Future Hope Rooted in the Reality of the Past

Happy-New-Year-2012A new year causes us to do two similar tasks. We find ourselves reflecting on the year that was while also dreaming about the year to come. This is actually a great paradigm for our faith journey. We are a people who are both connected with a deep and rich past, and yet our focus is on the future reality that God is drawing us towards. Our faith tradition teaches us that the Bible provides us with more than an account of history, but more importantly with a witness to how God is in relationship with humanity. The people of the Bible were just like us. They looked to the past to know what could be hoped and dreamed for in the future.

I believe that 2011 was a wonderful year for Christ Presbyterian Church. That’s not to say we didn’t faces many challenges as a congregation and individuals. Nonetheless, as I reflect on what God has done in the year 2011, in and through our church, I believe we have a lot of witness to the power of God.
This year saw the hiring of Barbra Stefan as our Music Director. Following a tumultuous year in 2010, our music ministry has seen wonderful growth. I can’t express my thanks to God enough for everyone who has offered their gifts through our music ministry. I am especially thankful for our youth who have stepped out beyond any fear and offered their gifts of music. Our Christmas services were a wonderful culmination of the work that God has done to expand that ministry. Special instrumentalists, our children’s, sanctuary and handbell choirs, all brought together their gifts to provided an inspirational proclamation of the Christmas message.
We have also seen great attendance in our Sunday School program. Children, youth and adults have joined together in study faithfully each Sunday. We owe a debt of thanks to our teachers and Sunday School Superintendent.
Financially, 2011 provided us with more than a positive “cash flow.” Stewardship at Christ Presbyterian in 2011 was both generous and timely. When our final reports are run, I believe we will see an overwhelmingly high percentage of people who were faithful stewards of what God has provided to them by meeting their 2011 financial commitment which they provided during our stewardship emphasis.
We were also blessed to receive many new members into our congregation last year. These brothers and sisters have already made significant contributions to the health and fellowship of Christ Presbyterian Church. I also believe that this growth shows that our work towards being a more evangelistic and hospitable church has taken hold in our life together. The overwhelming response from new members is that they have united with our congregation because they felt welcome from the first moment they walked in the front door.
These are just a few of the things that I believe we can count as signs of God’s blessing. I encourage us to do this reflecting so that we can not only feel good about 2011, but also so that we can have hope for the future. God has provided us with this wonderful witness to His faithfulness in our own lives. This witness should surely give us hope for a even more vital and dynamic future. As I look towards 2012, I can see great dreams and visions. These dreams and visions are founded on the reality of God’s wonderful provisions in the past.

What dreams and visions do you see in your own life and the life of Christ Presbyterian this coming year?

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