Happy and Blessed New Year Grace!!
By Chamus Burnside-Savazzini
What a joy it is to open our eyes to the dawn of a new day, month and year! Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life! What are you going to do with it? Who will you take along for the ride? Who do you need to start afresh with? What goals have you set before you? How will you grow deeper in relationship with God, Grace Church, family, friends and those in your community? These decisions have so much potential because we all have a chance to hit the reset button and create a new normal for ourselves. It does not matter who you were, where you have been or what you were doing, today it’s all about who you will be, where you plan to go and what you plan to do. Let’s move forward in Christ together.
In order to appreciate where we are going, we must stop and first give God thanks for where we have been and how he has kept us along the way. I will share a bit about the Children’s Faith Formation journey in 2019.
As the year began we, were blessed to have the support of an amazing Trustee group that helped us navigate through relocation and the remodel of the Children’s Area as a result of the Glenna Holloway gift. It happened so quickly but required lots of heavy lifting and I could not have done it without the leadership of those on that team. They were and still are a huge inspiration.
We were able to welcome new families into our ministry and church. We thank God for every one of them! Our staff members were CPR/AED/First Aid certified, and we held multiple events that brought families and children together. Working with wonderful members of Grace we hosted and led the Created by God weekend, Caregiver and Me Valentine’s Fellowship, Holy Wednesday Resurrection Garden and dinner night, Touch A Truck, Indian Prairie School backpack collection, Vacation Bible School, UMW sponsored VBS Family Night, Kane County Cougars Faith Night Out, provided a craft table for Fall Festival, Advent Wreath making and hosted Kid’s Night Out.
We also led mission projects supporting Bridge Communities and Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry, Community Garden through VBS, Loaves and Fishes birthday bag program, Heifer International, Hesed House medicine cabinet and cards of encouragement and relief response to the Bahamas through the Sunday School classes. As a church, we believe in putting faith into action!
With the support of MANY members and friends of Grace, I was able to go and provide relief support to those affected by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas and I will forever thank God for those that encouraged me and that continue to encourage me in these efforts.
We changed schedules mid-year and I am thankful for everyone’s patience as we continue to navigate through this process. It is not perfect, and I do not think God is expecting that, but what we are praying for is for every person and family at Grace to find that time when they can form their faith the way that they feel comfortable and find a place to worship God wholeheartedly.
Our Sunday School attendance fluctuates from week to week and we thank our Nursery Team and the faithful Sunday School volunteers. We always welcome those who are interested in being a part of this important ministry of passing God’s word on to the next generation.
In Matthew 28 we are all called to do just that with the reminder that God will be with us to the end of the age!
Matthew 28:16-20 New International Version (NIV)
The Great Commission
16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Just reading the above paragraphs makes me take a deep breath and thank God for his grace and mercy. He was with us every step of the way in 2019 and he will continue to be with us! All we need to do is acknowledge his presence in our lives, families, church and in our ministries and humbly invite him to guide us along the way. We are here because he has called us for a time such as this.
As we journey through 2020, my prayer is that:
- We remember that we are called to be the church and reflect the Levitical calling to care for the church that we love.
- Every child will grow in their faith and know in their heart that Christ is Lord.
- Every family grows in faith together and strengthens their commitment to learning and hearing God’s word on a regular basis.
- We have a strengthened intergenerational experience as a church family.
- We will be the hands, feet and heart of Jesus to the world, which is hurting for all kinds of ills.
- We never forget that God is watching over us, walking with us and expecting us to do His will!
We are thankful for each and every one who has been a part of the life of this church. We also celebrate the saints that are now with our Lord and Savior. May their lives and legacies continue to guide us and show us the way that leads to Christ!
In closing, I remember Philippians 1:3
Thanksgiving and Prayer
3 I thank my God every time I remember you. (NIV)
Have a blessed New Year!