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
Dearest Brothers and Sisters,
We are approaching a New Year and we have MUCH to be thankful for and to look forward to!
I have felt truly honored and deeply privileged to be called by God, anointed by the Holy Spirit, and equipped to be your Shepard at Calvary. As we have grown together this past year, I have found it absolutely necessary beyond measure to use the full counsel of God’s word and the power of the Holy Spirit for guidance in building up our congregation to effectively bring the Good News to all facets of our lives. As your Pastor, I do not take this responsibility lightly. I pray without ceasing for our purpose for God’s will in all we do.
I believe that God has strategically placed us at Calvary and in our community to be a beacon of hope in times of hopelessness, joy in times of despair, love where there is hatred, peace amid conflict, and inclusivity where others have divided and segregated.
We may be small but we are a city on a hill that cannot be hidden. We are an anchor of refuge for the drifting souls and the guiding light to those who have been blinded by society’s absurdities. We are not called to criticize but to guide and lead the way to a life of peace, love and rest in our precious Lord Jesus Christ.
All the work that God has called us to at Calvary cannot be accomplished by just your Pastor or Deacons; it is the whole church that God calls. This year has been a blessing to witness firsthand the tremendous work that this body of Christ has achieved through the power of the Holy Spirit. As your pastor, the feeling of joy cannot be expressed in words. I can only compare it to a parent at their child’s graduation.
We are the children of God and Christ’s hands and feet in the world. We must never forget that we are called to finish the work Jesus began. This is no time for us to slow down or take a break! This is no time for apathy, complacency, or slumber. The church can no longer afford to be asleep in the light. We must rise up and face this new year with full expectancy that God is doing a new thing and wants to use us to accomplish it! I challenge you and urge you to seek the Lord as to where and how Christ is going to use you in implementing his new and glorious plan for Calvary Episcopal Church.
Through the power of God, we have accomplished what many have thought impossible this past year. I am receiving support from our Bishop so I can be full time this upcoming year, our building serves hundreds of low-income children through the YMCA, through RENEW we have fellow sisters and brothers in Christ who worship in our space, seek to deepen their relationship with us, and work together to serve the wider community, we have helped many people in need in our community through your generous giving to my discretionary fund, you have wrapped many who are suffering in prayer blankets that have been steeped in love, prayers, and blessings for their healing, you have provided Ashes and prayers for local commuters who could not attend services, small women’s groups have formed that meet weekly, Jan’s Bible study has been a staple for many who can’t come to church on Sundays because of care-taking responsibilities, many of you have served the homeless and hungry in our community through PADS and our local food pantry and you have gathered weekly to pray for Calvary’s protection, growth, and guidance as we seek to do God’s will.
Our Christmas Eve family service with the children’s pageant and puppet ministry was a joy to be at and our candlelight service was truly anointed; there was a moving of the Holy Spirit that was evident to all in both of these services. The children’s Sunday School has been a hit and our new nursery attendant, Brooke, has been adored by all parents. It would take me all year to highlight all that we have accomplished in 2019 so I will leave it at that.
Please be encouraged to note that we have grown both qualitatively and quantitatively at Calvary. However, this has only come to fruition through God’s Spirit and your willingness to serve where God has shown a need in His body at Calvary.
God’s peace, love, and blessings this New Year