Our director of The WPC Christian Education program, Sabrina Legiec welcomed a baby, Tiffany on February 4 and before her maternity leave was over, we were closed. Sabrina had to devise new ways to deliver Sunday School in a world that was already overloaded with Zoom classes. She distributed take home packs and crafts and headed up the annual Sights & Sounds of Christmas, a Holiday Workshop and a fun family event, with hot chocolate, caroling, baking, ornament making, and baby animals arrived at the manger.
Our 3rd Mission trip was cancelled due to COVID-19 but we still sent a donation to The Christian Appalachian Project to help with their work from our very successful Fish and Chips dinner in March. Dinner was served by the mission trip participants and was the last church function held before lockdown. If you are 14 or over this could be your trip of a lifetime.
Education for adults is also a top priority. The Weekday Bible study met faithfully on Wednesdays until March. During Lent, all adults were invited to join in a study of the book “Short Stories by Jesus”. And later in the year, a group met each Sunday to discuss Mark, Job, Mary and other topics brought to us by Office Hours.
The Deacons are always on the job to help and serve in countless ways: delivering meals, sending cards, running errands, as well as just being available to talk.
The Prayer Shawl ministry met once a month and are now knitting from home to create beautiful pieces created from yarn to be given as a blessing to others – a comfort during a time of healing or loss, a life transition, or a time of recovery. Shawls are delivered to grateful recipients with a note of love, prayer and comfort.
The Worship and Discipleship committee assists with preparation for all worship throughout the year, Easter and Christmas services were especially challenging and we appreciate the hard work that went into making these services special under such trying circumstances. Lighting of the Advent candles, liturgists, at home communion, seasonal sanctuary decorations all created their own sets of hurdles. They were especially challenged this year to rethink what it means to worship. We had begun to live stream services with the hope that we could serve those who were unable to attend. Little did we know we would all be worshipping from home.
Psalm 95:1 O Come, let us sing to the Lord: Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! Those who sing each week in the Chancel Choir or play in the Handbell choir live this prayer. We thank director and organist Steven Shellman, for his faithful commitment to worship. Steven has worked hard to maintain the level of music ministry Wyoming is used to, utilizing soloists and musicians. Choir singing is still a little way off yet. The annual Messiah Sunday in December was sorely missed by all. But weekly rehearsals were held on zoom for the choir and the handbells met for fellowship.
Under the leadership of Ebony Wiggins, the Director of Children’s Performance and Music, the Children’s Choir contributed several virtual pieces to worship including the spring musical, UnSelfie, and in December another wonderful musical, Sing with Us the Christmas Story. The children rehearse most weeks online.
SoulFood, a group for all the women of Wyoming, met monthly in the Cottage for evenings of fellowship and renewal. The “Read Your Own Darn Book Club”. Each reader brings personal suggestions for the group. This group hopes to restart this spring.
The Celebrations committee creates opportunities for people of all ages to socialize. And the people of WPC like to socialize. The annual progressive dinner and the Shrove Tuesday Sunday Pancake Breakfast were missed but the committee is already talking about things to do as soon as we can get together safely again.
Special mention should go to the Building and Grounds committee for the interior renovations they have done to the church in your absence. The parlor was renovated, hallways, bathrooms, and stairwells were painted. And work has begun on the third floor (paint and some much needed organizing). I almost forgot Fellowship Hall which was painted last April. When you are back in the building take a look around. They also worked tirelessly painting and making repairs to the manse in preparation for our new Pastor Heather and husband Sam.
During the week, the halls are filled with the voices of the children of Open Door Nursery School. We are grateful for the caring and competent leadership of director, Alethea Randazza. It was a different end and start to the school year with a state mandated limit of 10 students per class. Parents were no longer allowed in the building, and cleaning protocols were ramped up. Open Door remained committed to mission. They donate food and clothing to all the drives and they are swift and responsive to any immediate needs coming from the Elizabeth Coalition.
We also want to thank our Sexton Erik Dolansky who takes care of our home with great care.
We were grateful for the caring and dedicated leadership of our Interim Pastor Caroline Unzaga, who served us for the past two years, finishing in December. She literally helped us reinvent ourselves and prayerfully prepare for our next installed Pastor Heather Brannon who began her work with us in January. We look forward to this next leg on our spiritual journey with Pastor Heather as she shares her spiritual gifts with us during this time of healing.
We thank you who go about your daily lives living your commitments and lifting your hearts to God on line and hopefully back in the pews before long. And in the many hours you gave to volunteering with the work and mission of this church. Without you we would not be the wonderful church family that we are. So be in those virtual pews as often as you can, stay involved. Don’t miss a chance to do “what is right and good in the sight of the Lord”. (Deuteronomy 6:18)
I, for one, thought when we left the building on Friday March 13, we would be back in two weeks. And one year later we are still trying to find our way in this new world.
2020 upended norms and our very idea of normal.
We have suffered tragedies as a nation before and we shall once again rise from this year of covid stronger, wiser, and better with the help and guidance of our God.
May God continue to bless all who find their way to our door.
Be well and blessings to you Wyoming Presbyterian Church. Amen.
Respectfully submitted, Sandy Kramer