Why I Give: LINDA & MARK GOLUSKIN
In June of 1992, Mark Goluskin drove up the driveway at 535 West Roses Road to attend his first service at Church of Our Saviour. “It flowed and made sense,” Mark remembers, and by 1994, he had become well involved. After having been baptized and confirmed, he became the self-proclaimed “donut man” who ensured parishioners had enough coffee and sweets after service.
A few years later another parishioner, Marie Lopez, invited Linda to this church she loved so much and took her under her wing. Linda says, “She became a godmother to me as I came into the church, explaining the Book of Common Prayer and everything else . . . She drastically changed my life. I don’t know where I would be without her introduction to this church.”
Mark and Linda met and were married at COS in 2000.
Since then, Mark has been a lay eucharistic minister, a member of the transitional housing advisory committee, a Vestry member, and a representative at convention. Linda has been a senior high youth leader, greeter, usher, lay eucharistic minister, women’s Bible study group member, a Vestry member twice, and an AIDS luncheon participant. She has sat on the newcomer committee, the altar guild, and the transitional housing advisory committee. Linda has found COS “A place of respite, information, and [a place] to become closer to God. I had never had a spiritual direction before I found all of these wonderful things . . . and I met my husband. . . . When you love your church and are being fed by it, you want to give back, be on committees, be involved, and bring God into people’s lives. That’s what it’s all about.”
Linda recalls seeing a need and pitching in.
“I remember when Ed Andersen volunteered to help paint the Altar Guild room: he spearheaded the project and we all chipped in. He saw a need and we worked together to take care of it. I previously wasn’t at any church long enough to ‘pledge’. When you put God as number one in your life, that’s what you do.”
When it comes to the future of COS, the Goluskins think COS has the right combination of tradition and innovation. “Jeff is very innovative. He understands what works and what doesn’t. He really tries to know everyone in this community and having the Chinese ministry here is an example of that. He genuinely cares for people. One example is the Fall festival, where we combined church, school and community talent. We use our outreach well and it’s part of our church. Why downplay all of the good that we do?” Linda concurs and says, “The sky’s the limit with Jeff. He’s open to looking at things in a new way. I think the world is his oyster and he’s just a fantastic fit for our church and we’re so lucky to have him.”
“I love this church. It’s been a place where I’ve grown spiritually, and I met my wife here,” Mark says. In the spirit of the stewardship season, Mark says pledging “is important because it strengthens your relationship with God, at the end of the day. We can’t all give what we want but we find ways to give money and time.” Linda agrees, “pledging is just what you do when you’re a committed Christian. Would my life be over if I didn’t spend $50 on a concert? Or should I give that to my church? The answer is, I’m going to give to my church.” Mark continues, “If we don’t give, there’s no church, and we need the lights for the service. And while we can’t all give what we want, we find ways to give money and time.” Linda continues, “I think if you truly love God and you truly love your church and all of the things they’re doing in your life, you’ll want to give time, talent and money. All three are a necessity.”