Lately, I have been thinking about what a blessed church we are. We recently announced and celebrated the Sustaining the Legacy Campaign Pledges that we received. Our goal was to match $100,000.00 that we had already received from the Armstrongs and Donna Ward to pay for the completion of the improvements we started approximately 9 years ago when we surveyed the congregation concerning your priorities for maintenance and improvements that you felt would serve our ministry for years to come. I am so pleased to report that due to your generosity we have exceeded the $100,000.00 goal and received pledges totaling $117,360.00! Looking to the future, monies that exceed the cost of our 2022 Sustaining the Legacy project will go into a dedicated Sustaining the Legacy Fund. This fund will grow over the years and will be restricted for use only for major maintenance or building projects. In future Stewardship campaigns we will encourage commitments to regular contributions to this fund so that we might avoid a future need of a major capital campaign program.

Your generosity and commitment to the ministry of FPC is evidence that we are truly a blessed church. However, it goes beyond that; there are several things that are present in a blessed church. One is that we are the body of Christ, not a business. Yes, there are attributes similar to a business; but we are a unique living, breathing and active body of Christ that clearly claims Jesus as the head. We look to Christ first for guidance on nourishing and caring for the whole body so that we continue to grow into being a servant to our community and the world. Prayer and seeking Christ first is central to our church.

Another is that there is a vibrant sense of faith, hope and love among us. It is evident that we have faith that God is at work among us and leads us. Out of that faith grows hope to believe that good things are possible and that God provides. And, you only have to look around you to see the love that is shared among us. It is this deep faith in God that enabled us to risk launching two capital campaigns and complete a major renovation of the church. There is a strong sense of hope for the future trusting that God will continue to bless this church in years to come, even through difficult economic times, troubling national and world events and any congregational crisis that might arise. God is in this place as you care for one another, welcome all people and so willingly reach out to those in need.

A blessed church is filled with God’s purpose, presence and power. We glorify God in our worship as well as the work we are called to do in this place and in this particular time. We experience Christ’s presence through the Word read and preached and taught, in sacrament, music, fellowship and even in meetings. We have experienced and expect to see the power of God as the Holy Spirit moves among us, bringing together ministry, mission and opportunities; sending us just the right staff that is essential for our work and worship as well as guiding us to the right contractors and workmanship in preserving this church. The Holy Spirit moves us into our future.

We are blessed when we embrace the sacred. The sacraments connect us with God’s love and presence. We are blessed with banners, crosses, tablescapes, rituals, awe inspiring architecture and other artistic expressions of the divine, revealing and reminding us of the power of the sacred. Entering this sanctuary we are transformed when we encounter God in this sacred space and empowered to go out and be a witness to God’s love.

Finally, we are uniquely blessed to serve God in our own way. FPC has been a light in this community for nearly 2 centuries, welcoming all who come through the door, serving our neighbors, raising children in the faith, making our buildings available for several community groups, assisting the poor, feeding the hungry and much more. God called this church into being and the faithfulness and commitment of those first 19 people so long ago continues in each of you today. By the power of the Holy Spirit working through each of you, the legacy continues and will continue for generations to come as we remain faithful to God’s purpose!

Blessings to you and yours!