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Pastor’s Report – 2020

by Doug DeFord | Published March 6, 2021

Dear Church Family,

There are any number of words we could use, have used, or have heard others use to describe the year 2020. “Unprecedented”, “strange”, “irregular”, “the new normal” (Heaven forbid), or even “the grand conspiracy”! While some of those words may be appropriate, for the most part I think that we at Alathea Baptist Church have a different take, and I want to take a few moments to present evidence for the validity of that claim.

First of all, while mankind has had a variety of responses to the past year, and many have been truly shaken by it, our God has been entirely unmoved. I’m not suggesting that He’s not sovereign over all it all. I’m simply saying that He hasn’t spent a millisecond wringing His hands over it. God is not shaken, nor should His people be.

We are not so unmoved as our God. However, I’m very thankful for the response that you, Alathea Baptist Church, has had to the circumstances handed us in 2020. Other than a few weeks of Zoom, we really haven’t missed a beat. Masks and social distancing haven’t been a concern at our meetings. For the most part, we’ve moved forward with “mission” as usual. And that’s not to our praise, but to our God’s! In addition to the virus, an election, and all the political turmoil that preceded it, accompanied it, and followed it, we have been “homeless”. Yet you have all persevered through the inconveniences presented by the lack of a meeting place we can call our own.

This leads me to a second piece of evidence that you have a different take on 2020 than do most people. I think you’ve shown evidence that you’ve taken the events of 2020 as an opportunity. It is in this climate of national and world alteration, as well as church family logistical unsettledness, that you’ve continued to pursue a culture of disciple making. There is no way to know how well that culture would be progressing under different circumstances. But I would argue that current realities haven’t hindered it, and it is quite possible that they have enhanced our opportunities and efforts.

With a church family like you, infused with God’s grace as you are, I can’t help but look to the days ahead with great anticipation! I’ll be frank – it hasn’t been easy for me in the day-in-day-out duties that fill my life under current circumstances to keep my chin up consistently. But when I get past my emotions (which is to say, myself) and take a close look at reality and truth, I know God has good things in store for us!

Never before have I been a part of a local family of believers that was so engaged in intentional ministry – disciple making in particular. Furthermore, though I have likened waiting for the completion of our building to waiting for a child to be born, it is going to happen, and I truly believe it will be an asset. But ultimately, our trust is in God! So, with a church family that has kept its focus on Christ and His mission even through a year filled with some of the most unusually challenging circumstances, and in light of Christ’s promise to build His church, I look forward to 2021!

I love you all!

Pastor Doug

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