A Message From Pastor Margaret
Looking back and looking forward
I am hoping and praying that all our members
and friends experience our congregation as a
place where we not only come to worship God,
but also as a place where we enjoy being with
one another; as a place of peace and comfort,
and a place to serve and volunteer. It is good to
look back at this past year and say, well done everyone, and to thank God for blessing us abundantly! I am grateful for every one of you, as staff, lay leaders and volunteers, for your contribution to the life of the congregation.
Among other things, there are a couple of highlights during this past year that were important to me, and which, I believe we could build upon during this new year:
- Gathering of our Centenarians: It was an honor to bring together our three centenarians, Bessie Difley, now 105, Fay Smith, 104 and Abby Hale, now 101 years old, in August of 2019. We gathered for tea, cookies and ice cream, and spent two and a half hours talking about their lives, when they were young, about church, what they eat, but never a complaint! The idea arose after many visits and phone calls to them and building a trusting relationship with them. Getting out of their familiar spaces and seeing one another after a long time was a special treat for them. There is so much to learn from those who have come to a place like they have, a place of remembering a good life with all its lessons, a place of contentment after years of living and loving and giving of themselves. Our church is blessed to have our three centenarians still living their lives and being an example for all of us. Creating similar events with our senior members could be a joy and a blessing to them outside of their homes.
- The November 17 Sharing Service: We invited all our members and friends of the congregation to join us on November 17th in Fellowship Hall for a special service of singing, reading and sharing with one another. We shared our special stories and celebrated the blessings we have within our lives, and in our congregation. It was also a gathering to usher us into the period of Advent, a time of joy and peace as we celebrate the Christ Child. We gathered from 9:30 a.m. till 11 a.m., and midway through our gathering we were blessed with a lovely breakfast by Wendy and her team. It was a wonderfully relaxed, spiritual time with one another, as we invited God’s Holy Spirit to bind us together in peace, faith, hope, and love. I hope that we will continue this tradition to come and share our faith stories with one another.
2019 has been a challenging year for our congregation, with several of our members as well as family members, going through some serious health challenges. It has not been easy, and we are still keeping all of them in our prayers as we ask God to strengthen our faith in bringing healing to them.
Wendy, the deacons and I are hoping that we could involve more people in the worship services. The purpose is to make each and everyone feel they have a role to play during our worship services. These will be discussed with the deacons, and we are open to any ideas coming from the congregation.
I am praying that as a congregation we will find ways to grow our congregation through the various activities we are involved with. I am proposing that we have a follow-up retreat to the November sharing service in the near future, to discuss how we envision ourselves as a congregation and what are the things we need to do differently to grow as a congregation.
I continue to pray for God’s blessings upon us during 2020 and beyond. I pray that we will deepen our relationships among one another. I pray that every person in the congregation will feel they live out their purpose and see our congregation as a place of worship and learning, and that those who know more or have a longer history will share their knowledge with others who are new and younger, so that everyone’s gifts will come together in the whole, and that there will be giving and sharing for the glory of God.
Blessings to all,