Beloved Church-in-the-Garden Family & Friends,
Happy New Year!
I write this short note to thank you all for all your tireless work and witness in 2018. We had an incredible year of worship and services. Our membership added witnesses, God was praised, and the movement of the Holy Spirit was palpable every week. To be sure, there were times of heartache, loss, turmoil, and tumult last year. We shed tears, cried out with righteous indignation, and found ourselves in new situations of challenge and hope. However, through it all, with joy in our hearts, we clung to our mission and belief in Jesus Christ and how our faith informs our actions in our daily lives. Through the power of the Holy Spirit and our firm resolve in God, we spoke our truth to power, we committed ourselves to the plight of the oppressed, and we tried to create community with those who are on the margins of society. Most of all, we remained thankful to God for the privilege of life and the commitment to live out Christ’s personal and collective ministry each day.
For all the visitors and first time guests (as far away as Australia, Korea, Spain, and Germany) that were part of the woodwork at Church-in-the-Garden, to our guest preachers, and guest musicians (Darren Jenkins), I thank you for being integral in our worship and for moving us closer in our fellowship.
This month we will be working through a preaching series dealing with time. This past Sunday we examined Ephesians 5:15-17 in a sermon entitled “Making the Most of Our Time” to see how we can move away from unattainable resolutions and focus on making the most of our time by imitating God and living in love. I hope that all will come to our services this month and see what the Lord has in store for us.
I am excited about what the Lord is doing at our church. There are many new plans and initiatives that we believe will help us live out our mission as a Christian community, extend the love of Jesus Christ to the communities in which we live, and to help change the world for the better. I solicit your prayers and presence for our church and the will of God to be done.
On behalf of the Church-in-the-Garden, I invite you to the Church-in-the-Garden every Sunday at 10am where Jesus Christ is exalted and the Word of God is explained!
Rev. Earl Y. Thorpe Jr.