Pastor Wayne here!
It is hard to believe that we are already into the middle of January of the new year. It is may hope and prayer that 2022 will be a better year for all of us going forward.
This weekend marks the true beginning of a new lectionary series entitled, “Love Never Ends: Being the Body of Christ.” For the next seven weeks in this Season after the Epiphany, we will focus on the epistle lessons from 1 Corinthians 12-15 as we look at the gifts that God has given us and how we use them. I hope that you will plan to join us in worship on Sunday morning.
This weekend also marks the observance of Peace with Justice Sunday as we acknowledge Martin Luther King weekend. Our Bishop has shared a message with us. Click here to view it. In observance of Martin Luther King Day, the office will be closed on Monday, January 17. Other than Monday, our office hours this coming week will be Tuesday: closed, Wednesday: 9-12, and Thursday: 9-4.
I want to personally say thank you to Linda Derrick, Louise Hodges, and all of the people who saw to it that our Sanctuary decorations were the best that they could be. The comments about the combination of the poinsettias and the manger scene were very positive. Some folks even thought that the manger figurines were new when, in fact, they had been hidden by being placed on the altar. Thanks also to everyone who took a role in lighting the Advent wreath and other observances. All of it made for a special Advent and Christmas Season.
We had a good day at the Free Store this past Thursday. We continue with an appointment only system. The numbers will be reported in the bulletin this Sunday. Thank you for your support for this ministry.
While we are still in the process of closing out our financials for the past year, it looks like we hit our target for pledge and plate offerings for 2021. In addition, we have kept a close eye on expenditures and should close 2021 in a good financial position. I will have a full report in the February Newsletter. Thank you for your support.
As we look back on the previous year, we have encountered some challenges. As we look forward to 2022, we can envision some more challenges. The thing that we need to remember is that through ALL of the challenges that we face, GOD IS WITH US. On that idea, we can hang all of our issues and concerns. As we have celebrated in Advent and Christmas, God loves us enough to have sent Emmanuel, God with us, Jesus Christ, to teach us how to love and how to relate to one another.
As we enter another year, I thank you for the 3 1/2 years that we have been together so far. And I look forward to the time we will have together going forward. Speaking of that time together, it looks like we are seeing a spike of COVID infections in our immediate area. Therefore, we are strongly suggesting, but not requiring, that you wear masks whenever we are together in Sunday school and Church.
Thank you so much for being who you are. I am thrilled to be your pastor.