Friday, June 14, 2019

Pastor's Annual Report to Holy Cross 2019

Matthew 5:14-16 (NRSV) “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

I would like to thank everyone who contributes their time, effort and prayers for the sake of our ministry together.   I realize that with all the transitions going on within our church it can make it hard to figure out what to do to help.   So, I appreciate everyone who has stuck with us over the past year as we prepare for our new model of ministry in partnership with Lutheran Social Ministries.   Even though it has been a year that has been spent in waiting for something new to happen, we have still accomplished much together.   As you read the contributions from our ministry leaders contained in this report, you will see that God is doing wonderful things at Holy Cross with and through you. 

I also want to thank you for contributing financially to our ministry.  Right now, is one of the most critical times for our church financially.   We can see the light at the end of the tunnel when we will have new model of ministry, where our 2002 building will be transformed from an object of ministry into a resource for ministry.    The rental payments, utilities costs and the covering of half of my salary by Lutheran Social Ministries of New Jersey will place our congregation on solid fiscal ground.   More importantly, it can model to other churches a new way of doing ministry in a time when the role of the church is rapidly changing in society.  Your gifts will help make this happen by helping us navigate the transition, which will last until early next year.   Please consider increasing your weekly giving for the summer to help us make the transition easier.  A one time gift this summer would be another way to help prepare us for future fruitfulness.

During this past year we have said goodbye to some old faces and said hello to some new ones, so our worship attendance remained relatively stable.   Our Nursery School ministry has been stable during the past few years, but there may be some challenges to overcome as it will have to adapt to the new use of our space.

It has been a joy to see our youth grow into using their gift for the glory of God.   Our elders have done a wonderful job in leading our food ministry to Springfield to help our neighbors in need.   Our women’s bible study has been faithfully reestablished, and we look forward to a new men’s Bible study starting in the coming months.    We have combined our confirmation ministry with St. Mark’s in Morristown, which gives our young people a larger and more fun group to work with.    We will be looking for other opportunities to partner with other churches for a more fruitful ministry. 
Most of the year has been a time in between our past and the new reality that God is giving birth to.  I am very excited about the possibilities for ministry by partnering with the PACE program of Union county.    It will provide an opportunity to help those in need and be a chance for our congregation to use our gifts for God’s purpose. 

An important piece of the plan is that I will serve as both Chaplain for the PACE program and Pastor of our Congregation.   This means that we will be offering some worship and bible study opportunities during the week that members of our congregation can participate in.   I am also hopeful that by working with families in critical times of their lives, we will have the ability to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in new ways that offer people peace now and the hope of the better life to come in the Kingdom of Heaven.

I chose the verses from Matthew in the hope is that by moving in the direction that God has shown we can let our light shine before those in our neighborhood so that God may be glorified.   In this time of uncertainty nothing is needed more for the health of our community than the Gospel of Jesus Christ.   We are called to bring God’s people together from every generation, ethnicity, and identity so that we can glorify the one who has given us life.  Our proclamation will gain traction only if we act out Jesus’ message of hope as well as speak about it.   In the Bible and the history of the church when these work in concert God does great things.   I pray that God is leading us to place where our worship is powerful and our service compassionate and effective.

Thank you for being part of our community.  I am very blessed by everyone who is part of our church family and I look forward to the great future that God is doing with us.

Respectfully Submitted in Jesus Christ,

Pastor Knecht

No comments:

Post a Comment