December 2020 Newsletter
Hello Church Family,
I have been in ministry for over 20 years. In all that time, I have never been part of a church quite like ours. This year for Christmas and Thanksgiving, we were able to help 10 families with meals and gifts. 10 may not sound like a lot but we need to consider that the families we helped are large 5-7 person families. Add to that the fact that we are still working through a global pandemic. Money is in short supply in many families including our own church families. Still, when the need arose, you answered. I had no doubt that you all would come through and show our community Jesus’ love in this way. I am proud and honored to be part of this church. So, thank you!
A new year means a new budget. We have had a team of people that have been working on this. In January, once we have the numbers finalized, we will present it to you. This is our third year of ministry in Spanish Springs. That means that 2021 is the year that we will discontinue the use of the funds from the sale of the Emmanuel property and operate on our own budget. This is a very exciting time and I have been looking forward to it. More details regarding this will be available early January.
Christmas Eve 3:00pm and 4:30pm
This year you can join us in person or join us online. We will broadcast both services. There will be an overflow room available if the number of people goes above the state mandated max, which for us, is 29 people. Our kids’ program is not meeting for the next few weeks.
Sunday, Dec 27th and Jan 3rd will be online services only. No in-person worship those Sundays.
This Sunday we will talk about another woman who falls in the genealogy of Jesus: His mother, Mary. We are going to see how God used and continues to use ordinary people to bring extraordinary hope. I think this message comes at the perfect time.
This year has been hard, and hope is in short supply. I find myself sometimes losing hope when I read the news or see what is happening here locally. As I scroll through local social media like the “neighbors” app, my heart breaks because of the way people treat and talk to each other. What bothers me is that most of the time, these people who go back and forth do not even know each other.
In today’s world, we have placed ideologies and platforms above relationships. If there was ever a time we needed a boost of hope in Spanish Springs, it’s right now. My hope is that from Mary, we can learn how to do just that. Mary lived during a dark period of time. People had grown cynical in regard to God and His promises. (Sound familiar?) Yet, she still agreed to carry, literally carry the hope of the world in her womb. Mary was able to find and share hope through Jesus, and we need to do the same. We too carry Jesus everywhere we go. He is in our hearts and on our minds. You do not need to be a pastor or ministry professional to bring hope. As a matter of fact, God has a habit of using exceedingly boring, ordinary people to bring His hope. That means that anyone who believes in and follows Jesus can do this. It is not always in the words we say, but in the things we do. It is how we treat people regardless of any disagreements and differences in philosophy. It means that we place people above our feelings about this or that. It means that we do not always have to win an argument or be right. It means that when we interact with others, we do it with humility, grace, and mercy, with a peaceful heart.
Jesus was born into this dark and broken world to bring hope, to save us from the sin that we often hold so dear. I know things are hard right now, in fact they can be downright terrible. Take a look at some encouragement from Peter.
1 Peter 5:10
After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
This is that hope I have been talking about. Sure, we will suffer for a while and go through some tough times, but look to the future. Jesus Himself does all the work. Our hope is in Jesus, and in the fact that even before He comes, He will give us the needed strength, grace, peace, and, of course, hope.
I will close with this next Bible verse. This particular scripture has been heavy on my heart all week.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Thank you all for another great ministry year in Spanish Springs. I am very much looking forward to what God will have us do in 2021.
The Bridge Church Spanish Springs