We offer greetings in the name of Jesus as we step into a new year! 2013 was wonderful but 2014 holds the promise of the future. It is unknown but ready to be revealed!
I want to take a moment to review (and update) some of the things God has been doing among us in the past year. I shared many of these items at our annual all Church Conference in more detail. You can get the full report by simply contacting the church office. For now, let me highlight some key ingredients of a remarkable year.
- Our worship attendance rose from a 2012 average of 466 to a current average of 529 (as of 12/16/13). That represents an increase of 13.5%!
- Our mission momentum is very strong with a growing number of people involved local, regionally, and globally in hands on missional outreach.
- Our financial picture is bright with a budget reserve being developed through 2013 giving and expenses. 2014 commitments are even stronger!
- Our commitment to the Elizabeth congregation continues to be fruitful as they look forward to full chartering in the summer of 2014.
- Our overall vital signs are all strong and moving forward daily.
These are all things to celebrate as we give thanks to God for faithfully moving us forward. The future is remarkably bright with potential that the Lord will use to bring blessing to many individuals and families. Our work is just beginning!
This spring we will enter into a new season as we serve together to discern future directions and ministries for our congregation. We will be gathering input, connecting with our leadership team, and prayerfully seeking God’s wisdom as we set our course for the future. I hope you will be a part of that conversation. You will hear more about how you can be a part of the discussion as we move into 2014 together.
As a way of preparing for our vision conversation, I am asking folks to invest in reading some material. The first is a book by Rev. Jorge Acevedo from Grace United Methodist Church in Cape Coral, Florida. Jorge wrote a remarkable little book called Vital: Churches Changing Communities and the World. We have some copies available in the office and in the church library. You can also purchase it through your local bookstore or online in paperback or e-book style. I think you will be blessed by the book.
I don’t have a New Year’s resolution, but I do have a New Year dream. I dream that hundreds of people would commit ten minutes each day to praying for your church. Can you imagine that? What would happen if the people of God, known as the Parker United Methodist Church, would rally to increase the current flow of prayer?! Only God knows the blessing that would move forward!
God bless you all! May 2014 be a season of growth and goodness.