Dear Church Family & Community,
I hope this finds you all doing well, and I pray you’re staying warm during this bitter cold we’re now experiencing. May this be a reminder for us to be thankful for the blessing of shelter, warmth, and food. May this also serve as a call to pray and to help provide for those in our region who may not have the same.
I was excited to be back in church this past Sunday. We had missed a few services over the last couple of weeks due to weather, so it was a blessing to join in worship together again. Apparently, lots of you agree, as we had 424 people in attendance on Sunday! This also corresponded in the giving of our congregation. To miss as many services as we did this past month and leave January only $7,585 behind the budget is a testament to the faithfulness of our congregation. So, thank you!
This past Sunday was also our Annual Council meeting. This meeting is very significant in the life of our church. We reviewed reports from the past year, elected members to serve in various positions in the church, approved the budget for the new year, and shared goals and vision for the upcoming year while also celebrating what God has done among and through us. This meeting also marked the end of Ryan Glenn’s term as our Church Board Chair. Ryan has served us with grace and fervor during our season of transition, and I’m very grateful for this. I’m also eager to see how God will continue to use his gifts to serve our church family and community in new ways.
In light of Council, I preached a sermon based on Revelation 5, entitled Our Vision: On Earth, As It Is In Heaven. Vision often paints a picture of what is to come. It inspires our mission (the work we engage in as HBIC). The scene John gifts us in Revelation 5 opens our eyes for our world to come. Jesus’ prayer of on earth as it is in heaven inspires us to work to make God’s kingdom and will a reality, today and all of our days on this earth. If you missed hearing this message, please be sure to check it out here on the website, or through our podcast on SoundCloud, Google Play, or iTunes.
This Sunday, I will be starting a series called After God’s Own Heart: Lessons from the Life of David. In God’s big story that is our Scriptures, David’s story might be the most extensively narrated. We likely know more about David than just about any other follower of God. Walking with David not only opens us to the truth of the Old Testament – God is the real hero of the story, but also will remind us that God is very present in every aspect of our humanity.
Personally, I am excited to return to the story of David! As a boy, I came to faith in God through the prayers of many, the ministry of some dear saints, and Sunday school teachers walking my class through the David story. In David, I found a faith mentor. I have always wanted to love God as David loved God, and to be characterized and even eulogized as David was – a man after God’s own heart. As I’ve grown in faith, God has used David to teach me about His presence in all of our humanity, and about His grace, power, mercy and great love for us. I hope to see you on Sunday!
During our services on Sunday, we will also be highlighting our Food Pantry. Throughout the past year, our Food Pantry monthly served over 90 families. Our team of three Nancies (Benson, Busch, and Patrick) will share with us more about this important service to our community through a ministry moment.
Our Children and Youth will also be welcoming Lauren Pierce from Kenbrook Bible Camp this Sunday. Lauren serves as the Director of Program Ministry at camp, and she will be here to talk about the exciting summer opportunities for our children and youth that Kenbrook will be offering. Camp is a wonderful opportunity for children and youth to unplug from their wired world, to be in creation, and to intentionally focus on their faith and to learn about God. To find out more information, please be sure to chat with Lauren as she will have a table in the lobby on Sunday.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. More than that, I am grateful to God for each of you. Being a church family means that we belong to one another, and we serve God together. I pray that this New Year inspires you to keep growing your faith, sharing your gifts, and being used by God to usher in His kingdom! May the Lord continue to bless you and keep you.