(608) 524-5856 [email protected]

December 29, 2020

Dearest friends,

I was going to begin this year-end reflection with the standard introduction, “Another year has past and…” but 2020 was not just another year. It was one of the strangest years I have ever witnessed.

The churches in our land faced several challenges due to the coronavirus, stay-at-home-orders, social unrest, and another contested presidential election. Many churches have lost members and are presently struggling to make ends meet. It is predicted that some will never open their doors again.

During one of our Sunday afternoon Zoom meetings in the Spring, I expressed my personal confidence that the present distress would only make our church stronger. By God’s grace and through your fidelity to Christ and his church, that expectation has been fulfilled.

When viewed from a statistical perspective, we enjoyed a year of stability and even increase. We met several new visitors, received five new members, and received more offerings than were necessary to meet our expenses.

Speaking more spiritually, this past year was essentially like every other. We worshiped God, studied scripture, prayed together, engaged in service projects, reached out to the community, and maintained (for the most part) the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

Finally, as I look back with a more personal focus, I feel compelled to express my sincerest gratitude. Thank you for receiving my ministry, for bearing with my weaknesses, for keeping my family free from worldly care, and for making my weekly ministrations in the Gospel a great joy.

One can only guess what new challenges we will face as citizens and as a church in 2021, but I face them unafraid because our Good Shepherd has proven his faithfulness to protect and guide us. May he continue to lead us in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Amen.

With Christian affection,

Your Pastor