“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:28-31, NRSV.)
It has been a very busy year here at St. Mark. 2018 brought many challenges and opportunities, but, through strong leadership by your session and your faithful service, we accomplished many wonderful things. Our church is blessed. Countless numbers of volunteer servants worked tirelessly to make sure we had uplifting worship, quality education for all ages, meaningful mission engagement, and so much more. I do not have the time or space to thank all of you individually in this report, but please know I see all you do and am thankful for your service.
I have gathered very little moss in the past year. I estimate I preached at approximately 130 Saturday and Sunday services. I particularly enjoyed our sermon series focused on the ministry of the Presbyterian pastor, Mr. Fred Rogers. I officiated one wedding, preached at nine funeral services, and baptized seven people. I enjoyed getting to know many of our youngest worshippers during our time with children. I took over the Confirmation Class in January and loved working with our middle and high school students. This is such an important time in their lives and in the life of any congregation, and I was honored to walk with them for those five months.
A large portion of my work centered on strengthening the church’s Christian education ministry. I participated in two book studies and led the combined Summer Sunday school class on reclaiming civility in public discourse. I facilitated the discussions on Third Wednesday and helped to lead a new Sunday school in the Fellowship Hall. I am thankful for where we are, but I would like to see these programs grow throughout 2019. Education is a cornerstone in our faith and a hallmark of the Presbyterian Church.
We also had a lot of fun in 2018. We enjoyed chili cook offs, trivia nights, holiday parties, and community outreach celebrations. I wore lederhosen for the Fall Festival and a red coat, cap, and beard for our Breakfast with Santa. These are special events where we welcome in guests from the neighborhood, and I am so thankful to serve with such a hospitable congregation.
I attended the Presbyterian Board of Pensions Credo event back in May and the PCUSA Stewardship Kaleidoscope Conference in September. Life is full, and God is good…all the time.
In Hope and Confidence, Pastor Dave