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Looking Back over 2020
December 30, 2020, 10:00 AM

Dear Friends,

As the last newsletter article of 2020, a little recap may be in order. We began the year beginning our work with the Epiphany Project to help us look at our five-to-seven-year visioning plan for the church. Our Safety Committee were in the planning stages of developing a couple of dress rehearsals for the congregation in the event of tornado warning, medical emergency, and fire.  Bob’s Bags continued to develop our outreach to the homeless in Dallas and our other Outreach efforts for Hastings and Duncanville Outreach were doing well. We were a little less than half-way to our Air Conditioner fund and plans were in the works for our upcoming Lenten Season and Holy Week that subsequently went virtual. In the last of February as information about the new COVID 19 virus began to loom over the country, we were not thinking pandemic, but possible short-term inconvenient caution. In March, we were asked to self-isolate and not meet in group settings, which meant a suspension of our in-sanctuary worship services. We had not yet seen or anticipated the massive spread of the virus yet were fortunate enough to have access to the National Benevolent Association’s Zoom account and only had to cancel one worship service before beginning our online Zoom worship. It was a struggle for many of us to get up to speed using this virtual platform both for worship and for our other meetings. While we were forced out of our comfort zone to do so, we found it allowed several of our members, who had not been able to get out and be in worship, to now join us again. Our Evangelism Committee was able to design and then provide new Church t-shirts right as we began to self-isolate. Part way through the summer flamingoes and then painted rocks began showing up by members’ front doors which lifted the spirits of all.

We endured and have survived this extraordinary time. We have prayed for extended members of our church family who have gotten the virus with most of them recovering. We have consistently prayed for our medical workers, first responders and emergency personnel to stay safe and endure these last nine months of physically and spiritually exhausting work. There was a brief decline in the intensity of the virus which allowed for a small in-sanctuary worship which has continued for the rest of the year under our safety protocols. We continued strong in our giving for our offerings, for our Outreach projects, including Mike’s Kids, and Bob’s Bags and the A/C fund. We took advantage of the government assistance for small businesses and later received a grant from the National Benevolent Association for Bob’s Bags that will be used to augment the current bag with COVID kits (masks, sanitized wipes, etc.). Our Mike’s Kids collection this year was larger than last year’s and was the largest of all the churches in the North Texas Area. The Thursday Bible Study has continued, moving from morning to an afternoon meeting time. 

Briefly, that has been our year. I am sure I have overlooked something that has happened – like the Elders stepping up to lead both the sanctuary and the Zoom services. This week we have two of three new monitors hung in the sanctuary which will work with the new amp in the A/V room. We have FCC-D face coverings for everyone. And the Worship Committee planned and provided a Zoom Christmas Eve Service as well as a Drive Thru Nativity Story for our church and community.

Obviously and most emphatically – THANK YOU to everyone who has contributed, served, prepared, delivered, and created so that this year we not only endured the pandemic, but have thrived in some amazing ways! Through all of it, God has been in our midst! No matter the obstacles put in our way or agenda, opportunities have been provided to expand our mission and ministry and make a difference in people’s lives. 2020 has been hard and has tested our endurance, but we are still here and waiting to face the challenges of 2021. May God’s blessings continue to flow!

In Christ’s service together wherever He leads!