2012 Is So Last Year!

by Jill Klusendorf, Director of Community Life

The New Year, to me, is much like the feeling I get after going to confession. Good, old-fashioned, face-to-face confession. (Although never at St. Peter's in the Loop, they are way too mean, trust me!) I can barely bring myself to call it "reconciliation," although it is probably much more of an appropriate and even participatory term. I guess I just like to feel "old school." Both a spiritual and theoretical "do-over," a mulligan, if you will. A brand new start.

Growing up, we were not allowed to receive Communion on Sunday without going to confession on Saturday morning. My father was much more "old school" than even my convert mother. While I am sure my brothers and sister and I kicked and cursed (SIN!) on our way down the street, I can honestly say I rather enjoyed the whole experience. I loved looking into the eyes of a holy person and laying out all my thoughts, all my words, what I had done, what I failed to do. I loved the very term Act of Contrition. I loved the thought of truly being forgiven after saying my prayers in the hushed tones of our very large Basilica, the heels tapping on the marble in the background.

But more than anything, I guess I really loved the feeling of weightlessness on the hop, skip and a jump home. It wasn't until many years later that I really understood the reason behind the feeling of euphoria and content I felt after receiving the sacrament: not only did I really need to put myself and my failures out there; I had to ask for help in order to receive grace. For a rather headstrong and free-spirited Sagittarius, this was no easy task, but the ultimate freedom.

So I ask you now, parishioners of Church of the Holy Comforter, I am putting myself out there, asking for your help. There are so many ways to be connected here at CHC: won't you join us? It can be something very simple, like baking some cookies or treats for the upcoming Holy Baptism on January 13th, to joining a Ministry, to attending Adult Forum or one of our very special events.

I have walked in your shoes. I know what it's like to have three children very close in age. I thank God for my volunteering gigs for getting me into the shower and out of the house for how ever precious few moments there were. And, I know that my children continue to model that behavior as young adults.

I welcome any suggestions on how we at Holy Comforter can put together programming that is compelling, entertaining, educational, or just plain silly. Whatever makes you feel free, weightless and giddy, whatever makes you feel God's grace sounds just perfect. In the meantime, I am just a phone call or an email away: 847-251-6120 extension 111, or jcklusendorf@holycomforter.org.

Let's make 2013 a great year for Church of the Holy Comforter and for you and yours! Let's get off to a brand new start!