Annual Ministry Reports 2022



In this special section of The Messenger, our many ministry leaders share the past year’s highlights, challenges, and their hopes for the future.

A Child’s Garden School

Rose Boyagian, ACGS Director


What were the highlights of the year for your ministry?

Despite our ongoing pandemic situation, our biggest highlight was keeping our school community safe and allowing children to explore, learn, and feel welcomed in a nurturing environment. We were able to continue our annual traditions while following the appropriate guidelines and protocols, yet keep the fun of preschool alive. Enrollment continues to grow and our school is only four children away from reaching its full capacity.


What challenges did your ministry face?

As most can imagine, in working in a preschool with over 90 children and their families, the challenge has been keeping all healthy and safe. It has been a challenge for us to safely allow the children to socialize and learn from one another during an ongoing pandemic. Children at this age are struggling and are confused about the concept of masking. They prefer and ask to read our lips and have a tough time keeping their masks on and above their nose, and let’s be real—we love to see their smiles, and so we miss that too!


What are your hopes for the future?

Our first hope is to maintain a high enrollment rate for the upcoming school year and—let’s face it—we have become professionals at keeping our children safe while providing such an enriching preschool experience. We hope to bring back parent involvement and include families in all our future events. There is a beauty in community and, as the Director, my hope would be to grow stronger with my school community and watch your children grow.


 

Acolytes

Hannah Riley, Acolyte Coordinator


What were the highlights of the year for your ministry?

Of all the different ministries and activities I have participated in throughout my Episcopalian lifetime, the COS Acolyte Squad is hands-down my favorite. I was reluctant because we only had four returning acolytes last year—all our seasoned acolytes had either graduated or had found other life-giving commitments. God really showed off, and we now have 24 acolytes!! This is the highlight—these 24 servers. They are devoted, engaged, and often hilarious. We are made up in equal parts of kids (and some adults!) from both our English-speaking and Mandarin-speaking communities. There are sister teams and brother teams and sister and brother teams. We have twins and best friends. I love the full-body reverential bows and the serious procession of the Gospel book. I love explaining the ancient traditions of the Episcopal Church. I love the leadership of our returning acolytes. I love the chaos of vesting and watching these acolytes—all from different backgrounds and experiences—learn to work together and find that serving God is both holy and fun.


What challenges did your ministry face?

The challenges we face are the best kinds of challenges. Because of our explosion of interest, we are short on acolyte robes. Acolytes of years past were very tall. We are on the shorter side. Organizing cassocks and

surplices and finding the right sizes is consistently chaotic. With some creative budgeting and fundraising, I am confident we can solve this “challenge.” The other challenge is another great challenge to have: scheduling. Navigating family teams, golf practice, dance rehearsals, cheer competitions, and so on is a Herculean task but one that gives great joy upon completion.


What are your hopes for the future?

My hope is to continue to grow our squad, both outwardly and inwardly. We will continue to hone our skills and look for wonderful ways to serve during worship. With Jeff’s help, my biggest goal is to create and host an “Acolyte Olympics”—an event where we will invite other diocesan churches to compete and to celebrate our acolytes across the diocese. I also plan to more deeply explore the mechanics of what makes our program so successful and how it has created an incredible bridge between our English and Mandarin communities. I feel that this is true work of evangelism and inclusivity in the Episcopal Church. I cannot wait to see what the next year brings with this incredible, rowdy, and holy ministry!


 

Altar Guild

Juli Kennedy, Altar Guild Directress


What were the highlights of the year for your ministry?

I feel Christmas and our church community coming together to make the garlands that hung in the nave

was a highlight. So many members came together to prepare the church for the celebration of Christmas. I also love that members of the Altar Guild are arranging our own Altar Flowers. Georgie Erskin has done a class in flower arranging for altar guild members and more flower arranging classes will be scheduled in the future.


What challenges did your ministry face?

The pandemic and regathering have posed challenges for the Altar Guild. The guild has several members that are not yet ready to return to in-person attendance. The guild has also lost some members through death. As we have regathered, some of our procedures are different. Guild members are constantly needing to be prepared for changes in services and ways of preparing the altar. The addition of a service in the afternoon has also challenged the altar guild.


What are your hopes for the future?

My hope for the future is to several months in a row when the procedures for preparing for Sunday mornings are unchanged. The altar guild is a dedicated group of women and I hope to add more members to this group that does the work of the church.


 

Adult Formation

Kit Shenk


What were the highlights of the year for your ministry?

The major highlight of the Adult Formation Ministry is that we were able to meet in person for much of 2021. Our ministry consists of Sunday morning Forums, the C. S. Lewis Group, and Journey in Joy Women’s Bible Study. The Forum committee organized its programs around a “four-legged stool”: Faith Formation, Fellowship, Outreach Ministry updates, and Education. We responded to parables as the

Reverend Annie Thornberg led us in Godly Play, explored Gratitude with Ed Andersen, listened to Marcia Kreditor’s inspired reading of Silver Packages, participated in the Kilians’ annual Christmas Carol program, and explored Advent and Epiphany. We shared our stories at round table discussions and learned of ordination stories from Reverends Katherine, Jeff, and Thomas. The C. S. Lewis Group, led by Nancy Ballance, studied The Weight of Glory, The Abolition of Man, and The Problem of Pain” and watched a 10-week video series about the author. Journey in Joy’s Women’s Bible study, led by Kit Shenk and Rosemary Choate, read Women of the Bible Speak and shared stories of gratitude and is now studying the Gospel of Luke. The most important highlight of our ministry is the involvement of COS parishioners and staff in planning, leading, and participating in our programs.


What challenges did your ministry face?

The major challenge has been the on- and off-again nature of meetings due to COVID-19 protocols. We are looking forward to greater participation in person as COVID wanes.


What are your hopes for the future?

As we continue in 2022, we hope for greater participation in our Sunday Forums and the continuation of our current Bible and book studies. We also look forward to additional Adult Formation offerings for the parish and for opportunities to invite the surrounding community to join us.



 

Audio & Streaming Team

John Ballance


What were the highlights of the year for your ministry?

Our Audio/Video Team members manage the sound levels inside the church during the several worship services. During the COVID shutdown of the in-person services inside the church, our team was on hiatus. Returning to live in-person services in the church has enabled the team to resume its Sunday duties. With the addition of live video streaming of the services, team members will also begin managing the video cameras that now broadcast the services.


What challenges did your ministry face?

During the COVID shutdown of in-person, in-church services, the Audio/Video Team was unable to perform its duties. Once in-person services were able to resume, our team members eagerly resumed their Sunday morning duties in the audio booth at the back of the church. Regrettably, two of our team members were unable to return to their once-a-month team duties, so the team is in need of a few more volunteers to fill out our monthly schedule. Additionally, with the addition of the video streaming of two of the Sunday morning services, we need additional volunteers to help operate the video cameras.


What are your hopes for the future?

Ideally, we need one team member to operate the sound settings at each of the weekly 8:00 a.m. services, and two team members to operate both the audio settings and the video cameras at each of the weekly 10:00 a.m. services. To meet that staffing need, the team needs to find and train eight new members to help manage the audio and video settings for the Sunday morning services. The audio and video needs for the 11:15 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. services are evolving and may require additional Audio/Video Team support. Additionally, replacing the legacy audio equipment in the church, which is gradually failing, is becoming a priority. Upgrading the equipment will ensure that in-person worshipers are able to hear the liturgy as well as expand our capability to provide quality video streaming of our services and enhanced concert audio/video programming.


 


Communications

Hannah Riley, Communications Director


What were the highlights of the year for your ministry?

The best part of 2021 was being able to see the campus come back together in person and activities explode—and then communicate that out to the parish. Because of COS’s uptick in activity, we have been able to boost our social media presence—some of these Instagram and Facebook posts have received unprecedented traction in the wider community. Another highlight was finishing and printing the new brochure with (gasp) correct information, gorgeous photography, and an insert to reflect our featured service times (we had a special one for our Advent and Christmas offerings). The brochure project was carefully and creatively shepherded by our amazing Communications Team. Most importantly, we have been able to engage parishioners to participate in our communications effort: Peggy O’Leary and the Mandarin community have helped create beautiful marquis sign displays, Carrie and Addie Voris have submitted beautiful Sacred Garden photo updates, Rose Gonzalez from Our Saviour Center has contributed fascinating human interest pieces for our blog and newsletter, just to name a few.


What challenges did your ministry face?

Because of the ever-increasing activity at COS, news doesn’t happen on a 9–5 schedule. Our biggest challenges are receiving breaking news and then quickly turning that news out to the parish. One of the ways we are working on combatting this issue is to work more closely with our Vestry and Rector to ensure that important news and events are relayed to the parish in a more timely fashion.


What are your hopes for the future?

We hope to grow in our creativity in 2022. As we continue to transition back into “normalcy,” we want to better market our growing community—our website, social media, and newsletter should reflect this growth. We hope to continue to find new ways to spread the Word of God through COS’s robust campus life. Our greatest hope is that our media presence accurately and seamlessly reflects our beautiful parish community.


 

Chamber Music Concert Series

Dustin Seo, Staff Cellist


What were the highlights of the year for your ministry?

It has been a unique bl

essing to be able to share classical music programming at Church of Our Savior in


2021-2022. All three events have been rewarding and learning opportunities for me personally, and I believe that they have been well received by the COS community, and the larger SGV community. The October event on October 30 was particularly successful, with a larger than expected attendance, and all the musicians felt deeply grateful for the opportunity to share our music with folks who are genuinely listening and engaged.


What challenges did your ministry face?

As this is a pilot program, everything has been confirmed on the fly, with not much broader arch or missions in place. It has been a little scrappy since events were put together relatively last-minute.


What are your hopes for the future?

Looking forward to the opportunity to present a whole series with ample time to plan ahead and to create a meaningful programmatic arc as the concert series evolves into a full calendar season as opposed to one-off events.



 

Chinese Ministry & Li Tim Oi Center

The Rev. Dr. Thomas Ni, Associate for Chinese Ministry


What were the highlights of the year for your ministry?

Chinese Ministry: In 2021 we started the New Year with an online New Year’s Eve midnight prayer. We pre-videorecorded our worship services and posted them in our Church’s WeChat group, and we also managed to send these worship service recordings to China before we started in-person service. Every day during the last year, we posted a short biblical lesson with a reflection on it and a prayer every morning and a Compline or an evening prayer every evening. During the season of Lent we made a serial of videos introducing the Lent and special prayers, including the Fourteen Stations of the journey of the Cross. We kept our weekly Bible Study and Dance class via Zoom and other fellowships. We celebrated

the Moon Festival together with our English-speaking members, had a special thanksgiving sharing on Thanksgiving Day and a Christmas party with people from the community.


Li Tim-Oi Center: In 2021, we gave two lay leadership training courses, one on the Episcopal Liturgy and the Book of Common Prayer, which was open to all Chinese congregations in the Episcopal Church, and had some students from the Diocese of New York and Diocese of Long Island; the other was on Social Justice, Racial Reconciliation, and Building Beloved Community.


What challenges did your ministry face?

The biggest challenge in 2021, of course, has been the pandemic, which prevented people from attending Sunday worship and fellowships. The other challenges included the lack of in-person contact/connection, the difficulties in livestreaming, and discomfort with Zoom meetings. Li Tim-Oi Center: We need more qualified lecturers to teach the courses. We need textbooks in Chinese for the courses.


What are your hopes for the future?

I hope the pandemic will end soon, that we can restart ministry programs and develop new programs to welcome parishioners back to church and attract new people to our church. I hope we can raise up more lay leaders and have financial resources necessary for these programs. I also hope we can find a good way to develop online ministry and community. Li Tim-Oi Center: I hope we can get more Chinese clergy involved in this important program and more lay leaders from other dioceses participating in the courses we are going to offer.