Before we enter 2014, let’s take a moment to give thanks to God for the amazing blessings of 2013. God is so good to us! We celebrated Pastor Santiago’s 10 years of ordained ministry at Gloria Dei. We entered into a new partnership with First Lutheran Church in East Greenwich. We shared a potluck and organized a concert series together. We said good bye, celebrated, and gave thanks to Pastor Rick and Judy Kremer for their five years of ministry with us.
The afternoon service started a wonderful fundraising endeavor and community outreach project – the yard sale! We thank Margarita Del Pozo, Mercedes Batista, Elianny Marte, Elvis Reyes and Anllelys Acosta for their joyful leadership!
Keila Rodriguez, has continued to lead the Step Up Center’s powerful ministry , helping immigrants, directing a music school, offering ESL classes, and leading a great Glory Days 2013!.
We give thanks for our ESL teachers, Joyce Collard, Dorna Shafaee-Moghadam, and Ashley Vanderweele! We recognize Cassandra Chavez, Vimar Rodriguez, Mike Tourinho, and Akisch Lenus who have been steadfast in their commitment to the youth and provided boundless energy and inspiring faith.
We lift up Rafaelina Olivences and Sandra Martinez for their financial help with the offering and in the kitchen. We celebrate the musical gifts of Modesto Batista, Cassandra Chavez, Robertico Arias, Saye Sendolo, Gerson Lazo, Daniela Navarrete, Margaret Dyson, and Philip Mathieu.
The Rhode Island Council of Churches recognized Dick and Jeanne Johnson, Vimar Rodriguez, and Gloria Shafaee-Moghadam as Heroes of Faith! We thank George Von Keller for his faithful service and dedication to recognizing Marshall Nordquist with an official plaque.
Pastor Santiago started the first Spanish Language School of Lay Ministry – Academia de Teologia y Laico. We give thanks for Dede Bruns for engaging as the new editor of the Newsletter and Lydia Mwasha for being our new webmaster.
Financially, we are learning the power of resilience! We give thanks for Grace Rocha’s gentle leadership as Treasurer.
In 2014, we will take the opportunity to share more about these gifts to God and the church in this newsletter. There are many new and inspiring ministries at Gloria Dei. There are many wonderful examples of lay leadership. Let’s share them, let’s inspire others, let’s share this good news!
Stay tuned to the newsletter! You can look forward to learning more about these powerful ministries and leaders in 2014!
Gloria Dei Council President