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Pastor’s Report from the 2022 Annual Report
Marty and I (and our children) really enjoyed spending last year with you, our church family, especially as we welcomed a new baby, Lydia, or sweet pea, as I call her. You really are a special church family.
For this last year, I had a wonderful time sharing God’s Word with you, as we studied about the church and what the church should look like Biblically. I am looking forward to finishing that series the first part of this year.
We continued to grow a community of musicians for our outreach ministry, Door of Hope, and I am looking forward to what the future has for that ministry.
We also started a new children’s ministry, called Kidsquest, and had a wonderful back-to-school bash and a Christmas party. The children also watched Theo Presents at our weekly meeting and studied such things as saving faith, the church, the Bible, and our adoption as God’s children. I am looking forward to what this year holds for Kidsquest, especially as we seek to redecorate the downstairs area as a children’s ministry area.
In an effort to continually divide the Word of Truth for God's people, we switched our pew Bibles from the NIV to the ESV.
I am most excited about what we will be studying on Sunday mornings after we finish the current series. When I first came to Bergen Presbyterian over 4 years ago, I determined that we would start a sermon series in Exodus, pause at the Passover Lamb in the book of Exodus, see the drama of the Passover Lamb as we looked at the last week of the life of Christ, studied the theology of the Cross, studied how this theology of the cross should affect us as a church, including worship, life together as a church family, and finally carrying the Gospel to our communities and the world. Sadly, in the mist of all that, we got sidetracked by covid and did a systematic sermon series using Pilgrim’s Progress as our guide, but now we finally can see the end of this long plan of sermons, after which, I hope to return to the book of Exodus.
So why spend this long amount of time to reach this point? We will talk about this later, but in my preparation for this upcoming sermon series, I came across this great quote by William F. Cook and Chuck Lawless, in their book, Spiritual Warfare in the Storyline of Scripture: “When believers do regain their fire for Jesus, two things often happen: (1) anything the devil offers only pales in comparison to knowing Jesus, and (2) evangelism is much more natural. Believers who are on fire for Jesus can hardly help but speak about Jesus, and no threat from the enemy can push them into silence.”
I don’t know about you, but when different circumstances come into my life, good or bad, I can find my fire for Jesus sometimes diminished. However, the more that I regain that passion for the Gospel, the two above things happen, I am able to stand firm against Satan’s attacks and the love of Jesus just naturally comes off when I speak, and so that’s why for instance, we spent so much time on topics such as theology of the cross, so that we (including myself) might continually regain our passion for Jesus and we might be the church that God has called us to be.
Pastor Brandt Hammack