The story of Christ Church is a story about faithfulness and love.
Despite all of the trials and tribulations of 2020, Christ is still Risen, and God is still faithful!
Our shared story for this unprecedented and uniquely challenging year had chapters before the pandemic, stories of Epiphany, Shrove Tuesday, Lent, the Annual Meeting, and our Celebrate! event. But our story is also one of lockdowns and livestreams, of disappointment at holidays postponed, and of the joy of re-gathering in person. Despite it all, we still hold each other in Spirit, even when we can’t hold each other in person.
Over the course of the pandemic you have done what disciples do, only in new ways. When we couldn’t invite people to meet Jesus in person, we invited them online. When we couldn’t preach the Gospel in person, we did by livestream. When we couldn’t be together in person we called, “zoomed” and wrote letters. When we couldn’t serve in-person at BEAM, Mission House, Sulzbacher, Amistad in Bolivia, El Buen Pastor in Cuba, and Amazing Grace in Uganda, we continued to send funds and prayers to these and all of our outreach partners. By your faithfulness, Christ Church members became first responders of a sort, in charity and love, and you are still making a difference for them.
Our story today is, in many important ways, the same story we have told for decades, of a church at the beach that invites people to get to know Jesus and His unconditional love, learns, grows and nurtures it, and then takes that love out to the world that desperately needs it. It is the continuation of the story of the Christ Church Way, where people of diverse opinions and views come together in true love and gather around a holy savior and a holy meal.
Our story is also new in many ways, because of the pandemic: new creativity, new courage, new hope, new friends, new ways to be in community, new ways to learn, new ways to love, but the same dogged, indefatigable Christian optimism that only comes from those who shout with abandon, “Christ is still Risen!”
We don’t know what the next year will bring, but because of Jesus, we have no reason to fear. This pandemic has punched us in the gut, hard. We are people of the Cross. We know pain and loss. But more than that, we are people of the Resurrection. This Good Friday of the pandemic will dawn an Easter of new faith, new hope, and new love. Let’s make our story one of inexhaustible resilience and limitless love. For Christ’s sake. Because you and I were faithful.
May every good blessing be yours,