2017 marks my first full year as a Deacon and what a year!
Developing relationships with our charities, the Outreach Committee (consisting of Fr. Reid, Rev. Kathy Hulin, Jeff Cox Jr., Bob Scarr, Ed Headington, David Fernandez and myself) developed a focus for our outreach efforts. By doing this we would be able to engage the parish. The results of this focus were phenomenal. The Gang Task Force outings went from 3 in attendance on the first one to almost one hundred on the third outing. The Talbot house dinner produced the same result. The VISTE Thanksgiving dinner delivery and other events where All Saints’ engaged to reach out to those in need showed the love of Christ to our community*.
It was also my first full year as a chaplain for the Lakeland Police Department. This has been rewarding to serve our police department employees in their service to our community. They appreciate our support, so when you see a police officer or other employee, tell them you are from All Saints’ and you support them in thoughts and prayers. They will appreciate your words of encouragement.
I was also inducted as a chaplain for the Polk County Sheriff’s Department. This is relatively new and has been a rewarding experience.
Look forward to visits from the Lakeland Police Chief Larry Giddens (March 11) and Sheriff Grady Judd (April 22) in the coming weeks.
What a tremendous year of outreach! The bar has been raised for 2018 outreach activities. All Saints’ will be known by all our city officials to be a church of action and purpose for the betterment of our community.
Being your Deacon for 2017 was a privilege and an honor. I also want to thank all of you for your support. I have enjoyed my first year as your Deacon and look forward to many more years.
May God prosper your 2018 with many blessings,
~ Deacon Bob
* Since this article was written, we also participated in the 34th Annual Lakeland Crop Walk and raised over 250 pounds of food and had nearly 80 in attendance on the day of the walk!