July 19, 2019

Samaritan Ministry Thanks St. Columba’s

Gospel group “Roderick Giles & Grace” put on a rousing performance at St. Columba’s on June 30, to benefit our partner Samaritan Ministry of Greater Washington’s “Empower the Homeless” campaign. “Beyond spectacular,” one attending parishioner exclaimed when the final notes were sung. The group entertained the audience for over an hour at St. Columba’s with a dozen of their favorite songs and spirituals, including “To God Be The Glory,” “O How I Love Jesus,” and “O Fix Me.”  A highlight was a call-and-response song that involved the audience singing along in “He’s Alright With Me.” Giles introduced each song with words of praise and thanksgiving to God for all our blessings. Their joyful and deep faith clearly came through in their music. And it was catching.  More than once Giles had the audience on their feet, clapping their hands and dancing to the rhythm of his voice.

The concert’s purpose was to raise awareness of and funds for Samaritan Ministry’s mission. Executive Director Rev. David Wolf spoke passionately at the concert’s intermission about how Samaritan’s “Next Step” program provides a critical and continuing network of support to nurture, lift, and challenge its program participants – those living on the edge of poverty or otherwise just “stuck” in one of life’s ruts – to identify and take the next steps they need to achieve their goals. Significantly, just under $2,500 was collected at the concert for Samaritan, which was on top of the $3,164 collected from parishioners during Sunday morning services. This generous support will help Samaritan expand its work to reach more participants!

The planning for the concert involved a wide team at St. Columba’s. Operations manager Tony Kittrell and facilities coordinator Mitch Guffanti helped secure, set up, and take down the significant sound equipment that a group like Giles & Grace requires and reserved and set up the tables for the after-concert reception. Parishioners Andrew and Tim Trotter helped significantly with the sound equipment and provided the drum set used by the band. Communications director Barbara McGowan prepared promotional flyers and posters and marketed the concert to the parish, the diocese and neighborhood listserves. Stewardship director Bronwyn Roy helped plan the fundraising aspects of the “Samaritan Sunday” collection during services that Sunday morning. Finance director Karen Sprague provided tools and training to effectuate the Sunday morning collection. Parishioners Helen Darling and John Burgess volunteered their time as ushers at the concert. Parishioner Kathy Sullivan Kolar helped prepare the concert brochure and program. Rev. Jason Cox helped plan and secure the date for the concert and welcomed both the group and all the attendees at the concert, as well as at the after-concert reception.

Thanks to all for your support!
Concert organizers, Joe Kolar and Tom Bauder