Dear Church Family,

2020 has come and gone. Many are thinking, “Good riddance!!” I admit it was a tough year, but looking back, we as a church have much to be grateful for.

We added a new part-time staff member in October.

We have experienced a trial run of doing two services which has gone really well. In fact, many of you have told me you enjoy the new format.

We have improved and grown our online presence. If we were to add the number of regular weekly online viewers to our church attendance numbers, we would be averaging over 150 in attendance each week.

Financially we are doing very well! Overall we have not experienced the financial struggles many churches have during 2020 which is a big praise.

Even with completing some special un-budgeted projects this year such as a $6,500 audio/video upgrade in our sanctuary, $4,500 spent on new front doors, and $3,500 paid for a new poured sidewalk, we are in very good shape. At the time I wrote this, our bookkeeper said we are $8,000 ahead for the year!

Our building loan is now below $25,000!

Our missions giving is the highest it has ever been! Earlier this month we sent over $5,000 to our missionaries as a result of your generous donations during our Thanksgiving offering.

We do have much to be thankful for as a church. But boy, are we hoping 2021 will be better! Here are some of the goals for 2021 I shared at our October business meeting.

Our passion to reach others with the Gospel will grow and we will see 12 people indicate their faith in Christ through baptism.

With the Lord’s guidance, three new training opportunities will begin this next year and continue for years to come:

I will begin meeting with a small group of men to teach them   Bible doctrine and train them to be future leaders at Grace.

A new member class will be offered for those who want to join our church family.

Training on how to present the Gospel to adults and kids will be available.

Through prayer and counsel, a plan to select and develop men for an elder board will be presented to the congregation for a vote.

I am trusting God that we will be out of debt.

God has been faithful to us this past year. Let’s continue to stay faithful to Him and be prepared to be amazed at what He does through us! I love you all!

“Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told.” Habakkuk 1:5

Pastor Daniel

 

Dear Church Family,

December is over and with it comes the end of 2020.  This has not been the year anyone expected, nor one that many have enjoyed.  It has brought many new struggles and difficulties that most of us have never dealt with before.  We have spent a lot of time and energy involved in activities that we didn’t enjoy, but maybe we were surprised by a few that we did enjoy and didn’t expect to.  We have all grown in some way through the turmoil and struggles.  Some in faith, some in family closeness, some in marriages, some in maturity and in so many other ways that stretching times grow us.  Through this year, we have been given a gift as well. A gift that many of us would have chosen to return if possible, but a gift nonetheless.  It is in difficult and challenging times that our true nature is revealed and the character of each of us shines through.  It is easy to put up an image we want others to see when times are good and we can sustain it, but when times of challenge arise, it is far more difficult to continue to keep that façade in place.  We all saw something new revealed about ourselves, about our neighbors and about our country as the uncertainty built. As stress and fear gripped more and more lives without an end in sight, what did you learn from your time in 2020?  What areas of your life did you see weaknesses? What areas did you find hidden strength?  What areas did you see growth?  This opportunity for self-evaluation is a gift worth considering.

I had a conversation this previous Sunday with someone about the possibilities that 2020 afforded us.  We are all probably familiar with the idea of 20/20 vision:    the term used to declare you have good vision and can see clearly.  That was one of the gifts that 2020 made available to us. We had the chance to see clearer who we are as individuals, as a group of believers and as a community and nation.  We got an unobstructed view of the nature that is present in many of the people around us, as well as the true need for hope.  The hope that can only be found in Jesus and a hope that we all have the ability to share with others.  We spent many weeks studying about the end times and how the world is going to look for those who do not have the hope of rapture before the time of the tribulation comes.  We all got to see firsthand as the pain that had been buried beneath a thin surface for many years began boiling over all around us and the facades began to crumble.  We saw the cost of hopelessness written on face after face parading through the streets of many cities across this country and the world.  2021 may not look to be starting out much different than 2020, but it is full of possibilities.  What will you do with the new year?  How will you make it different than the last one?  Take the opportunity to look deeply into your past, your heart and your life.  Look to the future with the hope of Jesus and make some plans to change and to grow in 2021.  Use the 20/20 vision we have been given to see what is possible.

God has given each and every one of us more than we have ever truly realized or made use of.  You are the image of God in flesh and have been given the power of His Spirit.  Jesus stated in John 14:12-14 “12 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.”  I think we can all agree that Jesus did things that most of us don’t believe we are capable of, yet He states that if we believe in Him we will do greater things than He did.  What will you do in 2021?

Pastor Eric