“For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.” – Ps 88.2
As 2020 draws to a close, it is fitting to look back and give thanks for the year that has been. While it has been a challenging year, there are still many things that we, as a community, can be thankful for. For me, community is first and foremost about relationships – our relationship with God and our relationships with each other.
When I look back over this year, I am so thankful for the many people that worked together to maintain our connection as a community and made it possible to gather and celebrate as a community.
I want to thank and encourage the members of the Parish Team (Bev, Carleen, Col, Debbie) for stepping up in unpredictable circumstances; our Parish Finance Council (Maryanne, Peter and John) for their creativity and flexibility; our Liturgy and Formation Team and our Music Ministry (Bernadette, Debbie, Kathy, Marie, Maureen, Moira, Petrina, Phil A, Phil M and Wiesia) for their imagination and adaptability; our Parish Vision Team for continuing to dream; all those who volunteered to be trained in COVID safety and serve our community at our gatherings; everyone who continued serving in their ministries; our temporarily formed Communications Team that reached out to parishioners during lock-down with special mention of the McWilliams and the electronic newsletter that they produced; the DARA team for preparing and delivering meals; our grounds-people and gardeners who kept our space maintained and looking inviting; the ALPHA Team (locally Jessie and Marie) for successfully delivering ALPHA Online; the SVdP Conference for their valuable work; our principal, Charlene, and all the staff at St Joseph’s Primary for all their hard work keeping our school running and safe in extraordinary conditions; our priests, Fr Geoff and Fr Kevin for their guidance and wisdom; and to all of you in our St Joseph’s family for working together with us, for looking out for each other and continuing to build the bonds of community.
I would also like to honour the much unseen work of Richard Porteous this past year. Richard was instrumental in developing our fire safety plans that were needed as 2020 began. Richard was a vital member of our Parish Team, Finance Council, Vision Team, SVdP Conference, and had recently taken up the role of Promoter of Safeguarding for our parish. He brought the gift of his knowledge and experience to each of these spaces. Richard was always up to speed on Government regulations and helped devise our COVID safety response. His greatest gift was the gift of himself – his time, his energy and his friendship.