As we enter a new month, a new year, a new decade - we have so much to be thankful for! 130+ people joined us for worship Christmas eve! We received many year end gifts toward our mission and ministry! We welcomed two new churches to worship in our space, giving glory to God!
First, a word of thanks to all who make things happen around here. Ivy, Patt, Helen, Mary, and all who helped with the church Christmas party created a fun and memorable event for all of us. Thanks to all who helped usher, move chairs, read, and assist with worship on Christmas Eve and for our Lessons and Carols service. Cookies and Cocoa was especially fun. I’d also like to thank the church and council for the generous Christmas gift to the staff and myself during the Christmas season. It was much appreciated.
This month, we’ve welcomed back our 5 confirmation students, who will be confirmed May 31st! They are a great group, interested and excited about learning about their faith and Jesus. They are also looking forward to camp this summer! We’ve also started a new class led by Kent Larson, we’re calling “Faith and Finances” - where we can all learn a little more about our personal finances, giving generously, and planning for the future.
Speaking of planning, we’re getting together to share ideas and needs, to communicate with one another about our collective past, and to dream about the future of our faith community. Cottage meetings are taking place in the month of January, and I hope everyone will take this opportunity to participate in one. We look forward to creating a strategic plan for welcoming, serving, learning, giving, and trusting in Jesus above all this year and in the years to come!
Sharing the heart of Christ means sharing the good news of Jesus everywhere we go, and this year with help from the Grand Canyon Synod, we will be focused on a year of generosity! We are sharing good news, sharing our gifts, and sharing time, talent, and treasure as we follow Jesus together. We have received a grant of $12,500 to make this a reality. It will be earmarked for education, events, and advertising, that help us to build gospel-centered relationships, acquire tools for inviting, letting God's people know about the love of Jesus here at Reformation.
We are still a changing community, and our upcoming mission spending plan will reflect the reality of our church. It is necessary to asses, evaluate, and then move forward. We will still be growing in ministry, trying new things, centered in worship and prayer, and giving thanks for God's grace in our lives. This congregation has been through a lot, and we will continue to find strength in our Lord and in one another.
The office will be closed Jan. 20 for the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. We will have our monthly prayer gathering February 4th at 6pm. I will be in San Diego the week of Feb. 17th, leading a workshop on congregational vitality. I love hearing the stories of other redeveloping congregations and sharing stories of our community of disciples, too. During that time, I'll be crossing the border and participating in a worship service there. Ivy will join me for the trip. Ash Wednesday is coming up February 26, and will begin our mid-week soup suppers and lenten worship with a focus on healing.
Thank you all for your patience and perseverance in prayer. God is good, and while we may struggle at times, there is joy all around. God Bless you all.