Well, it is 2021! I haven’t seen you all sense last year. It’s not yet time for me to recap all that God has done in 2020. I’ll do that after our annual family meeting on January 14. For now, I simply want to write you a letter of encouragement before tomorrow, the first Sunday of 2021.
Over the previous two years, you have all come to be very dear to my heart. I would do anything for you, and I would do anything for our community. Within the last few months, people have started asking why we are here. What is the purpose and vision of The Church at Sunsites. This is a great place to be; many local congregation never get around to asking such existential questions. Christians content themselves with meeting together. If we ask why or what difference does it make, the answer is always silence. It’s time to start thinking about vision. It’s time to start thinking about who we are as The Church at Sunsites and why it matters for our community. That is a converastion we will have on January 14 at our annual family meeting. I will have to look at the protocols again in the bylaws, but I believe that those who cannot make it in person will be able to join via video conference.
I want to ask something of you in 2021. 2020 was a year marked with frustrations that many of us have not seen in our lifetimes. If Biden is revealed as president elect by the electoral college vote count on January 6th, there will be many questions and hardships to follow, as there will be if he is not. Every new season on earth comes with more questions and hardships, and the church is here for good in every season. Whatever vision we develop together, I know that The Church at Sunsites as a whole–not merely the elders or deacons–has an important role to play as we love and serve our community. We will continue to make decisions as to whether or not we will gather, what we will sacrifice for our Lord, and how we will prioritize our lives. I am convinced that the gathering of believers should be a top priority for believers because the gathering is the means by which we are all perfected according to God’s design–the means by which the whole world is renewed. We need one another. If you are unable to gather, we are live streaming the main gathering on Facebook.
Tomorrow, we begin 1 Corinthians. Paul answers the questions we all have. Who, what, where, why, and how is the church? What is the point? Why gather? I hope to see you all there together, and I hope we are all preparing for the annual family meeting on January 14–perhaps the post important family meeting we will have while I serve you as pastor.
As we think about who we are, the purpose and mission and vision of The Church at Sunsites, consider these truths in 2021:
- Jesus instructed us to go to others like He came to us,
- Every Christian is a priest in Christ’s kingdom,
- Church membership is the third office of the church and not merely a status, and
- Every local church is to be a gospel mission to its community.
Thank you for being my family. Let’s shake this valley and the world in 2021. See you in the gathering.