“Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8, NRSV.)
Our congregation experienced a number of changes in 2019, and I believe wonderful things are in store in 2020. We celebrated Ellen Hynes’ fifteen years of service to the church, and we welcomed Pastor M.P., Pastor Carol, Latisha Gilliland, and Abby Reilly. I am beyond thankful to work with a staff full of talented and creative people. We set a good foundation over the past few months, and it is exciting to see what is in store in the coming year.
I focused the majority of my time on enhancing worship, deepening our Christian education opportunities, and expanding our already strong programming. In my opinion, the biggest thing to come out of this past year was the development of our church CREDO: SEEK, DISCOVER, SHARE. The Session spent many months discerning the essentials of who we are currently and who God is calling us to be moving forward. I believe these three distinct words make a strong statement, and I believe they will keep us focused on the essentials of our shared ministry. I introduced our CREDO to the congregation through a two-month sermon series and stewardship campaign. We will continue to build on this foundation in the coming year.
St. Mark continued its strong commitment to mission through special offerings, special events, and special programs. I am thankful for all the work done both in front of the public eye and behind the scenes. I am especially excited about the growth of our Lenten Water Challenge and the 14 wells our congregation funded in 2019. We will continue to work on our mission giving moving forward to ensure our gifts and efforts have the maximum benefit. Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ in our neighborhood and world.
2020 is already upon us, and I am enthusiastic about our all-church study of, The Story. We distributed over 100 copies and the orders keep coming. One of the biggest challenges we face in the larger church is a lack of biblical literacy, and I believe this is a fantastic jumping off point to hearing, believing, and doing God’s will.
In Hope and Confidence,