Well here we are in November. It’s been almost a year since I joined you as your pastor. It was just a little more that a year ago that I took the step to become a pastor full time. In the moment I told the District Superintendent that I felt God was telling me it was time to leave the job I had been doing for over thirty years, I had no idea how fast that transition would happen. God had a plan and me and my family have been blessed beyond anything we could ever imagine. It has been such a blessing to be a part of this church family.
This past year has been a lot like riding a rollercoaster. Our first few months together were awesome with the season of Advent and Christmas. The Christmas parade, the Christmas Cantata and Christmas eve candlelight services were magical. January and February brought lots of planning and hope for what would be. Then, COVID-19 became our reality.
It looked like we would be completely shut down for ever. Not this church family. During the time when so many couldn’t worship together, we found a way. What a blessing it has been as your pastor to find ways to come together and worship God with you. Even though it has brought its own challenges, we used Facebook live for worship services, the Love Feast for Maundy Thursday and a Good Friday service with Kara.
We moved from strictly online to drive in worship in the parking lot. There were some who wanted to see your pastor 30 feet in the air in a bucket truck. We not only worshiped together but also ministered to our neighbors in our community as some came out to join us.
We continued to serve over 150 in our area through the Shepherds Harvest Food Pantry and Senior Box program. We helped others through our diaper drive program and others outreaches as well. Even though Covid tried its best to shut us down.
We recently began our new children’s program by beginning a “Children’s Church” during our service time. I believe that it has been a blessing for our kids. Though it they get to not only be a part of our church time during the reading of our liturgies and singing and a children’s time. They also get to spend time together learning about God in a way better suited for their age group. Recently they have been learning from the book of Exodus. They have also had some special events such as movie night and are getting ready for Christmas as they will have another night on December 5th and will be decorating a tree at the city park as well as their own in the fellowship hall.
I am so looking forward to all we have been planning for the rest of the year. There will not be a Cantata this year unfortunately due to Covid but we are planning a Thanksgiving lunch after service on the 22nd of November. This will be set up like a take-out meal instead of buffet style for safety precautions. We will be participating in the Christmas tree lighting and parade with the city. We are also planning specials during each week of Advent, hoping to go out caroling and have a candle light service on Christmas eve.
Of course, all of this is contingent upon what happens with COVID-19 and I pray that we find a way past this soon. I look forward to working with you in the ministry of our church for each other and in our community. I am praying for you and your families during the coming holiday season. If you would like more information about our ministries please contact us at the church.
May you all have a blessed Thanksgiving
Pastor Chad out.