I’d like to take a moment and talk about what is going on.  Recently, we started a 40 Day Prayer Challenge.  And I fear we may not have communicated our intentions very well.

We, the pastors and board, wished to address the proverbial elephant in the room that we as a congregational family are not where we ought to be.  There is no denying that we are struggling as a congregation: people we know are no longer here, there are only a few coming in, and we need to grow in our living together as Christ in the

George Richardson

community.  In recognizing this issue, and after much study, prayer, and thought, we decided we need to act as a congregation and begin with prayer for guidance and strength.

In other words, we are praying to become more Christlike to become better than what we currently are.  We are not praying to lose, to do things like selling property or getting rid of staff.  Rather we are praying to grow in the assurance of the Gospel and in reaching out with the hope we are given by the Holy Spirit in our victorious savior, Jesus.  And this is something we think that we all need to do: Pr. Schlote and myself, the board, and you.  We want to walk forward together – not in despair, but in hope, for our God is the God who overcame despair when He buried it in the grave.

Our prayers then are that we grow in the assurance of the Gospel; that we grow in holiness and care, guided to where each of us is needed to give hope to others; and that we may have the strength and wisdom to do so.