Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s message…(Philippians 1:3-5 The Message).
What a ride this year has been! It feels as though we involuntarily got on a roller coaster complete with all the loops, twists, and turns taken at breakneck speed. But wait, the ride is not over. It’s one of those that pauses for a brief moment, and then goes through all the loops, twists, and turns at breakneck speed again – backwards!
It has been a tough time for leadership. Decisions made at the beginning of the week are null and void by the end of the week (sometimes the end of the day). When and how do we re-open the church building? How and when do we safely reintroduce Kid’s Worship? Should masks be mandatory or optional? And, of course, everyone has a different opinion. I’ll be the first to admit, I certainly haven’t gotten everything right.
But there is one thing I want to get right. Today I want to say “Thank you!”
Thank you to the leaders, the Church Council, and so many of you who had the foresight to dream big and renovate our worship space, upgrade our technology, and make a seamless transition to a completely online worship experience possible. Thank you to all who gave financially to make that a reality.
Thank you to all the volunteers who actually know how to use all of the fancy equipment! You are the true heroes who have stepped in each week, given up your time, and used your passion to bring what we do into living rooms around the world. Thanks to all of you who have continued to use your gifts each week. Whether it be musically, or your gift of hospitality, your gift of giving, prayer, or administration. Each and every gift builds up the church and I am thankful that you continue to use them!
Thank you to the staff who have met every challenge head-on. You have found ways to connect with children, students, and adults in new and different ways. You have produced the very first virtual Vacation Bible School. You have met the challenges students face in new and creative ways. You have offered fresh expression of community to an online church. You have pioneered new mission efforts. And you have met the biggest challenge of them all – putting up with me!
Thank you for being the church! Thank you for being kind, patient, and encouraging as we pioneer new ways of being the church. Thank you for the challenging conversations that push us to dream bigger. Thank you for your faithful generosity. Thank you for “continuing on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God’s message.”
I love you and I thank God for you! “I find myself praying for you with a glad heart.” And I say to you: “Buckle up! The ride is far from over!” But I wouldn’t want to be on the ride with anyone else!