These past 18 months seem like a blur. I would never have dreamed that we would experience all that we did when our world stopped. I remember having such an eerie feeling as stores and restaurants closed, non essential workers were sent home, activities stopped, and so much was canceled. The news reports of the sick and dying were unbelievable. We didn’t know what to believe. As the weeks turned into months and then a year, I wondered if we would ever return to normal. Yet, through it all, there was still hope!
Hope that our precautionary actions would help slow the spread of the virus.
Hope that our families and friends would remain healthy.
Hope that it would soon be all over. Hope that a vaccine would be developed.
Hope that God would see us through.
Well, even though this ordeal is not over, some of our hopes have been realized. Though we may never agree on policies, procedures, and outcomes, I hope we can all agree that God has seen us through thus far and will see us through what is to come. We still have hope!
God did provide for our congregation. We only had to cancel one Sunday serve because we were able to stay connected via the internet. We returned to in-person services earlier than most because we had our pavilion allowing us to meet outside. We were able to move inside while practicing social distancing and wearing masks.
God continues to provide. Our in-person attendance has fluctuated between 75% and 85% of what we were pre-Covid and our online attendance has been tracking an average of 110 weekly. So, all in all, we are reaching more people now than before Covid.
We have also been able to stay financially stable. Monthly giving remained strong allowing us to meet our expenses and more. Even though we have had to put in new furnaces and are resurfacing the parking lot, we have still been able to meet those increased budget needs. We have also been able to meet our mission’s budget and to give over and above to help meet some of the unexpected needs of our missions, both locally and abroad.
Covid continues to affect us. The threat is not over, but we can still hold on to the hope that God is near and He will see us through it.
Thank you for all that you have done. Keep the hope! The threat of this virus is still very much real, and it is not over. So let’s continue our efforts and follow God’s lead to help those around us.
I reiterate Paul’s sentiments from 1 Thessalonians 1:2-3, “We always thank God for all of you and continually mention you in our prayers. We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.”
We have a hope that will endure in a God who is faithful!