I’ve had the pleasure of serving as Sr. Warden for the past 4 years. This year will mark the end of my second two-year term; I served a second term to provide continuity during the building project.
What a beautiful new addition we’ve added! In 2019 the kitchen demolition presented new challenges for a church that knows we all work best and serve Christ most lovingly over the breaking of the bread! Even though our regular Wednesday night meals have been suspended during the pandemic, we still found ways to feed people for special outdoor events, for Breakfast on Broadway, and the ongoing blessing of the Porch House feeding ministry. Many in our community and parish hunger for what we provide. We experience physical, spiritual and emotional hunger for what we receive and share at Emmanuel: God’s love for all.
The building project, preparing Emmanuel for the next 100 years, has been led by Fr Tom Dahlman, Jr Warden Terry Hopkins, former Jr. Warden LeAnne Henry Wright, and a host of volunteers, donors, and our fabulous contractor Greg Cullison and his crews and who cared as much for the continuing life of our church as they did for the beauty and integrity of the building.
I’ve said it before: Fr Tom has proven to be the right rector, the right priest, the right pastor at the right time to lead us into the future. His assessment of the building situation on arrival at Emmanuel, his vision for the future, and his ability to draw people together in collaboration and in God’s name is instrumental in Emmanuel’s success on all fronts.
This year we said farewell to our first curate, Fr Michael Matkin. He and his family joined us in July, 2019, and we came to love them in our nearly-2 years together. He now serves as rector at St Andrew’s, Stillwater.
We look forward to an exciting year ahead: vaccinations promise to end the pandemic so we can resume our normal, noisy, lively, loving life together. We know there will be many new ways for us to serve God in the world, and especially in this community of Shawnee.
Personally, I marvel at all the new ways we have created to stay in touch, to meet, to love each other, and to worship both apart and together during this unprecedented year. I’m so grateful to have served.
Nancy Reese Barrett