No Time to Let Up!
We all need words of encouragement. One of my favorite Scriptures is: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9
Christians struggling in the 1st Century needed to hear that, and so do Christians in the 21st Century. And there are signs of encouragement on many fronts:
- Indoor worship and classes have returned! After over a year of lockdowns, outdoor services, and virtual communication, we returned to indoor, in-person worship and classes on April 18, and it’s been wonderful! This includes individual classes for Nursery through High School and the BYKOTA and Agape adult classes on Sunday mornings, as well as midweek groups for children through high school, young adults, and several adult studies (check with your group or the church office). There is nothing like being with fellow believers to worship, study, fellowship, and serve the Lord together again! Some classes and groups are still meeting virtually or waiting until the fall to resume, but we are steadily coming out of this. We continue to follow safety protocols, like requiring everyone at church to wear a mask until you are seated, keeping a safe distance, sanitizing chairs and restrooms before each service, offering pre-packaged refreshments, using pre-packaged self-contained communion cups, providing buckets to drop your offerings in, providing touchless faucets and soap dispensers and sanitizing stations, and having volunteers wear masks, gloves, and having their temperature checked each Sunday. In addition, many of our members are fully vaccinated or in the process. We want people to feel safe in coming back to worship and study and serve together again!
- People are coming back! 534 people joined us on Easter, and we have averaged 380 since. This is down from about 440 before the epidemic hit last year, but up from an average of 312 for the 9 months leading up to Easter. We invite you to come back if you can!
- Lives are being changed! 14 precious souls have been baptized so far this year, 24 new members have joined us, and 12 of those were just in April (see all the faces on the next page)! 3 people re-committed their lives to Christ, and 19 children have been dedicated to the Lord. Please be praying for and inviting your friends and neighbors who need Christ or a church home!
- Giving remains strong! After a very low January, giving has come back to meet or exceed our budget every month since! Your faithful tithes and offerings are making a difference – no time to let up now!
- Hope is on the rise! In fact, that is what the Sunday sermons are about… Hope: 7 Things You Can Look Forward To. This Sunday we’ll see how to have Better Relationships, in addition to honoring mothers. Yet to come (literally) is The Fulfillment of God’s Will, The Resurrection, and Come hear words of hope!
Now, when the Lord starts to blessin’, the devil starts to messin’ (1 Peter 5:8-9). That’s why we need every member of this body to stay united & engaged – including those who must worship from home. We appreciate your prayers and support! It’s no time to let up!
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58
Mike Openshaw, Senior Minister