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Presence for Christmas (P4C) is a "four week journey into the heart of Christmas."
Ignited in 2010, P4C is Advent journey marked by weekly gatherings comprised of uplifting story, song and prayer. Each week individuals and families bring their "prayer candle" and placed it at the Burning Bush, which will collectively illuminate Jesus Christ in Exposition. Our Living IT Gathering Guide will help keep families talking and praying throughout the season of Advent.

Oh... the magic and wonder of Christmas! Remember looking through the Sears and JCPenny catalogues as kids? Wondering, hoping and praying for that special thing? Can you remember all the lights and colors, all the special decorations inside and out? The aromatic smells of something baking... most likely Bing Crosby or Nat King Cole singing in the background?  How about Rudolph and Frosty on television, along with special gatherings and events....

Sure, for many of us there was the Advent Wreath, and Christmas Mass.  But let's face it, for most of us these were momentary things to endure to get back to the main event.

Life experience is a great teacher.  And it's worth asking: What is the meaning of Christmas? Is it all about the presents? If so, where are those presents today? What enduring, meaningful impact did they have on our lives? How are we different because of them?

Let's keep it real.  Particularly for many of us Catholics, "faith" is often a tedious obligation, hoops you jump through-- that give us a sense of doing what we should. Is there more? Christmas has so much more to do with personal presence than with material presents. While presents are an important part of Christmas, at the heart of it all is the fact that we have been fashioned for God.  We need God. We need so much more than cliche, or empty obligations... we need to know God.  Christmas is a grace-filled season where God offers us His Presence. He is the Present. And He makes us Presents to each other!

Presence for Christmas is a journey into the Heart of Christmas... an invitation for you and your family to slow down, set aside the distractions and tune into God with expectant faith that He will be Present. God wants to be so much more than an obligation. He wants to do so much more than dwell among us. He wants to dwell within us.

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You'll be deeply touched by each of the stories.  Come with your needs,  concerns, hopes and prayers. Come join in a community seeking God together... enlivened by "something more."  God bless!

Image Trinity is a movement of families. Our identity and mission is simply this: You Image the Trinity! (Get IT?)  We invite you to partner with us. Read more about our mission. Help us make our "Living IT!" television program possible. 

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Gerson Article: Obama's Anti-Catholic Bias. Call for Catholics to Step Up.

By Greg Schlueter

Reprint from

A faith removed from lived experience is no faith at all (James 2:14ff). Our faith concerns the totality of the human person, the shape of culture, with a commitment to building a “civilization of love.”  The political arena is a very specific place we are called to “go into the world” (Matt. 28:19).
So it was with great interest that I read Michael Gerson’s piece in theWashington Post  Obama turns his back on Catholics“ which substantiates strong anti-Catholic policy in the Obama administration. In it he quotes Archbishop Timothy Dolan, president of the USCCB, who calls the policies an “assault which now appears to grow at an ever-accelerating pace in ways that most of us could never have imagined.”
After posting Gerson’s link on my Facebook page, the comments began to roll in. In general, I think the critics were offering thoughtful representations of mainstream thinking, i.e., sensibilities we need to understand and contend with. In short order, in support of the President’s policies, they invoked a separation of church and state, suggesting the Catholic’s rejection of anti-life and anti-family provisions constitute a breach of contract warranting these policies, and further called Catholics to task for their myopia on abortion and homosexuality, and invoking the question of competency in leadership: “Would you have an incompetent pro-life leader over a competent pro-choice leader?”
Before sharing my response (a slightly edited version of which is) below, an equally important point is the absolute necessity for you and me, right now, to not shrink from controversial, difficult conversations, but to be informed and enter into the marketplace of ideas with respectful vigilance.
Here was my response to this question about “competence”:
“Competency” is not simply concerned with administrative ability, but prior to that, it is concerned with what one is committed to administering.  As a reductio, I’m quite sure it would be morally incumbent for one to vote against a mostly competent Adolf Hitler in favor of a somewhat incompetent candidate against the Holocaust (let’s be honest, in the real world we’re not dealing with absolute competency or utter incompetency).
To sum up in the words of Jefferson – a good source I think for matters of law and policy: “The care of human life, and not it’s destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government.”
Put in a hierarchical-logical framework, an individual’s life rights supersede another individual’s “liberty and pursuit of happiness” rights… necessarily. All law holds this hierarchy in every other regard, e.g.: one is restrained a bit at a stopping light out of concern for another’s life (this example can be applied to virtually every law).
With regard to the subject of what we’re dealing with, it’s a matter of science, not elusive or sectarian “belief.”  Even Faye Wattleton, pro-abortion Planned Parenthood’s former president, said “[W]omen are not stupid… they have always known there is a life there.” Disregard this hierarchy of rights and we are necessarily on the slippery slope. Certain distinguished professors such as Peter Singer have extended this to it’s logical conclusion, suggesting a parent’s right to eliminate his/her child beyond birth!
If we disregard the hierarchy as in the case of abortion, we really have nothing to say; logically, the principal provides a basis for someone with greater power to assert their lesser, liberty interests over our own right to live.
Bottom line, yes — separation of church and state, but as law is predicated of core values — suppositions of “belief” that are not strictly provable (i.e., “self-evident… endowed by Creator… inalienable rights”), we need to recognize the difference between Constitutionally-grounded, common-sense laws that are for the evident good of individual and society that a particular religion may happen to support, and laws anchored strictly in sectarian/ religious preference.  With regard to abortion (and the variety of other policy subjects), we’re dealing with the former.
Finally, it’s a bit more than ironic that the massive organization and resources committed to “liberal” causes in our country (real human needs: homelessness, immigration, hunger, poverty ), proven demonstrably much more efficient and effective than any government program, is under some auspice of the Catholic Church. Add to this the bedrock-foundational imprint our Church has left on Western Civilization in law, science, education, medicine, etc., and we must recognize the critical role Catholicism has played and continues to play in the formation and advancement of a just, good, ordered society for the benefit of all.
All this said, I am certainly not a mindless cheerleader of all matters “institutional Catholic.” Clearly, there have been, are, and will continue to be abysmal failures of leadership so long as there are imperfect humans entrusted to officiate Catholicism (=until the end of time). These deserve to be challenged. With due acknowledgement of these (substantiation appreciated if you are going to accuse), please acknowledge the well-grounded, good points made in Gerson’s article that demonstrate the Obama administration’s own discrimination and intolerance.
Greg Schlueter is an award-winning Catholic film producer, writer, speaker and movement leader committed to building up Catholic family through their nonprofit, Image Trinity. Find out more at Greg lives with his wife and six children in Erie, Pennsylvania.