Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
As I begin to write my report for 2020, I find myself at a loss for words to describe the last year. So much and so little happened it is hard to accurately capture a brief picture of a year so filled with pain, death, illness, and isolation. At the same time, I need to capture the spirit of resilience, hope, faithfulness, and generosity reflected in the lives of our congregation.
We didn’t know it at the time, but on March 15, 2020 we held our final in-person, in- sanctuary worship service of the year. We closed our church to all activities indefinitely due to the pandemic caused by COVID-19. On March 22 we initiated our first trial remote service via Zoom with a beta group of viewers to see if it was possible to worship on-line. It worked.
Soon services were Zoomed from our sanctuary thanks to the able assistance of Lauren Johns as our technical moderator. Shortly thereafter, Les Marsh offered to continue providing music. We all owe a debt of gratitude to Lauren and Les for making our familiar worship service accessible and inspirational. Most of our regular worshippers were able to pivot to online services, and we gathered weekly and rejoiced in the Lord and each other’s company.
On July 1 we began having services on the lawn, weather permitting. We adjusted the time of our service to 9 a.m. to lessen the impact of summer’s heat and humidity. It was wonderful to be able to gather together and our spacious lawn made social distancing possible. We returned to our indoor Zoom worship services in October.
While other churches struggled financially while being closed, our congregation demonstrated extraordinary generosity by continuing their support throughout the year. I am deeply grateful and offer my sincere thanks for your continued stewardship.
In December, two vaccines were approved to aid in the fight to vanquish COVID-19. While they came too late to save hundreds of thousands of lives in our country, they offer us hope that we will be able to gather in person once again once sufficient numbers are vaccinated.
2020 was a year of challenge unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before. We kept the faith, God journeyed with us and He is with us still.
In Christ, Pastor Sharon