Pastor’s Perspective 01-12-2021

In a year that had more than its share of tragedies, disappointments and changed plans, there were also unexpected blessings and good memories. Let me share a few examples.
We’d known for a while we couldn’t hold the normal Christmas Eve services; then the rain canceled our “plan B” – a short outdoor service with a live nativity. “Plan C” was a video message recorded Wednesday and livestreamed on Christmas Eve. Once the recording was done, it dawned on me how different the next day would be, because for the last 30 years I’ve worked every Christmas Eve either playing music at churches or as a Church Administrator at a church that held 2, sometimes even 3 or 4 services. A Christmas Eve with no set schedule would be a new experience.
That morning, Kathy and I decided we’d deliver gifts and plates of baked goodies to our Ministers and Ministry Assistants. Most years we pass them out at the office a couple days earlier, but it was fun to show up at front doors unexpectedly and say “Merry Christmas”. That evening some of our children and grandchildren came over for dinner, and afterward we went Christmas caroling to some homes on our street for people we knew could use some encouragement. There were just 8 of us and we weren’t amazing musically, but we represented 3 generations, and I think we were a blessing. It reminded me of my childhood when on Christmas Eve aunts, uncles and cousins gathered at our house for dinner and then we went caroling for relatives, friends and shut-ins. That is a favorite Christmas memory for me; maybe this year will be a favorite memory for my children and grandchildren as well.
Another unexpected blessing of this year has been your amazing generosity.
• You gave almost $3.5M in support of the 2020 Ministry Resource Plan – 102% of what was budgeted.
• You gave over $75,000 to the Christmas Mission Offering; $35000 over the goal.
• You filled 2115 boxes for Operation Christmas child, a new record.
• You gave $12,181 to the Hunger Offering
• You gave an additional $787,936.40 to our 2020 Vision
None of us knew what to expect in 2020. We couldn’t do things we usually do, and we’ve had to adapt the way we do other things, but there have been blessings along the way. 2021 will have many of the same challenges. Let’s trust God, continue to be generous and look for the hidden blessings along the way.
-Geron Gambill