Happy New Year to you all. Let’s hope that God continues to bless and keep us here at Somerville First UMC. As we get along with the life that God has given to us, may we always remember to include God and our church family in our thoughts and prayers. Much work is still needed in the devastated area hit by the violent storm, and we will continue to let you know what is being called for by the conference to help. We have just concluded a Christmas season that was full of the familiar celebrations. Again, we were able to have friends and family meet together and celebrate Christ’s birth. We had 89 poinsettias adorning our sanctuary. Along with the banners, the Christmas tree, the nativity and all the season specific music, we celebrated in a big way. We were certainly blessed to have Sarah Belle Day with us on the 19th of December to join Jon Settlemires, Steve Loines and all of our choirs in our making a joyful noise unto the Lord.
Now it is time to turn our eyes to the future. Those that have not been able to get out of their houses, it may be time to start back to in-person worship. We are trending well with attendance in Sunday worship and certainly hope this trend continues. Our 8:30 a.m. service continues to meet in the Wesley Classroom and our 10:55 a.m. service seems to be doing well in the Sanctuary.
Our children and youth programs seem to be doing well under the capable direction of Kim Gist. A spiritual retreat is coming up for the MYF age students in January. You can see more about this in the newsletter. We are hoping to begin a Confirmation Class for the youth during the first quarter of 2022. With all of this increased activity and numbers we are always in need of more adult help. We have been blessed with many already who are willing to help, but always need additional volunteers.
Our Wednesday night activities resume on the 5th of January. We will be beginning a Bible Study of the Ten Commandments, using a study guide by J. Ellsworth Kalas, entitled “The Ten Commandments from the Back Side”. Books are available through Amazon or Cokesbury for around $10.
Our pictorial directories are now out for pickup in the Church Office. We ask that you limit one per family to begin with until we see how far the supply goes. Any donation is welcome to help defray the cost of putting these out. The directories are bound in such a manner that they can be updated with additional pages without throwing away what you already have.
As we enter into this New Year, we ask for your assistance. We need to make sure that we, as a church, reach out to all our members that have ceased coming due to the pandemic or other health related reason. We are working on getting appropriate letters out to all members that we have missed over the last year. You can help by keeping us up to date on the people that you are aware of that may need our special care. If you receive one of our letters, please know our intent is only to better serve our members that need the help. Please respond either through e-mail or “snail mail” what your needs might be.
In closing, let me say, with the help of the Holy Spirit, it is my wish and prayer that 2022 is the best year ever for the people who call themselves Christian, and that the entire world will come to know the love that is theirs and ours through our gracious and loving God and his Son Jesus, our Christ.
Blessings and peace
Bro. Don VanVoorhis