On this first day of the new year, I give thanks to God for all that we accomplished in 2020, a devastating year like no other. Here are a few highlights, in no particular order, that give me joy in the midst of an ongoing feeling of loss:
- At heart, we are people who desire Christ-centered community. This desire for connection found fresh expression through socially-distanced church school, youth group and indoor and outdoor worship.
- Thanks to guidelines formulated by the vestry, and the nimble proactive approach taken by our wardens, all our members and staff were kept safe while on site.
- Much love was generated throughout 2020, as pastoral care found expression through the many phone calls made by members of a rapidly constituted care team, as well as by yours truly.
- In a spirit of hope and celebration, adult and youth members of our church volunteered, attended and supported the Juneteenth Festival of African-American Arts and Culture held in Irvington.
- In response to national events, the vestry published a Statement on Racial Justice that committed the parish to working towards becoming an anti-racist organization.
- With the “overnight” curtailment of in-person worship, virtual church services were rapidly instituted, culminating in a robust HD streaming platform for ongoing and future use.
- Thanks to a very successful Stewardship Campaign, we ended a long and hard year on a high note, reflecting our collective resilience, generosity of spirit and hope for 2021.
Wishing you all a New Year tempered by resilient joy, hope and love,
Gareth Evans serves as the rector of St. Barnabas. He is an inspirational leader who brings significant pastoral experience, a depth of reverence in worship, and a relatable preaching style.