From the Vestry: Priorities for 2020

In last week’s E-News, Fr. Steve introduced the following three ministry priorities that the vestry chose for the year: marketing and evangelism, youth and families, and missio (Latin word meaning “to send”). The vestry decided on these priorities after doing discernment around our call as a Christian community to “gather, transform, and send.” This week we want to give you a little more information about these three vestry priorities and the team members that are involved.

Marketing and Evangelism

This team will continue to build upon the vital work that was started by last year’s Marketing and Evangelism team. A primary goal of this group is to help grow Good Samaritan’s presence in the greater Sammamish area and invite those called by God to join with us in our lifelong journey with Christ. Good Samaritan is a safe and welcoming place for all people to gather, and as Christians we feel called to do our part in making it easier for Good Samaritan to be found by those seeking community. The team is currently preparing a marketing plan for the year, but a few actions that are expected include increasing the amount of signage and banners around the community, developing and implementing a social media plan, and building work groups to participate in community events. The goal for all activities is to let those seeking God that Good Samaritan is a place that welcomes them. We ask for your prayers and support in transforming Good Samaritan from a hidden gem into a shining beacon on the plateau.

This team includes Rick Tidball (leader), Amy Bowers and Brian Swensen.

Youth and Families

Youth and Families is the fastest and most consistently growing demographic of Good Samaritan’s congregation. There is a gap in how this segment is being served compared to the potential of how it can be served. High functioning families with busy and demanding schedules can find it difficult to carve out time to explore, grow, and renew their faith. The Youth and Families team will be looking for new ways and opportunities for these faith seekers and the congregation to experience a deeper sense of community, connection and belonging. We ask for your prayers and support in shaping Good Samaritan into a third place (outside of work/school and home) where spiritual and communal transformation can take hold.

This team includes Steve Foster (leader), Patrick Duff and Patricia Waltner.

Missio

As Christians, when we make and renew our baptizmal vows it is a call of action and support. To serve, seek and love Christ in each and every human being. Each week we ask God “to send us out to do the work you have given us to do, to love and serve you as faithful witnesses of Christ our Lord.” Nurturing and supporting one another not only within the walls that we identify as Good Samaritan Episcopal Church but also outside of them, in those spaces where life happens. That, in a nutshell, is what the Missio group has been tasked with undertaking. God is already at work within peoples lives at Good Samaritan. There are many current opportunities to engage outside of church such as; Issaquah Meals, Men’s and Women’s groups, Trunk or Treat, and the activities the Faith in Action (FIA) committee is developing, the list goes on. The need and opportunity to serve our community is greater now than seemingly ever before. The Missio team, along with FIA, will be partnering with other faith communities and organizations to engage out in the community and with the members of the congregation. We ask for your prayers and support as the Missio team continues to explore and discern the best paths forward in ways to participate in God’s grace.

This team includes Jim Martin (leader), Jane Harrell and Carol Stamper.

Please be on the lookout for more information about these three vestry priorities as the year progresses.

Yours in Christ,

Brian Swensen, Junior Warden
Rick Tidball, Senior Warden


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Staff and Children’s Ministry Update

In our Baptismal Covenant, parents and godparents of children being baptized make solemn promises to raise the child in the Christian faith. The Celebrant then addresses the congregation, asking if they will do all in their power to support the child’s life in Christ (BCP 303). Over the past few years, I believe we as a congregation have taken the necessary steps to ensure that we are fulfilling the promise we make to children and their parents at Baptism. As you know, when Fr. Brian’s curacy was coming to an end, we began the process of evaluating our staffing needs for children and youth. The result of that process is that the Vestry and I have come to some conclusions, which we are now ready to share with the congregation. I am pleased to announce that the Vestry has created a new staff position: Director of Children’s Ministries. I have asked Lisa Treadway to serve in that position, and she has accepted and will begin her new role on November 1.

So, what does that mean, you may be asking? In addition to serving as the Director of Good Samaritan School, Lisa will serve as the minister to children (age birth through 5th grade) and families for the parish. She will give oversight to the children’s formation programs, as well as working with the clergy to plan and implement ministries that support the faith formation of our families with children. We are in the process of working with Lisa to provide additional administrative support for the School, and she will step away from other leadership roles in the parish, including coffee hour. You’ll be hearing more from the parish leadership in the coming days about how you can support our ministry to families and coffee hour, so stay tuned!

As your Rector and Head of the Good Samaritan School, I cannot be more pleased with this decision and Lisa’s willingness to serve in this new position. She has led our School to become one of the most sought after preschools in our area. The school is flourishing in every way, and as I write this note to you, the enrollment is near capacity. Lisa understands her role in the School to be more than a Director, but as a minister, as well. Every weekday, I watch her serve the students, parents, and the staff in a manner that represents and reflects the Christian faith and Christ’s Way of Love. She is a blessing to the School, and now brings her expertise and passion for serving children to our parish. Thanks be to God!

I know that you’ll join me in giving your support to Lisa and the team who so faithfully serve our children Sunday after Sunday. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me or any member of the Vestry.

Gratefully,
Fr. Steve+


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From the Rector: Invest Now!

Looking to make a wise investment with a fabulous return? For only a few hours of your time and energy over the next few months, you can invest in the spiritual life of our children and youth. We offer several ways to invest, ranging from leading children’s activities to chaperoning our youth at off-campus events.
 

Invest in Our Children

Sign up for a volunteer role with Children’s Sunday Formation! There are enough roles for any preference of preparation time and time commitment. If enough people sign up, you may only have to volunteer twice between now and the end of December. Here are the roles of leadership–they do not all happen in the same week.
 
  • STORYTELLERS prepare and lead the telling of a Bible story or an element of the Episcopal tradition using a Godly Play story. Training is provided.
  • FAITH IN ACTION LEADERS prepare and lead a simple service project designed to address a need in our congregation or in the community. Projects could include learning about Guatemala and writing notes to the Gregorys or learning about our sister congregation in Mt. Vernon (Resurrección).
  • FAITH ACTIVITY LEADERS prepare and lead games and activities related to the Lectionary Readings for Sundays. Activities come from Constant Source, and training is provided.
  • FAITH IN COMMUNITY LEADERS prepare an activity for the children’s corner on Sundays when the children are in worship and have a children’s sermon. Along with a helper, leaders sit with the children and supervise their activity during the service.
  • HELPERS are needed every Sunday to assist the leader and be another adult presence in the room.
 

Invest in Our Youth

Volunteering with youth is much more about building relationships and being a positive adult presence in the room and in their lives. There are weekly roles and monthly roles to fit any time schedule.
 
  • FORMATION STUDENT MENTORS assist the leader on Sunday mornings at 9:15 am by being another adult presence in the room. Male mentors are especially needed this year.
  • EVENT CHAPERONES will assist the leaders at the mid-month youth fellowship events (usually beginning around 5 pm), and provide transportation to events away from the church.
  • MID-MONTH DINNER HOSTS provide a light meal for the mid-month youth fellowship events on September 15, October 13, and November 10.
 

Requirements

Please note that anyone working with children and youth in the Episcopal Church must have a current certification of completing the Safeguarding God’s Children training. You will also have to pass a background check.
 
We have two Safeguarding God’s Children trainings scheduled this fall:
  • Saturday, September 28, at 9 am–12 pm
  • Saturday, October 5, at 9 am–12 pm
Please choose the date that matches your schedule and contact Lisa Treadway to register. If you can’t make either date, another time can be arranged.

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Gregory Garage Sale

We’re having a garage sale to support the Gregorys in Guatemala!

Shop on July 12 & 13, from 8 am–3 pm

As you recently learned, Fr. Brian, Kelly, Ellsley and Westin Gregory have been called to missionary work in Guatemala with the Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala and an organization called Safe Passage, which works in the community around the Guatemala City garbage dump, providing hope, education, and opportunity for children and families living in extreme poverty. Good Samaritan has pledged to financially support the Gregory family during this mission.
 
As part of our support, we are hosting a garage sale in the sanctuary from which ALL proceeds will go directly to the Gregorys.

Get Involved!

There are three ways you can get involved in our Garage Sale: donate items, sign up for a volunteer shift, and come shop!
 
DONATE
Beginning on July 7, we will accept donations of clothing, household items, furniture, art, music, books, and the like for resale. We cannot accept donations before July 7 at noon.
  • Sunday, July 7 from 12–2 pm
  • Monday–Thursday, July 8–11 from 10 am–2 pm
 
Items we will NOT accept
  • Electronics
  • Paint or cleaning supplies
  • TVs
  • Smelly or Broken Items
  • Car seats
 
All items donated to the sale that are not sold, are passed on to other great organizations like the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank.
 
If you would like to provide ongoing prayer or financial support for the Gregorys in Guatemala, visit gregorysinguate.com for more information.
 
 
VOLUNTEER
During the sale, we have many volunteers who help with all the work of the sale; hauling, setting up, working at the sale, tearing down and packing up the leftovers. It is a great time of fellowship for all who get involved.
  • Sunday, July 7 from 12-2 pm (Set up for the event—heavy lifting required)
  • July 12 & 13 from 7:30 am–4 pm (monitoring sale and accepting money)
  • ***Saturday, July 13 from 3–5 pm (Clean up after the event—heavy lifting required) We especially need Saturday volunteers!
 
MyGoodSam login will be required to sign up.
 
SHOP
Invite your friends and neighbors to check out all the beautiful items to sell!
  • Friday, July 12 from 8 am–4 pm
  • Saturday, July 13 from 8 am–3 pm

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Note from the Rector: Fr. Brian Is Moving On

Since the first of the calendar year so much of what we’ve done in our preaching, formation, planning, and conversation has been centered around the theme Journey with Jesus. Last week, The Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers touched on this theme in her talk on “Becoming Beloved Community” and expanded our vocabulary to include thinking about this journey in terms of a labyrinth. A labyrinth, you know, has a beginning point and a destination, but the way is never linear! There are twists and turns, and often the way forward is surprising. As I reflect on my four years (as of June 15) as your Rector, I remember the twists and turns and many surprises we have encountered in our journey together. We have done good work, and I am grateful and hopeful for our future as a parish.

One of the surprises in our journey together occurred two years ago, when Fr. Brian Gregory came to serve as Curate. (For those who don’t know, in our tradition, a Curate serves for two years as a priest-in-training.) Not only did he bring years of expertise in youth ministry, but his beautiful family, as well. Kelly, Ellsley, and Westin have become dear to us all, and made their own mark on the life of this parish. Another surprise was that we had the honor and privilege of hosting his ordination to the Sacred Order of Priests. He has done good ministry here among us over the past two years. He has been a particular blessing to me as a trusted colleague and friend.

Most of you are aware that Fr. Brian and Kelly have been in discernment for quite some time about the possibility of serving the Lord in Guatemala. Last Sunday I announced that Fr. Brian and his family have come to a decision; they will be leaving the States in mid-August to serve at least one year in Guatemala. I will leave it to Fr. Brian and Kelly to give you the details of what they’ll be doing—as a start, you can read Fr. Brian’s letter to the congregation here.

Fr. Brian’s last Sunday with us will be August 4. He will preach and celebrate at both services that day, and the vestry is planning a celebration to express our gratitude. I will lead us in a brief commissioning service that day, and we will send them on their way with our thanks and blessings. Stay tuned for more details. I will also be making an announcement soon about how we can continue to support Fr. Brian in the work to which God is calling him.

In the meantime, the vestry leadership and I will be in prayer and discernment about staff leadership for our children, youth and family ministries. As I stated on Sunday, the vestry and I are fully committed to reaching and serving families with children and youth, which makes up the vast majority of our community demographic. I will keep you updated as we move along in this process.

Please keep Fr. Brian and his family in your prayers as they prepare to move to Guatemala, and for our parish as we continue on our journey to become the Beloved Community that God desires for us!

Blessings, Fr. Steve+


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The Gregorys in Guatemala

by Fr. Brian Gregory
 
Back in March, I discussed in a sermon that my family and I were discerning a call to serve God and God’s people in Guatemala. Many of you heard the announcement last Sunday that we will be leaving in August to follow God’s call to ministry Guatemala. Our nearly two years of discernment have involved countless people (including members of the Good Samaritan community), much prayer, and difficult decisions. In that time, we have not been able to shake the sense of call we feel to step out in faith to serve. We will be working with the Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala and an organization called Safe Passage, which works in the community around the Guatemala City garbage dump, providing hope, education, and opportunity for children and families living in extreme poverty.
 
These past two years have been a joy—not only for me in my ministry, but also for my family as we have gotten to know you all and share life with you. Good Samaritan has been an incredible place to begin my ministry as a priest in the Episcopal Church. I am grateful to each and every one of you for your welcome, your care, your commitment to Jesus and his church, and to the work of formation and service to which we are all called.
 
Together, we have made great strides towards being a church that welcomes, is prepared for, and walks with children and youth to encourage their growing faith. And yet, there is work still to do to become the church we hope to be. There is tremendous potential at Good Samaritan to be “home” for a great number of families in our community. As Fr. Steve will tell you, the work we have done over the last two years will continue after my family and I are gone. But that work will need to include you. Fruitful ministry is never about one priest or person; fruitful and sustainable ministries are shared by many people. It is my hope and prayer that you all will be among that number who will carry forward our ministries to children, youth, and families.
 
We will miss Good Samaritan and all of you dearly, but we are excited to discover all God has in store for us in this next season of life and ministry. We also look forward to sharing these next few months with you, as we all begin to close this chapter of our life together and move towards the places God is calling us.
 
Please keep my family and me in your prayers.
Fr. Brian+

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