Hello Church Family:
By now, it probably is not news to you that on Sunday, September 12, 2021, I informed the church after worship service that I will retire as pastor on March 31, 2021. As I said then, I am not leaving because of any known health issue, church problem, or conflict, but simply feel strongly that God is leading me to this decision. To this end, I have been meeting with the Personnel Committee and Deacons since June and support them in recommending we begin a transition to consider Pastor A.J. Reynolds as the next pastor. The transition means that the church will begin to make several staff adjustments to prepare for a new pastor. These adjustments include hiring a secretary (office manager), a part-time music minister, and a youth/children pastor. In accordance with our church constitution, our church voted to start this process on September 22. We will need to vote again sometime early in 2022 to consider a call to Pastor A.J. The transition is effective October 1, 2021. During this time, I will remain the pastor. A.J. will remain the Associate Pastor. Pastoral ministry will remain the same.
I announced this decision early to allow the church adequate time to make a smooth pastoral transition. Debbie and I love this church dearly and want the best for you in the future. I ask that you prayerfully consider these decisions and take part in the vote to call Pastor A.J. early in 2022. Please do not hesitate to contact Ronald Watts (chairman of deacons), Missy Moore (chairperson of personnel), or me if you have any questions on these important decisions.
Our deacons met Sunday, September 19, and decided to further postpone our homecoming celebration scheduled for October 10. We all felt the risk outweighs the benefit as COVID cases continue to rise in Stokes County. In addition, they decided to postpone restarting monthly fellowship meals and the Heritage Apartment outreach, also scheduled for October. We are continuing in-person Sunday School, Sunday morning worship, Wednesday evening Bible studies, and SONquest activities (with masks). However, we are delaying any additional start-ups until the virus situation stabilizes. I appreciate everyone’s on-going patience as we balance safety with a desire to return to normal activities.
The P.M.B.A. is sponsoring a men’s dinner on Monday, November 8, 2021, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the First Baptist Church of Stanleyville, 851 Ziglar Road, Winston-Salem, N.C. 27105. The speaker for this event is Lieutenant General (Retired) William G. (Jerry) Boykin. The event will involve a meal and worship music by “Chosen Road.” LTG (Ret) Boykin was in the Army for 36 years, was one of the original members of the elite “Delta Force,” and served as the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence in his last four years. He is an ordained minister, and currently serves as the Family Research Council’s Executive Vice President. I am sure men will enjoy this event and strongly encourage your attendance. Tickets for the event are $15, which include the meal and a benefit for “No Greater Love Foundation” which supports “recovery, resiliency, and renewal of Spirit for our nation’s military warriors and families.” Please let Pastor A.J. or me know if you would like to attend this event.
I wanted to let you know that Pastor Jeff Stevens, the pastor of Enon Baptist Church in Yadkinville passed away quite unexpectedly on Sunday September 5, 2021. Many of you may knew Jeff from his pastorate at Germanton Baptist Church. I counted Jeff as a friend and will certainly miss his wise counsel. I ask that you pray for Jeff and his young family as they reel from this loss.
Finally, COVID continues to make its unwelcomed rounds in our church, church family, and through our day care. I ask that you pray for our folks (and others as well) to recover quickly and return to normal activities. We look forward to an end to this situation!
As I write, school is returning, and fall is around the corner. Summer vacations are winding down and it is time to think about a new church year. Our church year begins on October 1, so the business committees of the church (personnel, finance, and nominating) are winding up their summer work of getting the budget and people needed for a new church year. Last year, in the middle of COVID we did not produce a new budget, but we are getting back to normal this year. On Wednesday evening, September 15, we will present our budget and nominating reports for the upcoming year. Plan to attend this important discussion evening. It is a good chance to see the budget, how it works, and to discuss the changes for the new year. The following week on Wednesday, September 22, we will vote on the new budget. Our budget is in line with your consistent giving over the last year, and continues our commitments to missions and outreach, while maintaining our facility and providing the staff a good raise the upcoming year. If approved it then goes into effect on October 1, 2021. I look forward to seeing you on September 15 and 22.
Sunday, August 29, you will find a deacon nomination form for you to consider and nominate deacons for the upcoming year. According to our church by-laws, deacons are nominated by the church membership and then selected by the deacons. As you know, our deacons serve three-year terms and then rotate off for at least one year. Prayerfully consider nominating up to four deacons over the next couple of weeks so our deacons can fill the upcoming vacancies in their September meeting.
Speaking of deacons, in their last meeting they approved resuming our monthly fellowship meal on Wednesday October 6. Plan to join us for a great meal followed by adult and children’s Wednesday activities.
That following Sunday, on October 10, we will celebrate homecoming. Our goal this year is to continue getting our folks back to church after COVID. Invite someone for a great day of worship and fellowship.
We will start back on our preaching series on Acts on September 12. I look forward to continuing to preach through this great Book.
As we get ready to finish up summer, it is great to see our Choir back in person during worship. I know some are still waiting for more improvement in the virus to return, but it finally seems like church is getting back to normal.
I sense the short series in Revelation is resonating with some of you based on your comments to me. It is certainly resonating with me. As we have looked at the first three chapters, and find the Risen Christ circulating among the churches, I am reminded that we must be aware that church is not merely for our enjoyment, or preference, but we are the hands of Christ in our community. Specifically, we are here to reach lost people with the Gospel. I am increasingly burdened with this responsibility, and I pray that as we grow together, you will be burdened as well. That being said, I encourage you:
-to invite someone you know that is not in church to attend church with you, or even better, bring them to church with you.
-to intentionally meet someone that does not know Christ, get to know them, and begin a Gospel conversation with them. This may take some time, but there is no better time to begin this relationship than now.
I believe (in the words of our text from Revelation 3:7-13) that God has placed an “open door” for this church to reach our community for Christ. We seem to be poised in so many ways to reach those that do not know Christ personally. I urge each of us to seriously commit yourself to prayer and find ways to reach lost people. You know them. You may live with them, may live beside them, or may work with them. As we will see in the message this coming Sunday, God opens and closes these doors for our church. Let’s work while we have the opportunity!
To this end, our Deacons met last week and decided on Homecoming for Sunday October 10, 2021. We will worship with great music and preaching, and share a wonderful fellowship meal afterward. We want to reach out to our church members and encourage them to attend. Especially reach out to those who have not yet returned to church. Let’s have a great day together!
I appreciate those who are working so hard getting us ready for a new year [starting October 1] and to make our Sunday services work each week. This includes our committees, the Choir, our teachers, and those who work our technology. It takes a lot of gifted people, and we are fortunate to have these people. Also, know that the Deacons and Personnel Committee are actively meeting to discuss the youth and children pastor’s vacancy. If you have recommendations, get in touch with that committee or one of our current deacons.
God bless you all,
We spent Wednesday and Sunday of last week honoring Pastor Luke Long for his excellent ministry to our children and youth over the past two years. We are sad to see Luke leave our church for another ministry but share his excitement as God continues to use and develop this highly capable young Gospel minister. I am glad our church had a role in his pastoral growth by ordaining him to the Gospel ministry, mentoring him with so many seasoned believers in this church, and loving him and Ashley during their tenure with us. We were certainly blessed by his energy, ability, and leadership. Like many of you, I loved his weekly children’s sermon videos! We wish them God-speed and the best as they enter a new calling in a new church around Richmond, Virginia.
His leaving of course leaves us with a big hole to fill with our youth and children’s ministries. Our children and youth are a top priority for this church, which is why we sought Luke in the first place. Filling such a vacancy is not easy and often takes time. The Personnel Committee and Deacons are now meeting to discuss this position and how our church staff should look as we go forward. We ask for your patience so we can make the right decision at the right time. Most of all, I ask for your diligent prayer as we seek God’s guidance on filling this position.
We are also seeking people within our church to keep the Wednesday evening and Sunday morning children and youth ministries moving during the interim period. We will provide coordination and oversight in the church office but need some assistance, especially in the following areas:
-Adult assistant to assist the youth teacher on Wednesday evenings. This may be a parent, or other adult to be consistently present and assist with games and activities.
-Adult assistant to assist the youth teacher on Sunday mornings during Sunday School.
If you have any suggestions on the long-term staffing of our youth and children ministries, or if you can assist with the above needs, please contact Ronald Watts (chairman of Deacons), Missy Moore (chairperson of the Personnel Committee) or myself. We would love to hear from you!
Just for your planning and information, here is a list of our children and youth ministries:
-SONquest Wednesday Evening. Bible study, fun activity, and fellowship. Leader: Lisa Ore.
Meets in the SONquest Room downstairs from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM.
-Youth Wednesday Evening. Bible study and fellowship. Leader: David Burroughs. Meets in third floor youth room from 7:00 to 8:00 PM.
-Children’s Sunday School: school aged children’s Sunday School lesson and activities. Leader: Mark & Missy Moore. Meets in SONquest room from 10:00 AM to 10:45 AM.
-Youth Sunday School. Youth aged Sunday School. Leader: Colby Mabe. Meets in third floor youth room from 10:00 AM to 10:45 AM.
-Youth and Children parents. A new Sunday School class for the parents of youth and children. Teaches similar lessons to what the children and youth are learning to assist parents in discipling their children and youth at home. Leader: Ronald & Ann Watts. Meets in conference room beside SONquest from 10:00 AM to 10:45 AM.
-SONquest Children’s Church worship and fellowship. Leader: teams rotate every 3 weeks. Meets in the SONquest Room downstairs from 10:45 AM to 12:00 PM on Sundays.
-Nursery care for toddlers and below. Leader: teams rotate every 3 weeks. Meets in the nursery.
As you can see, our church offers a robust set of activities and opportunities for children and youth. Except for the two teachers to assist as listed above, all we need now is for the parents and grandparents to bring their children and youth to be a part of these events. I urge you all to make an extra effort to get children or youth here and to invite someone (or bring them) to be a part of these vital ministries.
On other matters, in July we will begin a short preaching series from Revelation “From Now to Eternity: The Church in the Last Days,” looking at the present day and future church as seen from the Apostle John’s vision. This fits nicely with our study in Acts. Acts shows us how the church age began, this series looks at how it ends. We will return to Acts in late August.
On July 11, we will observe the Lord’s Supper as part of our morning worship service. Also, I look forward to seeing our Choir back in July.
July begins, of course, with our national 4th of July celebration. As Americans, take time to be thankful for the freedoms we enjoy and for our nation, which makes these freedoms possible. We have heard much this year about our faults as a nation, but I want to emphasize the great privilege and freedom we enjoy from living in America. Celebrate that this year in some way. Make time this month to pray for our nation, its leaders, and for God to bring about revival to our land. If God does send revival, are we at FBC Walnut Cove willing to be a part of taking the Gospel to our community? I sure pray that we are! God bless you and your families. Please stay safe this summer.
Our community and church is certainly in a different place than last year at this time. If you recall, we were not even meeting in person last June. Good things certainly did come from the pandemic period, which include our ability to live-stream services and a practical working upgrade to the audio-visual capabilities in the Fellowship Hall, and nursery. Now, with Wednesday nights and Sunday School returning, activity begins to look more normal. I am very thankful for that and will never take the simple privilege of attending church for granted.
To that end, Adult Bible study, IMPACT, and SONquest for kids and nursery are operating every Wednesday evening. We will resume Sunday School on Sunday, June 6. Since not all our teachers are back, here is a listing of classes that will be available:
Class Teacher(s) Location
Ruth Class Audrey Gillespie Ruth Class’ room
B.F. Johnson Class Andrew Smith/Jimmy Newell B.F. Johnson room
W.R. Assisted Living Carol Wiles on-site at W. Ridge
Nursery Brenda White Nursery
Children class Mark & Missy Moore SONquest room
Youth class Luke Long 3rd floor Youth room
Parent class* Ronald & Ann Watts third floor lounge
ALL OTHER CLASSES** Gerald Spaugh/Jim Cohn Fellowship Hall**
*I am very excited that Luke is starting a new class for the parents of children and youth during the Sunday School hour. This will follow the curriculum being used for the children and youth, updated for adults, of course.
**We will use the sound system in the Fellowship Hall to improve audio quality. As attendance grows and teachers return, we will restart other adult classes as soon as possible. Incidentally, we will restart our joint class with a study of Nehemiah and Ezra.
Wednesday evening Bible Study and prayer is being held in the Sanctuary, and we are using a slightly different format. As we continue our study of Romans, A.J. and I are working through the book in a more discussion-based format. Let us know what you think.
We will also re-start our men’s small group on Sunday morning, June 27 at 08:15. We have a great time together and look forward to getting that back. Let me know if you are interested in participating. This group meets in the lounge on the third floor.
Our Deacons have updated the current mask policy to keep pace with current federal and local governmental guidance on the pandemic. Masks are optional in all adult and youth-aged gatherings, though you may certainly wear them if you are more comfortable. SONquest will still wear masks until further notice. It is good to see others’ faces as we begin to emerge from months-long mask mandates! We will still have masks and hand cleaners available for you and your guests if you need them.
With all these events, we still have some who have not yet returned to church. There are many good reasons, but I urge everyone to contact those you have not seen and invite them back. We certainly respect those who are concerned about pandemic safety, but I look forward to seeing our church return.
As spring continues, our church is returning to many in-person activities. Here is the status of our important ministries and services:
-Corporate Worship services continue Sundays at 11:00 AM
-Wednesday Bible Study resumes May 19, 2021 at 7:00 PM in the Sanctuary
-Small groups have returned in person at the discretion of their leaders
-SONquest resumes services weekly as of Sunday, May 2, 2021
-Sunday School returns Sunday morning, June 6, 2021
-Hope Kitchen continues the last Saturday of each month. Let us know if you are interested in helping in this vital ministry.
We will continue to stream Sunday morning worship services live in real time. These are available any time thereafter on our YouTube channel. Once Wednesday Bible Study resumes, we will record these and post the videos on YouTube too. The last Zoom “Sunday” School class will be on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 as we begin in-person Sunday School on June 6.
Wednesday Bible Study will resume May 19 with our study of Romans. We will meet in the Sanctuary (to facilitate social distancing). Our format will be slightly different (continuing the format from our videos) as A.J. and I lead a short Bible study followed by a discussion on specific topics relevant to the passage. The goal will be to allow more interaction along with the verse-by-verse teaching. We will, of course, begin our time with prayer. We ask that everyone who attends wear masks for continued protection.
I am excited that SONquest is returning to weekly Children’s Church services starting May 2. Doing this required the cooperation of our teaching teams and the families who bring their children. It is good to get back to the regularity of this important ministry.
I appreciate all of you supporting our church, returning to worship, and getting back to normal routines, as you are able. We are not “there” yet, but perhaps the end is in sight. Certainly, some of you need more time, and we understand your caution. I ask that you continue to not take unnecessary chances with the virus as it still is affecting people in our church and community. Specifically, we continue wearing masks and social distancing in worship and corporate gatherings.
The work of our church goes on. I urge you to take any opportunity you may have to develop Gospel-centered conversations with people who do not know Christ. As you are able, invite those without a church home to join us in the Sanctuary or Fellowship Hall. Look for ways to minister to those outside our church.
God bless you,
This coming Sunday is Easter Sunday, or Resurrection Day that more accurately describes the day. It is the highest point of our Christian calendar, and with good reason. Last week, we celebrated the Lord’s Supper in our worship service for the first time in a year because of the pandemic. This simple celebration, given to us by Jesus Himself, highlights Christ’s redemptive work on the cross for us. The cross, combined with the Resurrection, constitutes God’s redemptive work on our behalf. Dr. Tim Keller writes of these events in his new book Hope in Times of Fear:
“The cross and the resurrection together—and only together—bring the future new creation, the omnipotent power through which God renews and heals the entire world, into our present. When Christ paid the debt of sin on the cross, the veil in the temple was ripped from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51). That veil represented the separation of humanity from the holy presence of God. That presence had once made the earth a paradise and now, because of the death of Christ, that presence can come to us, and because of the resurrection it does come to us. The risen Christ sends us the Holy Spirit, and both Christ and the Spirit are the ‘firstfruits’ (Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 15:20-23), a first installment, a down payment on the future triumph over death and of a new remade material world. This renewing power from the future is only partially, but it is actual and substantial—and has entered the present world” (pages 20-21).
Resurrection Day is a great day indeed, and worthy of our best worship to God. Fortunately, with the proliferation of the COVID-19 vaccine, we can worship the resurrection in person this week, though we do require care. As you attend service, we ask that you wear a face mask, and keep proper social distance between families. Our Sanctuary, Balcony, and Fellowship Hall are available for seating. If you have not attended since last year, you will be impressed with the new video and sound capability of the Fellowship Hall (plus there are coffee and doughnuts available for Fellowship Hall worshippers). We look forward to seeing you, but if you are not yet comfortable with in-person worship, the service will be live-streamed for watching during the eleven o’clock hour and recorded for later viewing.
As a reminder our Easter Sunday events are as follows:
-Sunrise service will be live in the church cemetery Easter Sunday at 7:00 AM. This service will be recorded but not live-streamed. We ask that you wear a mask and keep proper social distancing in the cemetery service.
-Easter Sunday service in our sanctuary at 11:00 AM.
Spring is also bringing a return to some normalcy in other aspects of our church schedule. The deacons have approved a normalization of the following adult events in accordance with this schedule:
-Wednesday evening Bible study will restart at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, May 19.
-Sunday School will resume on Sunday morning, June 6 at 10:00 AM.
These restart dates are contingent that the current lack of community spread continues. Luke will discuss the children and student restart schedules. Let one of us pastors know if you need additional information on any of these changes. We will continue mid-week Bible Study videos on YouTube and “Sunday” School classes on Zoom until these services begin in person again.
Debbie and I pray you will have a worship-filled Resurrection Week experience with your family and church friends. This is a great week to invite someone to attend church with you or watch our worship services online. We look forward to seeing you as you are able to return to church.
For all of you who love the heat of summer (I am not a fan of summer) there are signs of the weather shifting to spring-like temperatures, though our winter may not yet be over. We remember those who have suffered mightily in the severe cold of Texas and the Midwest. Our prayers go out to the many who have had severe disruptions and even worse from the recent extreme weather. In almost apocalyptic ways, we have seen extremes of climate, political unrest, societal violence, and of course the pandemic. This brings to mind Paul’s writing in 2 Timothy 3:1-5: “but know this: hard times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, demeaning, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness but denying its power” (CSB). It is good to know that when our world seems most troubled, we can be comforted, by Scripture, that shows God is firmly in control and we labor while awaiting a better day which is indeed certain for all believers.
This month marks the one-year anniversary of the global pandemic. Indeed, we have made progress in the management of the virus, and that is evident in our community as infection numbers have decreased. However, we await more people being vaccinated and fewer infections to really breathe a sigh of relief. I read an article this week that speaks of church attendance during the pandemic. In general, churches are seeing somewhere between 30% and 60% of their congregations returning to church. We estimate that on a typical Sunday our church has between 35% and 40% of our congregation back in attendance. Another 15% to 20% faithfully watches digital services, either by live stream, Facebook or later on YouTube. Where is the rest of the church? There are many good reasons for church members not to be in church during the pandemic. Some have been sick and are recovering. Still others are legitimately concerned about contracting the virus and remain away until their vaccination protocol is complete. Others await continued improvement in our community virus transmission numbers. There are senior citizens in these groups, but also there are many parents with school-aged children still concerned about the real risks in contracting the virus in daily activities like work, school and family contacts. These groups are not ready yet for church and this is very understandable.
But, I share the serious concern of many pastors and leaders in that another group may have permanently changed their church attending habits in the pandemic. Church experts warn that post virus attendance may decrease 20% to 30% because of these newly acquired habits. In every congregation, that is a sizeable number. Much competes with church for time and our habits easily can change in a matter of weeks. Therefore, if you have not returned because you are concerned about the virus for you and your family, we fully understand, and want you to return once you are comfortable with that decision. But, if barriers that kept you away because of the virus are resolved, I pray you will get back to regular attendance as soon as possible. Watching church at home is good when we must (and we will continue making that available for people who need to be home) but it is not a lasting substitute for in-person worship. I look forward to seeing you. As always, Scripture has a good word for us, “and let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25, CSB).
This request requires that our church maintain a safe environment for people to attend church. I think we have done well with that task. Mask wearing is nearly universal, families usually sit together properly distanced from other families. Most in attendance avoid physical contact with non-household members. Remember, we have seating in the balcony, main level of the Sanctuary and in the Fellowship Hall (with coffee and doughnuts). I am thankful you who attend have been so cooperative and that to our knowledge we have not had illness resulting from church attendance.
Mark your calendars for the following Easter week celebrations in our church:
-Palm Sunday, March 28, 2021, 11:00 AM – worship with the Lord’s Supper
(we will issue each participant an individual packet as we observe the Lord’s Supper together)
-Resurrection Sunday, April 4, 2021, 7:00 AM – in-person Easter Sunrise Service in our Cemetery
-Resurrection Sunday, April 4, 2021, 11:00 AM – Easter worship in our Sanctuary
I want to express to you, on behalf of Debbie, sincere appreciation for the many kindnesses you demonstrated to her in the loss of her Mom (Mrs. Willie Sneed) on February 9. You are a gracious and loving people. We love and appreciate you.
May God bless you all,
As we begin a new month our church is seeing a run of the virus through several households in the community and church. I am recovering from a mild bout and fortunately have not given it to Debbie. I encourage you to maintain close contact with church members by phone to assist them if at all possible. Dropping off a prescription, picking up groceries, or just a friendly call can go a long way in supporting those isolated by the pandemic. As you talk to them do not hesitate to let us know about any needs so we can assist as needed.
With that in mind, I urge you to encourage each other to wear masks and maintain proper social distancing when attending worship in our sanctuary. Health experts tell us that wearing masks and maintaining a minimum six-foot distance between non-household worshippers are two of the most effective measures to prevent transmission of the corona virus. Our church is blessed with a facility and the technology that allows people to worship in the Sanctuary, balcony, or in the Fellowship Hall. If you are not ready to return in person, we live stream our worship service weekly and record it for viewing at a later time. As we gather on this limited basis we need to stay as safe as possible.
Luke, in consultation with our deacons, made a decision last month to suspend SONquest for the next few weeks. While we await the return of our children’s ministry on Sunday mornings, he has been doing a short children’s message that follows along during our Sunday morning sermon. These messages are very well done, and are helpful for children and adults as well.
I look forward to church returning together with our normal activities, but this is not the time for that. In the meantime, we encourage you to take the new COVID-19 vaccine as it becomes available to you. It is one of the most effective ways for life in our community to return to normal. Let us know if you need assistance getting to a vaccine site. Our technology gains during this season are a huge help now and will serve us when things return to normal. May God bless you as we continue to minister together for His Kingdom.
As I write, many are celebrating the end of 2020 and looking forward to a better year in 2021. Believers have a special reason for hope – our faith in Christ. This coming Sunday (January 3) we are preaching on Ephesians 1:3-8 when Paul says we have plenty to celebrate because God called us before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless, and adopted us as his children. Regardless of the personal circumstances each believer faces, we can be joyful and confident that God will deliver us according to His plan in 2021. Happy New Year indeed!
Here are some things going on around our church:
For those of you not yet able to worship with us, our church approved in a called business conference on December 13, the purchase of the adjacent property beside our church parking lot. Church leaders are working now to complete that purchase. I am also thankful we could leverage technology through Zoom and other media to have a fairly healthy participation of church members in the voting process. Thank-you for being a part of that decision.
We were not able to do many of the normal Christmas worship activities because of the novel Corona virus, but we did have a successful month in the ministries and outreach of our church. Here is a rundown of what our church did in December.
--Our month began as we gathered nearly 45 Samaritan’s Purse shoeboxes to ship overseas in support of the Billy Graham Association’s evangelistic outreach in Operation Christmas Child.
--On December 6, we hosted the PMBA Toy Store for the fifth consecutive year and provided toys for nearly 100 children and 45 families in our community. In addition, donations allowed us to provide 69 new winter coats for children from 36 different families in the toy store. Donations also allowed us to provide each family in the toy store with a Jesus Storybook Bible for home study and devotions. On behalf of Donna Craig and Lisa Ore, who provided leadership for the toy store, I want to thank everyone that participated in this year’s toy store by purchasing toys for the children, volunteering time, or providing additional donations to make this event a success.
--On December 26, we conducted Hope Kitchen and delivered hot meals to nearly 200 people in our community representing 96 households. This important ministry has gone on monthly without interruption for over 10 years and is an important outreach of our church. I deeply appreciate those who work hard each month to faithfully prepare and deliver these meals. I am especially thankful this ministry has continued through the pandemic even though many of the key leaders have been affected by the virus.
--Finally, the pastors and deacons delivered treat bags to our shut-ins and other members on December 27. Men in our church prepared 250 treat bags that were in one way or another placed in the hands of church members on December 26 and 27. Thanks to all of you who made that possible!
I remind you of all these things to let you know that our church is continuing to minister during the pandemic season. More importantly, I encourage you to take advantage of the momentum from outreach events and take time to share your faith with your “One.” Perhaps your “One” is a family member, work associate, friend, or even someone you meet through church outreach. While the pandemic has taken away many opportunities, it has certainly opened others for us to use. Always stay safe but find ways to take advantage of the slower pace to share the Gospel with someone within your circle of relationships. Perhaps this is a time to begin a mentorship or Bible study within your family circle, and even use technology to help you. Many of us connect with family members by Zoom or Skype so consider these tools for Bible study, Gospel conversations and building relationships to advance the Gospel.
Don’t forget our Wake Health counselor, Mr. Mike Nuckolls, who continues to work in our church building one day per week. His number is 336-713-0886. Remember, he accepts major insurance and in the absence of insurance, the church will cover the cost of meeting with him. This service is available as a ministry both to members and those in our community.
Finally, as we begin a new year, I urge you to stay safe, and be patient, the vaccine is coming. We look forward to you returning to church as you believe it is safe. I think our services are as safe as we can make them but we still ask that you use your own wisdom in returning. As always, we stand ready to assist you or speak with you as you need us. God Bless You!
Rev. James A. Cohn