“He’s GOD, our God, in charge of the whole earth. And he remembers, remembers his Covenant— for a thousand generations he’s been as good as his word.” – Psalm 105:7
2014 was a good year at Lincoln Park UMC. Except for a couple of snow cancellations, we were able to worship together every Sunday at the 9 and 11 o’clock hour. Over the course of the year, we celebrated several special services including baptisms, a Rite of Confirmation, a Family Day Service, Anniversary Service with our District Superintendent the Rev. Dr. Anita Powell and an end of the year Love Feast.
Over 2014, there were several ongoing programs at the church including our Sunday School for all ages, the Potter’s Wheel for children 6-12 during the 9 o’clock hour, a confirmation class, United Methodist Youth, the Agape Group, Monday Bible study and exercise class, a book club, men’s bowling team and breakfast. Short term programs included and The Long Goodbye, a five part series on issues surrounding the end of life, Saturday evening dinners and worship experiences and a wonderful church musical camp which concluded with a Friday evening and Sunday morning performances!
There were also single events including a church golf outing, our annual church picnic, and a Christmas Dinner and Celebration.
Once again, our congregation was active in mission and outreach. Our Youth went on their summer mission trip to Washington, D.C.. Twice a month, volunteers continued serving lunch at the New Journey Soup Kitchen at South 6th Street in Reading. Every other month, we prepared and served dinner at Opportunity House, a homeless shelter for men, women and children on North 2nd Street. And on the third Sunday of each month, our women’s Sunday School class cooked homemade soup for the Mohnton Food Pantry.
During the months of November and December, our Mission’s Team coordinated the collection of groceries for the New Journey Food Pantry, 49 shoe boxes filled with children’s items for Operation Christmas, gifts for a dozen families in Reading through the Salvation Army Angel Tree ministry, and a workday with Habitat for Humanity renovating abandoned homes. On the night of our Christmas celebration, we also collected toiletries for the New Journey Food Pantry and wrote Christmas cards to our at-home members. We also undertook a new initiative as a congregation in 2014 partnering with the 10th and Green Elementary School in Reading providing school supplies and purchasing books for several classes at Christmas time.
I’m sure I’ve overlooked a few programs or ministries of our church, but the above is evidence that we serve a good God, who keeps covenant with us, and of our own faithfulness in keeping covenant with one another as we “seek and share Christ”. Some things in life can only be experienced and accomplished when living together in Christian community. I personally rejoice and give thanks for the life we shared together throughout 2014 and feel encouraged in what God will do in and through us in 2015. Let us commit ourselves to God and to one another for the coming year.
Dear God, who are we that you are mindful of us and yet you have made us a little lower than the angels and crowned us with glory and honor. Thank you for calling us out from our selves to live together in Christian community. We renew our covenant this day to participate in the life of our congregation through our prayers, presence, gifts and service that in all things your kingdom will come on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.