at CTK (Picture taken indoors).

May you continue to find love with each other through Christ as you begin your marriage journey together.
Twins: Liam Paul & Kian David
Parents: Jaykiel & Steven

Through the sacrament of Baptism, we welcomed Liam and Kian to our CTK and St. Stephen Family. Congratulations!
Weekly Church Bulletin
Eucalyptus Trees Come Down at CTK
The eucalyptus trees at CTK were cut down last week,
making way for some beautiful and safer new trees.
Young Families Ministry
Virtual Moms-Giving

The CTK Young Families Ministry is having a Virtual Moms-Giving. Join us for a “Moms Night In,” whether you are expecting your first born or managing multiple kids, let’s come together (virtually) and support one another.

When: Mon, Nov. 30th 
Time: 6:30pm-7:30pm

Please RSVP at youngfamiliesctk@gmail.com by Nov. 29 to receive the virtual link. 
News From Our Diocese
We Remember With Love
Scroll of our Faithful Departed
CTK and St. Stephen Church

The Church holds the month of November in dedication and remembrance of our beloved faithful departed, and honor with great respect the memory of the dead, especially those who have passed during this year. Please see the scroll of names of CTK and St. Stephen loved ones who have passed. Here
Winter Nights
Winter Nights 2020

Winter Night's Mission is to protect homeless families by providing shelter in a clean, safe, and warm environment and help families break the homelessness cycle by assisting them toward self-sufficiency and into stable housing.

This year CTK Church is partnering with Church of the Resurrection in Pleasant Hill for Winter Nights. Church of the Resurrection will host the families beginning December 28th, and we will help monetarily with purchasing dinners at local restaurants and offer other support.

We are asking for your donations this year to help us with Winter Nights.
Weekly Reflection on Sunday Readings
The First Sunday of Advent
Welcome to our weekly reflections on
the Sunday Scriptures.

A pregnancy theme dominates the season of Advent. Mary’s accepting, carrying, and nurturing Jesus energizes the spirit of these four weeks. Read More
St. Vincent De Paul
2nd Collection on Sunday
Our 2nd collection this Sunday, Nov. 29th supports CTK's St. Vincent De Paul Society.

St. Vincent De Paul at CTK continues serving food to the poor everyday (Monday-Friday). During Covid, it has remained open to help those in need.

Thank you for your support.
Outdoor Mass Schedule
No Reservations or Sign Ups Required
Mass will take place on our lawn area
(Our Large Tent is also available to sit under)

Bring your own chairs/blankets
Face Masks are required
Or continue to stay in the comfort of your car - tune into FM 106.7

Only the 5pm Saturday Mass and the 9am Sunday Mass will be livestreamed both on Facebook and YouTube

Weekday Mass:
Thursdays 6pm (Outdoors)
We will not have 6pm mass on Thanksgiving evening.

Weekend Masses:
Saturday - 5pm
Sunday - 7:30am, 9am,10:30am,
12noon (Spanish) & 6pm

Thanksgiving Day Mass Song Sheet Here
Song Sheet for 11/29 Masses Here
Spanish Mass Worship Aide/Guía de Adoración Here
Readings for Sunday Mass Here
Drive-Thru Holy Communion
Every Sunday 11:30am to 12 noon
In front of the church
9am - Chapel Mass
Monday - Saturday
Streaming Live
on Facebook or YouTube
Thursday, 6pm Outdoor Mass
Honoring Our Mother of Perpetual Help
We will not have 6pm mass on Thanksgiving

New - Thursday Mass is now outdoors
It will not be livestreamed
Worship Aide Here

5:40pm - Holy Rosary - On Facebook
(except Thursdays, Saturdays & Sundays)
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Private Confessions will continue every Saturday from
3pm to 3:30pm.
Please meet in front of the church.
St. Stephen Church - Outdoor Mass
St. Stephen Church
1101 Keaveny Ct.
Walnut Creek 94597

Sunday - Mass at 9:30am - Outdoors
Worship Aide Here

Drive Thru Holy Communion - 10:10am
Thank You for Your Continued Financial Support to CTK and St. Stephen Church
Staying Connected
Sunday Offering
On-Line Giving: (click button below)

Online giving now includes St. Stephen Parish.

We depend upon your contributions!

Thank you again for your donations as we work together to sustain our community now and in the future.

Thank you for your support!
Offertory Envelopes and
Paper Checks
Can be sent directly to:
Christ the King Church
195A Brandon Rd.
Pleasant Hill, CA 94523
Offertory Envelopes and
Paper Checks
Can be sent directly to:
St. Stephen Church
1101 Keaveny Ct.
Walnut Creek, CA 94597
Closing Prayer
Thanksgiving Prayer

Loving God,
as we prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving Day,
let us pause to express our gratitude for Your constant love and care
and for the many graces and blessings You have bestowed on us.
We thank You for being with us, even in these stressful and trying times.
We thank You for the countless gifts that grace our lives,
especially our faith community, our family, and our friends. 
Today and every day, help us to remember that Thanksgiving
is first thanks and then giving.
"To Hear the Gospel and Make a Difference"