Engaging Partners in the Pandemic: Empowering our Neighbors in Need!

Our highly successful campaign to engage our partner churches and schools during the pandemic, through the Empower our Neighbors in Need (ENN) campaign, came to a close on Sept. 30.  For a campaign that ran half as long as usual (July–Sept. v. April–Sept.), it was highly successful, with15 partners engaged in the campaign: 14 had ENN Covid-19 drives; and 11 held Samaritan Ministry Sundays and/or weekday engagements featuring participant-graduate Ms. Antoinette Green, who regularly partnered with  me via Zoom for the speaking engagements. You will recall that Antoinette was our featured participant speaker for the Next Step Breakfast – but when the live NSB was canceled, she recorded her remarks which, along with other speakers’ recordings was sent to each of our supporters and volunteers on the day of the breakfast, March 12.  Denied the live experience on March 12, Antoinette became nothing short of a star, telling her story over and over again as part of our (11) Zoom-based partner engagements!  In the process, Antoinette has grown in confidence and effectiveness as telling her story and engaging congregational members with me, either in adult forums or during virtual coffee hours. 

Before today, we hadn’t actually seen each other in person since March 12. But that didn’t stop us from nurturing our collaboration, engagement after engagement, in addition to prepping and debriefing between engagements.  It’s been quite a ride and Antoinette has just soaked it all in . . . she’s fabulous!

One of the more fascinating dynamics in this virtual era is our capacity to do “joint engagements” between or among churches who are worshipping together and wish to have a “Samaritan Ministry Sunday” together.  Notable examples include the dual engagement of Transfiguration and Good Shepherd churches, both in Silver Spring – and the most creative engagement of all, organized by powerhouse partner St. Luke’s: The “trifecta” of Calvary  in NE DC St. George’s Episcopal Church and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, both in  NW DC.  In each of these collaborations there were non-partner churches who were wonderful edified by who we are and what we do at Samaritan (typically summarized , in advance of Antoinette taking center stage), but most especially Antoinette’s powerful testimony about her journey and the impact that Samaritan Ministry, notably the STRIVE training had on her growth and development.  As a result of both engagements, the non-affiliated churches are now considering becoming partner churches, namely St. George’s, DC and Good Shepherd, Silver Spring.       

Thank you, Partner Churches, for wonderful ENN campaign engagements!