It’s hard to believe that a year has passed since I wrote my first article for our newsletter. I remember the excitement and anticipation that I was feeling as I wrote those first few paragraphs preparing to come and serve as your Pastor. I was grateful for the opportunity to have been called to serve with such a wonderful and welcoming congregation, and I was looking forward to meeting and getting to know each of you. A year later I am still grateful and just as excited to be starting another year of ministry together.
During the past year we have had wonderful opportunities to get to know one another, through introductory small group meetings, Wednesday night dinners, Bible Studies, Ice Cream Socials, Potlucks, Picnics, and weekly worship. My family and I have truly been blessed by these events in which you have become not just our church home, but our family. We are grateful for the continued opportunity to be your pastoral family, and pray for each of you every day that our ministry together might truly be blessed.
During that first article I wrote about how I understand the Christian life as a journey. The purpose of this journey is to help us grow as disciples of Jesus Christ who come to a greater understanding of what it means to be God’s children living in the world.
A lot of growth can happen in a year! I consider my own children and the growth that they have all shown. Our youngest has taken his first steps and is beginning to work on his first words, our middle has finished kindergarten and has become a beginning reader, and our oldest has read his first 200 page book. I am proud of each of them and the growth that they have experienced.
As I consider the first year of our joined ministry I am aware that this has been an opportunity for our journeys to merge together and for us to begin the process of envisioning where it will take us in the future. Understanding this I am grateful for the work that we have already started together, and for the growth that we have already experienced as we have added families to our membership. I am also proud of the difference that we are beginning to experience in the world around us as we have reached into the lives of others with the love of Christ.
One of the ways that I have seen this is through the wonderful feeding program that we are participating in with other churches from our city and our county. It is through a program such as this that we are beginning to understand where Christ is calling us to serve and grow as his disciples. As we reach out to the least, the lost, and the last we are truly reaching out towards Christ.
May the journey that we are on together continue to be a ministry that makes a difference, and may we continue to follow God’s vision for who we are called to be!
Still excited to be your Pastor!
Rev. John Embrey