Remembering Jane Harrell

Jane Harrell, a member of our parish, passed away last Wednesday, August 5. Jane joined our parish about two years ago and immediately jumped right into parish life! She was a member of the choir, EfM, and was elected to the vestry in January 2020. Recently she became involved in the work of the Faith in Action Commission and was a strong advocate for establishing a scholarship fund to serve local underprivileged young persons seeking to improve their lives through education.
 
Jane was a woman of strong and deep faith. Before coming to us, she was an active member of the Methodist church. As many of you know, it was just a few weeks ago that she was diagnosed with cancer. Because the cancer was in an advanced stage and an aggressive form, we knew that her time here with us would be short. Jane responded to the news with a tremendous measure of grace, courage, and faith. In her final days, she expressed her love for and trust in God, and her love for this parish. She found a home here at Good Samaritan, and many of us had the privilege of knowing her well. She will be missed.
 
Our faith teaches us that at death, life has not ended but changed. Jane is at peace now and with God. She has joined that great cloud of witnesses that the writer of the book Hebrews tells us is cheering us on in our own journey of faith.
 
Jane is survived by a sister, her two children (Miller and Laura) and their spouses, and several grandchildren.
 
We want to make you aware of three ways to celebrate the life our friend:
  1. Attending in-person worship on August 16 (in person or online)
  2. Sharing remembrances and prayers with the parish on MyGoodSam
  3. Giving to Good Sam’s new Educational Scholarship Fund, which Jane helped create.
Read below for the details on all three of these options.

Attend Outdoor Worship on August 16

It was Jane’s desire that in light of the pandemic a burial service not be held but rather prayers be offered for her and her family during a Sunday service of Holy Eucharist. This Sunday, August 16, we will remember and honor Jane at our 10:30 am outdoor service of Holy Eucharist.
 
We will offer the Eucharist in thanksgiving for her life and witness and bless the hats she knitted for distribution this winter at Issaquah Meals. The service will be offered online on our Facebook page, as usual. Registration is required for those choosing to attend the service in person.
 

Share Your Remembrances in MyGoodSam

Since we will not be gathering in person to celebrate and remember Jane, we have set up a group in MyGoodSam so that anyone can share a story or a prayer for Jane with the parish.
 
Click the button below to go directly to the group. You may have to log in to MyGoodSam, but once you do, simply click the button in the top right corner that says “Join the Group.” To post messages, you can click on the MESSAGES tab and then the “New Message” button. Everyone in the group will receive the message.
 

The Good Samaritan Education Scholarship Fund

Several months ago, the Good Samaritan Faith-in-Action Committee set out to identify how we might help address inequities in our community, many of which are particularly acute in this time of unsettled and changing social dynamics. Our focus was sharpened by the events surrounding the death of George Floyd and the renewed national conversation about racism and, in particular, its economic injustice component. We found ourselves increasingly drawn to creating opportunities to positively impact the lives of youth who are struggling to better themselves with limited available resources.
 
Working with Friends of Youth and The Lake Washington Institute of Technology, we are in the process of establishing a scholarship focused on disadvantaged youth of color who are ready to take a step toward advancing their learning and furthering vocational skills.
 
Jane Harrell, who spent a lifetime contributing to the betterment of those less fortunate in her community, was a member of the vestry work group focusing on mission and was instrumental in helping us understand the need among disadvantaged youth of color, and how even a small contribution can profoundly change lives. It is in this spirit that we have created the Good Samaritan Church Faith-in-Action Education Scholarship Fund, with our 2020–2021 grant in memory of our friend, Jane Harrell.
 
Jane and her family have requested that those wishing to honor Jane’s memory contribute to this scholarship fund. Contributions can be made by
  • sending checks to Good Samaritan Episcopal Church, with “Harrell” or “scholarship fund” in the memo line
  • giving online, using the button below. Choose the “Education Scholarship Fund” on the giving page.
For more information, contact Fr. Steve or any member of the Faith in Action Commission.
 

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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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From the Rector: Send Us Out

In the Book of Common Prayer 1979 there are two options for the post-communion prayer. The second option concludes with a petition asking 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.” That petition is a reminder that the vast majority of God’s work goes on outside the walls of the church building the other 166 hours a week!
 
On Tuesday afternoon I attended the retirement reception of one of our parishioners, Dr. Philip Ballinger. Philip, husband of our former deacon, Kathryn, is Associate Vice Provost for Enrollment Management at the University of Washington and is retiring this month after over 30 years of service in university admissions and enrollment. At the reception, speaker after speaker spoke about Philip’s integrity and collegial spirit. What struck me most was the work he has done to increase fair and equitable access to higher education. During his time at UW, the racial and ethnic diversity of the student body at UW has grown dramatically. In reality, Philip has been doing God’s work—Kingdom work—in his career in higher education. It was evident, too, that the Christ-like way in which he approached his job has made a lasting impact on his colleagues at UW and literally around the world.*
 
Philip, of course, is not the only lay person in our parish doing ministry through their vocations. Week after week I hear stories about how people in our parish are living out their faith and making a difference in the world. Teachers who bring the values of our Baptismal Covenant into the classroom, managers who treat their teams with fairness and respect, parents who seek to instill Christian values in their children, volunteers who work with and lead in community service organizations, parishioners who are kind to their neighbors—this is what it means to be the Church sent out to do the work God has given us to do. Not just on Tuesday at the retirement reception, but almost every Sunday I hear what you are doing to make God’s love known in your everyday life. Your stories and your commitment to follow Christ throughout the week wherever you are inspires me!
 
At our vestry retreat last weekend, your vestry chose three ministry priorities for the year: 1) marketing and evangelism, 2) youth and families, and 3) what I will call, for now, “missio,” the Latin word for “to send.” We decided on these priorities after doing discernment around our call as a Christian community to “gather, transform, and send.” The send, or missio, priority arose as we asked ourselves how we were doing as a parish in preparing and inspiring one another to leave our corporate worship experiences to do God’s work in our family life, work life, social and civic life, and, yes, even in our parish life. You’ll be hearing more about these three priority areas of the vestry soon. Suffice it to say here that your vestry, Rector, and the Faith in Action Commission will give even more intentionality to how we can lead, guide, and support one another as we are sent into the world to do the work God has given us to do!
 
Excitedly,
Fr. Steve+
 
*Philip will be our guest speaker at the Seasoned Saints luncheon on March 9, at 12 noon, here at the church.  He’ll share more about his training as a Jesuit priest, his career in higher education, and the new project he’s working on with UW.

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A Note from Your Wardens

by Lorene Ehlers and Rick Tidball
 
We are thrilled to announce that Good Samaritan Episcopal Church and Father Steve received a Lilly Endowment Grant to support Father Steve’s sabbatical in 2020 and support Good Samaritan during his time away.
 
When Father Steve joined us in 2015, his contract included a three-month sabbatical after five years of service, which is a typical benefit offered to experienced clergy in the Episcopal Church. Earlier this year, Father Steve communicated to the Vestry his desire to take a sabbatical in June of 2020. He also communicated his intention to apply for a National Clergy Renewal Grant funded by Lilly Endowment Inc. and administered by Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. Lilly Grants are very competitive and require a lengthy and detailed application process.
 
Father Steve worked with your wardens and other church leaders to prepare a $37,000 proposal to cover his travel expenses along with costs incurred by Good Samaritan during his leave. Late this summer, we were notified that Good Samaritan’s application was selected for one of 150 grants awarded across the entire United States.
 
Clergy are awarded Lilly Grants to use time away from the demands of daily ministry to engage in reflection and renewal. The approach respects the “Sabbath time” concept, offering clergy a carefully considered respite that includes travel, study, rest, prayer, immersive arts, and cultural experiences.
 
As he wrote in his Grant application, Father Steve’s sabbatical time will consist of three components: 1) experiencing pilgrimage to Christian holy sites; 2) reflection, study, and writing on the role of pilgrimage in Christian formation from an Anglican perspective; and, 3) time for personal rest and renewal.
 
Father Steve will start his sabbatical in June, and begin by traveling to Chartres, France. There he will walk the labrynth at Chartes Cathedral. He will then travel to St. Jean Pied de Port to begin a 35-day walk on the French Camino to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. After completing his 500-mile walk, he will join David for two weeks where they will explore the Algarve region of Portugal and southern Spain. In late July, Father Steve will return to Santiago de Compostela to serve as the priest-in-charge at the Anglican Chaplaincy where he will greet pilgrims, serve as a host at the Ecumenical Center, and lead Sunday and Wednesday worship services. He will return to the United States in mid-August and spend the remaining weeks exploring the San Juan Islands with his son and David. Father Steve will return to Good Samaritan in September 2020.
 
We are very proud of Father Steve for receiving this award and excited for him and his upcoming sabbatical. We are also grateful for his care in preparing us to experience our own journey during his absence.
 
Congratulations, Father Steve!
 
Lorene Ehlers and Rick Tidball

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