Rector’s Warden’s Report
The 4th quarter of 2020 brought more changes to an already disrupted year. After enjoying a short season of in-person worship, the increasing COVID positivity rate and threat of a new COVID variant caused Bishop Gutierrez to reinstitute Phase 1 restrictions, which moved us back to Live Stream services. We are encouraged that new vaccines offer hope for a return to normal, perhaps by the fall. Even so, it’s difficult to go backwards.
But have we? Yes, we are hunkering down for a “pandemic winter,” but over the last 3 months I have sensed signs of forward movement at Church of the Good Samaritan.
Here are four signs of forward movement I’ve noticed:
- Our Live Stream worship is continuously improving. I was amazed last spring how quickly we pivoted from in-person liturgical services to live stream. I am thankful for the willingness of the clergy and key volunteers, our frontline spiritual heroes, to create this new worship experience for us. It’s easy to take for granted but each week I notice enhancements and improvements.
- As a congregation we are relying more on prayer. I don’t have Gallup survey data to prove this, but my observation is the challenges of the past year have forced many of us to seek the Lord more fervently. I’ve sensed that Zoom groups, prayer partners and individual praying have increased and become more valued because of our difficulties.
- The Wardens are working as a team with Fr. Richard. At the beginning of 2020 the Wardens (perhaps mostly me!) wondered how we could be effective while unable to meet in person. But after a year of virtual meetings, discussing both routine and challenging issues in that context, we have developed a bond with each other and a deeper commitment to the health and growth of Church of the Good Samaritan.
- The Lord is blessing Good Sam in unexpected ways. The bittersweet blessing of challenging times is they help us more clearly see God’s hand at work. One example of this is in our finances. Many expected giving to crash during the pandemic. Instead, we have made it through 2020 with some new sources. One thing isn’t new, however, and that’s a spirit of generosity throughout the Good Sam community. Praise God!
As we enter the New Year, may God help us all to move forward with faith and joy in an ever-changing world.