It has been rather challenging to think about and plan congregational ministries for this Fall because of COVID-19 regulations. Who would have thought that this disease and the required quarantine would have a firm hold on our lives this long? But here we are, called to be the church in just such a time as this; and we do not know how much longer it will last.
One thing that has been inspiring to me is that we have not left this difficult challenge to defeat us. You have remained faithful to God and God’s church. For some of you, your faithfulness to God’s church has now been widened to include a new home here at Hagerstown COB; and we celebrate having you as a part of our church family and the newness you bring to our life together.
Also encouraging is how you have been faithful with your giving, even while we were restricted to worshiping virtually. You are to be commended for that. This has made it possible to meet all of our obligations, continue ministries, and, through October, eliminate debt from the previous years. Hopefully, this trend will continue; especially as we move into the future. COVID-19 will not have this hold over us forever. It’s time to dream and plan, to listen and be obedient to God’s call on us to serve our community and each other. It’s time to commit ourselves to giving from the resources God has given us--both financial and talents--so we can be obedient to God’s call and participate with the church local and universal to make our world a better place.
I will be preaching two Sundays in October with an emphasis on stewardship of our resources, time, and talents. I will be asking you, “How will we show our love for God, neighbor, and each other?” You also will once again receive pledge cards and time and talent questionnaires. Please, prayerfully complete and return them, committing yourself to the work of this church in helping to build God’s kingdom. We are all in this together: the dreaming and listening, the planning and participating, and then giving a portion of what God has given us. May we be the living and loving church that makes a difference for our Living God!