ELDERS AT THOMASTON ROAD CHURCH OF CHRIST: (From left to right: Walter Calhoun, Tom Behel, Bryan Rogers, Todd Van Etten, and Tim Fletcher.)
This maybe an understatement, but 2020 was a year filled with challenges. Flipping the page of a calendar does not magically cause all our problems or cares to cease. We often use it as an element of hope but our only true hope is found in Jesus, and Him alone.
As the pandemic continues, and we are all tired of it, we reluctantly called off our assembly this past Sunday, February 21st, and took a step back into a virtual worship. This was short notice and we had several that worked extra time to make that possible. Thank you in particular to Todd and Thad for making that happen. Because of the short notice, those guys put in a long day of approximately 15 hours on Friday just making this broadcast possible.
Decisions like this are hard. It was not what we wanted to do but we determined it was the best way to curtail exposure. These are trying times, but God’s grace abounds through the toughest times. Our ability to manage through some challenges are limited. It causes fear, uncertainty and anxiety but those can only be overcome by allowing the Lord to be our guide. Our trust in Him should be limitless, but the storms of life are in our face and cause our eyes to look away. It is our prayer that each one will find strength in the Lord and comfort in His embrace.
We introduced a 5-Year plan for our congregation. As this year progresses, we will get into more details of how this works, but we would love for everyone to find a place to belong. The body of Christ, as with any body, needs all of it’s members functioning and working together. If you are a thumb and not doing your part, the rest of the hand and body suffers. If you are a nose do not try to walk, that is not your talent or ability. In June, we are going to release a talent survey, a passion survey and ask you to update your membership sheet that shows how you are willing to serve. We will compile all of this information to help each member find where their strengths are and it is our hope that everyone will find a place in the functional areas we have identified in our plan. If you have not looked at the plan, it is available on our website under the member’s section.
We have also introduced several new tools that will help us manage and help you find information you may want to view. Please understand, the old tools such as the instant directory, the website, Facebook, the way we broadcast are not going away. The new tools are in addition to those. For Example, one called Church Center is an absolutely fantastic tool that will allow you to go to one place and see everything. It is not replacing the old tools. It is just a new, better updated tool than the old one’s. The Joewillie e-mail system has been changed to a new format. You now just send your request to the office at firstname.lastname@example.org and it will be taken care of by the office staff. Joewillie was a program Randy Bowling set up years ago, and it was a tool that served us well for many years. Thanks to Randy for doing that and all the time he put into that program.
This past year has been an exceptional challenge. We know not every decision is pleasing to everyone. That is an impossibility. But we do want all of our decisions to be pleasing to God. Take a moment and consider His goodness, the evidence is all around us. We should be thankful that He is with us through moments of victory and moments of weakness. As brothers and sisters in Christ, please pray for each other that we maybe strengthened, that we have a common joy and hope of salvation that comes from Christ and Him alone.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve this congregation and most importantly to serve our God in this capacity.
DURING THIS PANDEMIC, WE ARE WORSHIPING AS FOLLOWS: