Dear New Beginnings Community Church Family,
Over the past year, I have been diligent in trying to bring some security, hope and sense to what we and the world is dealing with due to this pandemic. I must confess that my wife and I have had many restless nights trying to discern the will and the mind of God as we seek to lead you through this season.
We know that this season has been profoundly challenging for each of us, and for our church as a whole. We know that it has been, without a doubt, the most challenging period of our pastoral ministry (and the challenges we are faced with will not end any time soon!).
Marie & I know that you each have your own stories of difficulty and grief and frustration during this time. As your pastors, we are so thankful that the Lord has spared us from death or serious harm from the virus itself, but if the truth be told, all of us have suffered in various ways due to the broader societal changes the virus has brought.
Some of us have lost work or suffered other financial losses. Many of us are missing out on special experiences, things long-planned and anticipated that now will be impossible to replicate or replace. All of us are suffering from isolation and the normal joys of life in community with one another.
And yet, I want you to know that Marie & I are also seeing and hearing many wonderful things in our congregation that are encouraging us during this season.
As we enter into another week of following Jesus in the midst of the present challenges, I thought it might be encouraging for you to know some of the things that Marie & I see happening in our church.
We see our members learning to love and appreciate one another in new ways.
We see families ordering their lives with much greater intentionality and care.
We see those who are employed working with new creativity and skill as their jobs and industries change.
We see husbands and wives learning to work through conflict and challenges and loving one another while parenting their children.
We see those who live alone learning to be joyful and use their time as unto the Lord.
We see public officials and medical workers and other essential workers in our congregation serving with wisdom and faithfulness.
We see church members calling one another and checking in, listening and praying for one another.
I see the mothers of our Church led by my wife and Co-Pastor Rev. Marie meeting every morning at 5:00 am to pray for our church and community.
We see our Administrative Team and Board of Directors wrestling with hard decisions and ensuring that sound financial decisions are made in the interest of our church and congregation.
We see a faithful group of men and women meeting for Bible Studies every week, ensuring that they are being constantly fed with the Word of God
We see some of our members reaching out and listening and praying for others.
We see families and individuals learning to read the Scriptures and pray with new maturity and intentionality.
We see Aaron, Shaneil, Robyn, Pastor Sara and her team working hard to make sure an engaging and meaningful worship experience is provided each week.
We see families and individuals continuing to faithfully give their tithes and offerings to support our church’s ministry.
We see families and individuals embracing the difficulty and worshiping in their homes Sunday by Sunday, logging on to Facebook & YouTube, trusting that their worship still matters, and the Lord will use it to bless both them and their neighbours.
Beloved, if running the universe was up to me, this is not the path I would have chosen for our church. But thanks be to God, that is not my job. And increasingly, Marie & I are seeing how Jesus is strengthening us as a congregation and deepening our maturity during this time. We have never prayed like this before. This past year has been a test of our faithfulness to God.
I want to encourage every member to keep holding on, be faithful, don’t give up.
When we come through this, we will be a different church. And I am incredibly confident that we will be a people with softer hearts, with stronger practices of prayer and worship, and with a deeper love for Jesus and one another. I encourage you to join us in praying to that end.
Pastors Robert & Marie Francis