Holy Asides
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December 30, 2015, 12:00 AM

A Year in Review

As my second full year at St. Joseph’s is coming to an end, I'm reminded of the many blessings that I have received from this parish and the many blessings that God is doing through this parish. This is the time of year when everyone is doing a countdown of the past year’s highlights; a year in review, so to speak. With 2015 about to be in our rearview mirrors, and 2016 upon our horizon, let’s look at some of the events and ministries of this past year at St. Joseph’s. Our worship and parish life is always outstanding, so these events are more time-specific to this past year. 


10. New Directory—This may not be on everyone’s highlight list, but it is on mine. And while I think the directory looks good, it is still maybe not so much the directory itself, but “Finish Directory” being crossed off my “to-do list” that was a top-ten highlight.


9. Burning the Mortgage/ Jubilee— On the Feast of Pentecost, we burned the mortgage note for the parish and celebrated the 25th anniversary of the consecration of the church. The event was a glorious celebration of commitment and faithfulness.


8. The “New” Altar in the Pavilion—A gift from St. Luke’s in Fort Myers, FL, in memory of Joseph Gavin Simpson, this altar will both enhance our worship and encourage us to continue to regularly worship in the pavilion. The picnic services have been a glorious time of fellowship and celebration in the midst of God’s creation.


7. Landscaping and Lighting—The first phase of the landscaping project is a highlight unto itself. The church is no longer hidden, but is accentuated in its beauty, and at night the lighted cross shines brightly for all who pass by to see and notice.


6. The Youth— The twenty-one youth and leaders attending the Camp Mikell retreat with St. David’s, was my greatest highlight in experiencing the camaraderie and spiritual growth of the youth. But, I am also encouraged by their active participation in the Josiah Club lock-in, Fall Break VBS, and Christmas Pageant. This is a group who serves together, as well as has fun together.


5. The Music and Choir— Throughout the year, the music of St. Joseph’s has been great, but it has especially shined this fall. The monthly music series of concerts, worship, and special events has brought the parish together, outside of Sunday morning, for times of festivity, spirituality, and entertainment.  


4. Adult Christian Education— The number of people interested in attending, as well as teaching adult Sunday School, is very encouraging. We have had a great start this past fall, with a variety of topics: biblical, theological, and practical. I pray that this continues to build on Sunday mornings and carries over into the week.


3. The Healing Ministry— This year saw our first School of Healing Prayer class, the launch of monthly healing services, and the prayer chapel being available at all services. Much like the music ministries and Christian education ministries, I am hopeful that this year laid the foundation for a growing ministry in the future.


2. Friday Friends/ Partners in Education— The outreach that we are doing in the community and in the world has become very focused, which has led to a greater investment within the parish. This is seen through the alms, angel tree donations, Boscobel Primary School support, and the Friday Friends ministry. Moreover, this year we were recognized in the community for our commitment to outreach through our Partnership in Education award.


1. Exploring Who We Are/ Identity Statement— My greatest highlight was the way in which the vestry and parish collaborated throughout the year in examining our purpose, mission, vision, and identity. In so many places (churches, schools, businesses, etc.), there is a small minority who spend a couple of hours hammering out a statement or slogan. But St. Joseph’s took its time to talk, pray, and share with one another to describe who we are, and to dream about who we will become, if we continue to seek God and be partners in the Gospel with one another.  


I look forward to building on many of these highlights this coming year, especially the last one, which is a foundation for us achieving the Big Dream of St. Joseph’s becoming “the Church” (click here) that God has in store for us. Have a blessed New Year!!!

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