In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ greetings to this year’s Annual Meeting. We have
much to celebrate this year, from growth in membership to the development of stronger
kids programs. From a bigger food shelf that services more clientele to a neighborhood
ministry with the big block party and food distribution lines.
This year marked another year of relationship with Nu Way Missionary Baptist Church
under the leadership of the Rev. Willie MacAfee. We are doing more things together now
from sharing worship services to teaching Bible studies. Nu Way’s chicken distribution has
also done much to engender hope in our neighborhood well of feeding people.
This year also marks the time where we finished renovating the church sanctuary. We now
have a beautiful red oak floor, refurbished church pews, Power Point screen and the new
Baptismal Font and The Lord’s Supper table – just in time for our church anniversary. And
of course this year will be the one we remember as the year of the new church roof! Thank
you to all of the generous donors who gave much to tend to keep the elements out. Thank
you, as well, to the Rev. Willie McAfee for being the general contractor to get the roof done.
What a blessing it has been to attend to some of the deferred maintenance in our building!
2013 will also be the year that we remember how we expanded our food services to the
neighborhood. We now have breakfast served every Sunday plus a bag of groceries with it
twice a month. We now have community meals every Wednesday evening where people
can come with their families, eat a meal, go to a Bible study and leave with a bag of
food. The remarkable thing that is happening with these expanded services is that the
people who are coming to use them are sticking around. They are volunteering to help run
and support each of these programs; and they are joining our church! Praise God for the
way the Spirit moves through all of our lives.
As I look to 2014, I am mindful of how the Spirit will move through the life of our
congregation. The direction that I feel called to this year is to lead us is in Discipleship.
Using the metaphor of “feeding people”, how is it that we can ‘feed’ the people that God is
bringing to us? Beyond bread, milk, and eggs, how is it that we will feed those whom God
is bringing to us on the Word? Our strategy will be straight forward. Using Hospitality as our
working metaphor, we will continue to invite people to The Table, to small groups, to bible
studies, to fellowship, trusting that God will feed them through us, as much as, we will be
fed through those whom God is bringing. This will be an exciting year in God’s
On a final note, thanks to all those who serve in our congregation. From the circles to the
Bible studies to the church council, from the drivers to the food shelf volunteers to the
GLCW and of course the amazing paid staff at Gethsemane, it is a remarkable thing to see
how a small community continues to do so much for the sake of Jesus in our neighborhood.
May God continue to bless and keep us as we walk as His disciples.
Pr. Jeff Nehrbass