In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men and women. The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it."
A message from Moderator Newman McAllister:
The above opening from the Gospel of John is a favorite of mine. It is poetic, powerful and a distillation of our Christian faith. Jesus lived, died and re-lived so that his light might live within us, ever glowing and ever brighter. There is much light in our small but mighty outpost in Green Mountain Falls.
All of you are the church’s brightest lights. God has no hands but our hands.
Jeff Chapman’s light as our Moderator shone brightly for 14 years. His imprint is on every aspect of the church including conceiving and shepherding the church’s renovation. He is a man of boundless enthusiasm and good humor – able to keep many balls in the air, effectively improving their size and shape as he does so. Thank you, Jeff. The church would not be here without you and Carla.
The church finished 2021 financially “in the black” and church income for 2021 exceeded 2020 income by more than 30%. Our improved finances prompted the team to approve the hiring of a part-time communications assistant. Although Pastor Darlene is paid half-time, she works far more and this hiring will relieve her of many administrative burdens not customary to pastors. We are so grateful for Laurie Guido’s volunteer administrative gifts that have helped carry our church office through this time without paid staff. Jeff Chapman continues to work on the church’s attractiveness in renting space for conferences, retreats and meetings. He developed a fee schedule and with the receding of COVID-19, as the year proceeds, this should produce additional income.
All of you are the church’s brightest lights. God has no hands but our hands. We recognize Bonnie Lynn and her sterling leadership of the food pantry, along with all her helpers. I appreciate my companions on the Administration Ministry Team and the Return to Live Worship Team, the latter of whom have had many difficult decisions since the spring of 2020, but have kept our church safe during the pandemic. I appreciate the diligence and ebullience of our Pastor, and Sue Frindt and Lynda Martinez, who are working with her on the We Care Team. I appreciate Teresa Allen and all who are part of the choir, bells and other special music teams. Our Custodian Lolita and her family have kept us all safer and healthier with diligent sanitation protocols and practices. I appreciate all who volunteer in many varied ministries to keep the light shining in a world that is often self-absorbed and uninterested in faith.
Membership in the church is not a sinecure, a benefit without contribution. There are responsibilities that must be renewed annually at Church in the Wildwood. Our membership renewal form requires three promises of a member: to attend worship, as you are able; to give generously, as you are able; and to participate in a ministry. Membership renewal forms will be available through February and March at worship services. They will also be available at the Congregational Meeting rescheduled for Sunday, March 20. If you participate in the church remotely, please contact us to mail or deliver a form to you. Everyone has unique lights: talents and interests that are God-given. When completing the form, prayerfully consider listing thereon what your lights might be that could be used for Christ’s service.
It is a privilege and honor to be your moderator. I am excited about how our eyes will open further to our faith this year – that our church would continue not just to survive, but continue to thrive. God be with us all as we shine a great light in a dark world!