Vestry is Sunday February 7th at 11am. Download the Vestry Report here.
The Rector’s Report
Looking back over where we have been together in the year 2015, reminds me of how important our past and our history is to who and what we are today as a church family. It also reminds me how important it is that we remember that the decisions we make today, help us both set our future goals and reach toward them. Our past and our future are shaped in the now. Every day as a church and a Christian community, we act, proclaim, and make decisions that leave a footprint, change a heart, and give witness to our faith in Jesus Christ.
During 2015 we had some uplifting and wonder moments that strengthened us and pointed us forward. I would like to highlight just one or two from each month of the year.
In January, The Rev’d Nancy Rowe and a incredible group of volunteers ran our first Messy Church of the New Year. Every monthly Messy Church is a great gathering that shares the gospel and provides community for parents and children, and all who attend or volunteer.
In February, we had a two Sunday’s with baptisms, where we welcomed new brothers and sisters to our Christian family. We welcomed and baptised 6 Christians into our family in 2015 and through our baptismal and “First Steps” program, we address the needs of the “now” of faith for families, and plant seeds for the future.
In March, we held our annual vestry meeting. It is kind of a business meeting and we have a chance to report and examine the finances, and set a budget, but we also celebrate all of the ministry, groups and volunteers that compose what we are and what we do. We continue to be blessed with amazing volunteer leadership here at St. George’s, thanks to the wardens, our treasurer, our envelope secretary, as well as all our group coordinators and leaders. Vestry is one of those important opportunities to acknowledge all of the many groups and people that help St. George’s be and do all that it does.
In April, we were blessed to have Dr. Jeff Sutherland come and preach for us. His message was powerful, personal, witty, and inspiring. It was wonderful to have Jeff and his family worshiping with us and his sermon demonstrated how God was at work in his life, even as he and his family faces incredible challenges.
In May, I concluded the preparation and presented four of our parish youth for Confirmation at the Cathedral in Hamilton. It is alway a joy to have the opportunity to get to know better some of the young people of our parish and to aid them in their growth in and knowledge of Christ and their faith.
In June, we had two special Sunday’s with one being the church picnic held on our front lawn and the second being a special liturgy called “The Blanket Exercise.” I am grateful for Henriette Thompson’s leadership at this special liturgy that help us become more aware of the history and treatment of this continent’s Aboriginal peoples.
In July, Nancy, again with a great team of volunteers, ran a super VBS program filled with kid’s from the community that communicated both faith and fun.
In August, like every month through the year, St. George’s supports the Halton “Fresh Food Box”. On the fourth Tuesday of the month, St. George’s send a large team of volunteers to help prepare and pack the food boxes at the local packing site, and we also host one of the area distribution points of the box to families and individuals in our community. Through this great program we continue to support local farmers and encourage people in our community to eat healthy!
In September, we saw completed the bulk of the work on our new heating system. I must note, how grateful I am for the wonderful and generous support of the people of St. George’s that we were able in under a year, raise the $120,000 necessary to support this essential work. Also, how grateful we all are to Dan Gartenburg, who, with the support of our small but mighty property committee, designed and oversaw this project from beginning to end.
In October, Stephanie Chong from Credit Valley Conservation spoke to us about the importance of our local watershed, especially Silver Creek, which runs right beside St. George’s. Stephanie connected us to the efforts happening today to protect it’s health and the health of this community where we live.
In November, we held our annual Christmas Bazaar. Not only do we have “the best bazaar in town”, but because of the all the hard work and talents of so many good people here at St. George’s, it was our most financially successful bazaar ever.
In December, we had a fabulous celebration of Christmas over multiple liturgies. The Altar Guild, Servers, Readers, Greeters, Chalice Bearers, all helped make our celebration of the birth of Christ meaningful. Special commendations go to Bruce Ott and all members of our parish Choir for their musical leadership, especially as they rose to the challenge of being in an interim position with the departure of Ron “the Great” Greidanus in mid-October.
As you can see, with only a few of the highlights named, we have had another fruitful year proclaiming the Gospel and following Christ.
There have been a few bumps along the way.
- The discussion with the High School and Halton District School Board, in regards to a possible partnership to better utilize the old rectory property, stalled after a promising start.
- A few long-time members passed away and will be greatly missed.
- We ended the year in a deficit financially.
But, with a new year and the faithful promise of the Gospel, we will proceed with hope founded in Christ.
Thank you, as always, to the leadership of the warden’s Ian Oldaker, Paul Skuriat, Mark Kohler, and Jan Lehman, our past treasurer, Janet Armstrong, and current treasurer, Brenda Sisnett. It continues to be a privilege to do ministry with The Rev’d Nancy Rowe and with Sue Graham as our parish administrative assistant.
I continue to be grateful for the opportunity to minister among the wonderful community here at St. George’s. I am grateful for your support and for the leadership of so many good people.
The Rev’d Canon Robert W.A. Park