A Time to Serve

Weekly Reflection, Sunday, February 2, 2020

By: Kim O’Shea, Vestry Class of 2020

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” – Galatians 6:9

When called to serve on the Vestry in 2017 I felt I had little to contribute. I considered my prior leadership roles to be humble and too many years in the past. But the words of Bob Hetherington rang in my ears – “show up…lean in.” It was time for me to show up. And I’m so glad I did.

We all know that 2017 to 2019 was full of transition and some surprises. We’d established our vision for St. Mary’s through discernment, but our path took some unexpected twists and turns. But I feel certain we are in a good place, heading in the right direction. Never be satisfied and trust the process.

I’ve learned from my time on the Vestry that we can all contribute, and so many do, in ways that are not always apparent when we arrive on Sunday morning. Far too many to name in this space, it’s the people of St. Mary’s who’ve made our transition a success, with new programs, expanded hospitality and fellowship, a resurgent youth program, a financial plan, and so much more. They people of St. Mary’s did not give up; rather by leaning in and recommitting, we’ve begun to reap a humble harvest.

As for my time on the Vestry, I was challenged and rewarded by serving on the Search Committee that called David. The committee spent countless hours patiently listening. I remain inspired by the team’s ability to listen and find common ground. From there my principle responsibility, besides showing up, was to organize the talents of our congregation to ensure that the church’s landscape and yard maintained its beauty and tranquility. And we supported the staff in reestablishing our plans and the requisite paperwork and documentation for the churchyard.

I can’t fully express my appreciation and admiration for our Vestry leaders during my 3 years. Their time and commitment knew no bounds. And their skills, simply amazing; each adapting their strengths and focus to the needs of the church at their appointed time. Al Rider—the brilliant strategist and diplomat. Tracey Ragsdale—so passionate for our mission and inclusive in her leadership. Karen Huennekens is as thorough and organized as they come, with no task too small, all with a sweet smile. I was blessed to work with them and watch them lead. I’d follow them anywhere.

So, my Vestry time helped me to understand how the church works, the perspectives of my fellow parishioners, what we need to continue our mission, and where I can help. It’s all about tilling the soil, planting the seeds and picking the weeds, so that St. Mary’s reaps the full potential of the harvest. I pray for each of you to have the same experience.