Greetings to all parishioners of St. Matthews! I have met a small group of the congregation upon my arrival at the church in August just prior to my ordination on September 11/21. That day was one of the most important days of my life, and when it all ended, my youngest sister Shelley, who has no affiliation with church, said, “wow, it sounded like you were getting married with all the vows you were taking!” I take my vows as sacred, however, I have a real sense of humor, so when you meet me, don’t be surprised if you hear giggles and laughs!
Prior to coming here I was a parishioner at St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Church, Wpg for twenty three years. In that time I had held the position of Parish Administrator for ten years, and sang in the choir, taught Sunday School, Sides People, Vestry, you name it, I was involved. It was during that time I decided to go to university and get my Master’s of Divinity. I never intended to get involved in clergy work, I had planned to work as a pastoral care provider in a hospital or personal care home. Well, my life took several twists and turns, workings I believe of the Holy Spirit, I began my discernment process to become a Deacon.
I have volunteered at 1JustCity-WestEnd (aka St. Matthews Maryland Ministry) for four years now. Every year more and more people are coming to this ministry for help. They come for food, clothing, a place to come and get warm as many are homeless, and most importantly, having the sense of community. During Covid, Westend was able to set up a clinic for the people to come and get vaccines for Covid! So, what do I do? I join them in conversation, help them out in any given situation if I can. One lady was directed to me asking about baptism, as her daughter has three children would like to become baptized! We are working on this to happen at St. Matthew!
Since my arrival at St. Matthew I have become involved in many areas. Being present in the services and fulfilling the duties of a Deacon by proclaiming the Gospel, prayers of the people and dismissing the church. I presided the Baptism of the Lord service, as we renewed our own baptism vows and have delivered a sermon. Gwen and I meet on and weekly basis planning services and visits to Lion’s Place. Attend bi-monthly Vestry meetings.
To the people I have already met, I look forward to getting to know you better, and for those I yet to meet, I so with great anticipation! God Bless, and may you all remain safe in health during this time of loosening restrictions!
— Deacon Colleen