“Courage” may not mean what we think. The root of “courage’ is the Latin word “cor,” for “heart.” We associate courage with being heroic, brave, strong. It means much more than this. Having courage means being heart-centered. Allowing our faith to move from head to heart. Sharing losses and joys with humility, honesty and integrity — from the heart.
As we experience life’s deaths and resurrections, being heart-centered is central to maintaining healthy community. At no time in our lifetime have we experienced more upheaval, disruption, and fear than in the past 18 months. We have seen glimpses of resurrection as well.
Pohick is weathering this era of pandemic and political divisiveness with grace, perseverance, and resilience! Leaning on God for strength and wisdom, Clergy, Vestry, Staff, and Laity have prayerfully pivoted “on a dime” to keep Pohick safe while maintaining strong community.
From the first week of pandemic in March 2020, we’ve intentionally built and maintained community. We began streaming worship and reflections via FB Live, with an I-phone and one priest. Gathering guidelines changed frequently. We pivoted from worship in the Rectory, to Courtyard, to Church –with or without music.
We’ve never slowed down. Rarely looked back. We assembled a group of Pohickians to plan. While maintaining precious traditions, we continued to innovate throughout 2021.
We assembled tech-savvy parishioners to replace Pohick’s outdated technology. We created a new Digital A/V System for worship and created a ministry to run it. Thanks to a generous gift, we ran internet into our historic church and installed state of the art cameras linked to a digital control center. We implemented a Wednesday Zoom compline service. We built a pastoral care phone tree, and offered Zoom-based Bible studies, VBS, Christian Ed and Outreach.
Live-streaming FB live services virtually has connected our community and the world. There have been up to 5,000 views per Sunday! Pohick diaspora has re-connected, and newcomers have engaged, as well as shut-ins! We’ve shared messages of God-with-us in suffering, and hope in resurrection. Bridging heritage with future, we’ve embraced moderation and civility.
In 2020-2021, Pohickians contributed to a healthy stewardship season! As we provided generously for new technology, personnel, and other needs, the fruit of our Gospel mandate to “make disciples” has flourished! Newcomers and visitors continue to join us weekly.
We were blessed with gifted new staff: Rev. Celal Kamran and Music Minister David Leahey, who manages our web page. Our Assistant Rev. Celal has applied insightful gifts as EYC and Family Minister. We have returned with joy to in-person services in our beloved church!
We are grateful for Pohick’s faithfulness and love! We hope to build on that momentum in 2021-22. We intend to be “Courageous in Community,” this year’s stewardship theme.
Old-timer and newcomer speakers are courageously sharing moving stories. While most speak in person, others are recorded. Please watch for their stories via email, website, and FB!
We rejoice and give thanks for how we’ve maintained a strong sense of community throughout the pandemic, worldwide chaos, and division. Yet there is more to do. 2021-22 goals include:
- Build upon our sense of Christian community. Create prayer and small groups.
- Maintain and enhance new Digital Ministry for worship, study, and communication.
- Support gifted staff and ministries. Enhance IT and hybrid capabilities.
- Re-brand historic church: transitioning from “museum,” to lively faith community.
- Develop clearer, bigger, informational signage, strategically placed.
- Create a Virtual Tour with Mount Vernon’s tech assistance.
- Emphasize spiritual heritage, contemplative prayer life, and message of moderation.
- Enhance ways we serve and minister to families, shut-ins, youth and children.
- Implement additional pastoral and grief support, including Military Support.
- Build a permanent accessibility ramp and elevator.
In 2022 we will practice being courageous and sharing stories. This begins with adult forums on loss and healing. Through “Courageous in Community: One Body One Spirit One Hope,” listen to:
- Sermons about suffering and practicing courage and hope together in uncertain times
- Stories of people who have discovered Pohick digitally and connected in new ways
- Stewardship Perspectives encouraging us to respond to God’s presence with gratitude
Please prayerfully consider how you will contribute to Pohick’s heart-centered ministry. How will you courageously share your heart? How will you contribute time, talent and treasure?
In Christ’s Love,