Pastor's Note

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January 23, 2021

It’s already 2021. Can you believe it? I'm still getting used to it. SO MUCH has happened this last year! I’ve been thinking about how different my life looks compared to this time a year ago and while there were some tough times, there were a lot of good times, too. Here are just a few of my personal memories.
  • Someone actually married me! And my crazy plan to have our wedding in Beth’s parents’ back yard actually worked!
  • We got a second miniature dachshund and named her Winnie. She’s already bigger than our little man, Reeses. (I guess “miniature” is relative?) 
  • I bought a 1969 trailer, tore it apart, and am rebuilding it. Definitely a story to tell the kids someday.
2020 was also an important year for our church… even in a pandemic. When I came to First UMC a year and a half ago, I prayed God would use us for something bigger than ourselves. And even though it’s had more challenges than I ever could have imagined, here are a few things God did this past year.
  • We took a leap to provide a free Drive-thru Christmas Nativity… in the middle of a pandemic… in the freezing cold… and 1600 people came to hear the Christmas story! (That’s almost double our Christmas Eve service last year!)
  • We restructured our staff in order to bring on two key leaders who will help us take our next step as a church: Our Next Gen Director, Mona Candea, and our Associate Pastor, Andrew Nelson.
  • We made hundreds of masks for first responders, wrote letters of encouragement to local teachers, provided hundreds of donuts for hospital workers, and provided Easter baskets for the local fire stations.
  • We gave our biggest Christmas Eve offering EVER—$41,000—that will provide mobile health clinics to make a difference in people’s lives through the Mozambique Initiative. 
  • New people from around the country have begun worshipping with us online. Wow.
And these are only a snapshot of the way God has been faithful to our church this last year! People are being impacted by your involvement and generosity, even in a year with obstacles and challenges like we’ve never seen. And God isn't done with us yet!
If you’ve given in the past, or are a member of the church, you hopefully received a letter and “estimated giving” card this week. We can’t see the ways God will continue to work through our church this coming year, but your planned generosity allows us to plan for what could happen this year! If you didn’t receive a card or would like to join our faithful crew of financial supporters, just comment or respond to this e-mail and we’ll make sure you receive a card (or visit to submit one digitally). I am so grateful for the way God has moved through you, and so glad we get to do this together. 
Posted by Chris Abel