How should we describe the first half of this year? Well, it is a little complicated! For the first time in our lives, congregations felt the need to avoid meeting in person to secure the physical health of their members and the surrounding community. North Second Street has returned to a limited schedule of face-to-face services. While nothing is back to normal. It is still good to examine ourselves. So, here we go!
Year Attendance Giving (budget)
Jan-June 2016 50 $2172 (2400)
Jan-June 2017 52 $2240 (2235)
Jan-June 2018 48 $2028 (2059)
Jan-June 2019 56 $2524 (2268)
Jan-June 2020 46 $2397 (2450)
Our attendance before the COVID-19 suspension of in-person services, was 53 per Sunday morning service. Our average since returning is 34. How do we make sense of those numbers? Let’s take a look starting with what I consider to be a huge positive.
The effort and discipline shown by this group of Christians to contribute to the Lord’s work, is amazing and encouraging. Considering we had a grand total of 11 fully attended Sundays out of 26; the fact we are within 53-dollars of our budget is outstanding! I am proud to be a member of this flock. To God be the glory for cheerful givers (II Corinthians 9:7).
Here are some factors to consider pertaining to our attendance. There are at least ten members with age and/or health considerations who are meeting with us online. They have a lifetime of faithful service to God that speaks to who they are in Christ. We are with them in spirit. We have also lost a few families since March. The Bromley, Grelle, and Perez families are no longer with us. May God send us sinners and workers.
To me, the area that has taken the worst beating during this time of testing has been our Bible study program. With Wednesday night studies on Facebook live, the opportunity to teach our young people is down to once a week. Allow me to speak bluntly here. Teachers cannot teach kids that are not in attendance. What is more important than learning about the things of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? We have one precious opportunity to feed our children the bread of life. Let’s dedicate ourselves to bringing them to the table Sunday mornings at nine.
Another ray of sunlight has been the evidence of the power of the gospel. Notya Brown, Juston Perez, and Diara Savage were baptized into Christ in 2020. Pete and Victoria Grelle, Matt and Kacy Rabbitt, and Charlie Savage placed their membership with the congregation. Emmett Brown was born to Mitch, Notya, Empson, and Cora. While Everly Grelle made parents of Pete and Victoria. Plus, we are in a process to hopefully select and install overseers by February 2021. What a blessing to type this paragraph. Praise God!
There is no doubt this has been a year of upheaval so far. Some of our members have suffered terrible loss (children, siblings, parents, and more). You are in our prayers. The COVID-19 crisis will continue to be a challenge. Will we rise or will we fall? Our God can make us stand. “Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save,”-Isiah 59:1. Amen.