Letter from Pastor Mike–November 5, 2020
Dear Church Family,
What a year 2020 has been! I’m writing to thank you for your uncommon generosity for this past year and ask you for your continued support of prayer, service and financial giving as we head into 2021.
None of us expected to be where we are right now. In this unprecedented time, God has generously provided us hope and wisdom in our worship life together. Last Spring, we capped The Incredible Story of God’s Amazing Love with our vital role as the church to accomplish God’s redemptive purposes in the world. This Summer, we bolstered our time alone and together with God in the Psalms. We brought our adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication, and even our lament and mourning, as acts of worship during this time of loss and grief. And how timely for God to provide True Joy and Courage on this part of the journey so we can walk through the river with boldness and courage at “flood stage” and into the new season he has called us to be the church.
We miss gathering together—physically connecting with one another, blessing our children, and enjoying conversation on the patio. We have improvised with virtual work, small groups, seminars and pre-recorded worship that unifies us. Our preschool remains a bridge to our community, even at half enrollment. Students and children are safely gathering midweek, and we have begun meeting on Sundays for in-person video worship.
Earlier this fall, we ordained and installed Jamie Nelson as associate pastor. We welcomed 17 new members including five young adults baptized on their profession of faith in Jesus. Next week we will be baptizing three children on their parent’s profession of faith.
Through all of this, our church family has responded with uncommon generosity. We rallied to serve our ministry partners and neighbors most dramatically hit by the pandemic with essential items. Currently, we are gathering 1000 Thanksgiving meals and preparing for our first virtual Alternative Christmas Market. Because of our church’s faithful and consistent financial giving and good financial management, income has exceeded operating expenses for the past 18 months! I pray this trend will continue so that we can continue to be a growing community of fully devoted followers of Jesus—growing in our love for God and others.
This is a different kind of fall pledge campaign in a different kind of year. Here’s what you can do to respond:
- Review your financial giving to SBPC for 2021. Online giving reduces our administrative expenses and creates a recurring gift. (solanabeach.church/give)
- Commit to giving, praying and serving by submitting a 2021 Pledge Form.
- Write a prayer of thanks and guidance for our church family as we take the next step forward in this unpredictable and uncertain time, trusting our faithful and true king (email prayers to firstname.lastname@example.org). We’ll share some of the prayers and the number of responses with the congregation on November 22.
Thank you for “your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 1:3 NIV)
Rev. Dr. Michael J. McClenahan