At the March 3, 2021 Church Council, I announced that my last Sunday serving as the Designated Pastor at Faith would be Easter Sunday and my last day of service would be Wednesday, April 8, 2021 which will enable me to say farewell to the children who attend Wednesday Sunday School as we are not meeting the week before during Holy Week.
When I was asked by our SEPA Synod Conference Dean, Pr. Bryan Penman, to serve for 2-3 months as the Designation Pastor (formally known as the “Bridge Pastor) at Faith, I think it’s fair to say that none of us had any idea of what 2020 would hold for any of us and, indeed, the entire world. It proved to be a year of extraordinary challenge which required extraordinary creativity and work on the part of many to literally ‘re-create’ life as we know it in all areas of the congregation’s ministry and mission!
Worship happened online and then in person albeit for a limited number to comply with the exacting requirements to achieve safe in-person worship. Christian Education moved online as well with the Monday Bible study, the Sunday Adult Bible Study and the Wednesday Sunday School continuing to happen every week.
VBS happened via Zoom in August. Administration and planning by the various ministry teams continued as well. Property was attended to; food was delivered, caring phone calls and cards were made and sent … Because of my own safety requirements, my entire pastoral functioning happened online or on the phone as well. For me, this was at the beginning a significant challenge which I frankly was dreading because it meant that all my pastoral ‘getting to know you’ and support would happen without the usual and customary in-person physical contact. But I was falling victim to a common human failing: I seriously underestimated the power, creativity, and activity of the Holy Spirit!
As I reflected on yet another ending chapter of ministry, I realized how much of my life and, in fact, all our lives. are a series of endings and beginnings – both large and small - as each new chapter of our life unfolds. As each day comes, we make many decisions from the relatively insignificant such as what to eat or what to wear to the major decisions that will affect the course of our entire lives … and everything in between.
It has been a blessing to serve at Faith and I pray God’s rich blessings on each of you, your families, your work and the ministry & mission of Faith as you move into the future the Lord has in mind for you.
Sincerely, in Christ,
Pr. Mary Konopka, Designated Pastor