The end of January means that it’s time to look back on the year that has just ended. We celebrate our successes, take heart in the midst of our failures, welcome new families, welcome home old friends and say goodbye to those we’ve loved for years.
Reaching Out in Our Community
In 2014, we reached out into the community in new ways. We began a community coffee hour which gathers together in the Parish Hall on the first Wednesday of each month at 9:30am and offers free coffee, munchies and conversation to our larger community. We set ourselves measures of success at the beginning of the venture, and lo! We’ve met them all! So we’ll continue on with our community coffee hour into the new year and build on that success.
We also continued our ecumenical ministry, the Snack Pak program, providing needy families with school aged children food over the weekend, taken home from school each Friday in backpacks. We’re a collaborative partner with Angel Action for this ministry, and it has been a wonderfully successful year so far. (The Snack Pak program follows the school year.)
We collected hundreds of shoes for charity this summer – over 250 pairs – to be donated to an artisan in the developing world who deconstructs the shoes and remakes them new again, supporting her family and adding to the productivity of her village.
We participated in the Warsaw Village Summer Days and gave out gallons of water. We had a great time at our booth, talking with passersby and soaking up the lovely weather.
Changes on Sunday
In 2014, we called our friend and steady supply priest, the Rev. Sare Anuszkiewicz, to be our Priest-in-Charge. After much discernment and conversation, we are excited to embrace Mother Sare’s boundless enthusiasm and steady supply of new ideas and different perspectives.
We developed a year-round Sunday School! We have several teachers who share the responsibility of leading our one-room school house and we’re excited to provide our youngest members with an opportunity to interact with Biblical stories and come to understand and experience that our loving God is theirs, too.
We’ve begun a regular Adult Study at 9am on Sundays, before our 10:30am worship. We have decided to alternate between studying books of the Bible and studying books on spirituality, theology, church history, or anything else that helps us put our connection with God in perspective. We’ll probably be taking a week or two off between books, but anyone is welcome to join us at any time – check the latest news if you have questions about which book we’re studying, or you can always email Mother Sare at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ve said hello to new faces, welcomed home loved ones who had been away, and said goodbye. This year we remember Jean Davis, Alberta Caldwell and Joan MacCallum, may they rest in the peace of the God who loves them. We also celebrate the Confirmation and Reception of Ted Wilkinson, Joanne Caldwell, Bruce Caldwell, and Janis Chalmers.
Working with the Diocese
Early in 2014 we had our official visit from the Bishop – but when we had more people to confirm and receive later in the year, Bishop Franklin was more than happy to squeeze in another visit to us!
We also had a wonderful experience with our Diocesan Transitions Officer in 2014 as Canon Price joined us in kicking off our discernment process, mentoring our lay leaders and providing all the support we could have hoped for in our process which eventually culminated in calling Mother Sare to be with us as Priest-in-Charge.
Our friend and neighbor, Susan Firestine, who has been discerning a call to ordained ministry became a Postulant for Holy Orders this year! After returning to us from her parish internship at the Episcopal churches in Stafford and LeRoy, Susan still has much to do, and is currently working on a Diaconal Ministry Project., in addition to preaching regularly and expanding her liturgical experience.
The Physical Plant
In 2014, we worked with community volunteers (prisoners, to be exact) to repaint the exterior of our building. We also remodeled a portion of our kitchen, thanks to the wonderful donation of a new sink and counter top.