This past year has been another busy year for me. I continue to serve on the Clergy Day Committee, which is responsible for developing continuing education opportunities for the clergy in the Diocese. It has been redesigned, so we do more of our work via e-mail or conference calls. We serve as an advisory group for the Bishop.
I also serve on the Executive Counsel of Deacons for the Diocese. My role on that committee is that of chaplain for the deacon community. This role has kept me busy, as there have been many in our community with serious illnesses or whose family member has been ill and /or passed away.
I currently serve as chaplain for the Deacon Formation Program. While the classroom part of the program is over and I no longer have to be gone over a weekend four times a year, I continue to serve as chaplain to the students until they become ordained. Please continue to pray for the Deacon Formation Program.
Last October, I again served the Diocesan Convention as assistant secretary under the secretary, Leigh Spahr. That continues to be a real pleasure. Leigh serves the diocese in that capacity and does a great job. The convention this year tried electronic voting. The results were instant and made our work a lot easier.
I was asked to return to the Steering Committee for Spruce Run Woman Care Alliance, which was re-named Partners For Peace in July. I was brought on as co-chair of the Steering Committee and chair the meetings that are held at the Bangor Resource Center. Meetings are also held at the Dover Resource Center. We meet on the third Thursday of every month. I have served on various hiring committees there as well.
I am now Secretary of the Faith Linking in Action Board. That has been active as it develops bylaws and continues to develop FLIA as a subsidiary of Food and Medicine. We meet about once a month.
On the local level, I serve you all, here at St. Patrick’s in my role as deacon. I coordinate the Lay Eucharistic Visitor Program, which has been active this year. I also serve as chair of the Outreach Committee, which has also been very active this past year. Please refer to the Outreach Report found elsewhere in the Annual Reports.
I have visited many parishioners and am always available to be a support to you all in any way I can.
I have also continued to coordinate the Creative Crafts and Conversations group on Monday evenings from 6:00-7:30 in the undercroft. This group has several members who have a lot of fun creating items for the fair, prayer shawls for those in need, and quilts. Please speak to Lisa Chambers, Fr. Rick, or me if you know anyone who might benefit from a prayer shawl. We continue to seek ways to engage the neighborhood and have two regular attendees, who are members of the neighborhood, but do not attend St. Patrick’s.
I have also been the designated driver for your Living Local Team as we attend events in Waterville. I work with Fr. Rick as part of the clergy of Living Local. As clergy, our job is to get out of the way of the team and observe what they are doing.
This year we also began a group called Refreshment Spirituality that meets on the third Saturday of every month from 9:00-10:30 for a light breakfast and reflection time. An assigned facilitator comes prepared with a reflection topic, which could be a poem, a meditation, or a question. Together, with a designated time keeper, that person leads us through a time of reflection and active listening. We also share in a light breakfast. It has been meaningful to those who have attended. There have been anywhere from five to a dozen who attend the group. People don’t have to commit to coming every time, just come as you are able. If you are interested in more information, I would be happy to help you.
Professionally, I continue to work part time for Care and Comfort. I work with children and adults who live on the fringes and have found this work to be very challenging and enjoyable. I am also responsible for supervising the staff working in the homes, who carry out the treatment plans that the families and I have created. I mostly work with women and children and continue to assist in educating others about the issues of abuse and trauma.
I look forward to serving with you in 2018 as we continue to seek God in our neighborhood.
May God continue to bless you in your various ministries…and there are many. It is a real pleasure to serve as deacon among you.