In Psalm 40:5, it says, “O Lord my God, you have performed many wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them.” Recently, I was on a personal prayer retreat where I was reflecting on the wonders God has performed for us and spent some time seeking His plan for us as a church family.
This past year has been an exciting year around Fourth Street. We have seen God perform many wonders for us through the many ongoing ministries of Fourth Street that continue to reach out, touching and changing people’s lives. As you take time to read these reports, you will see how God continues to work in our midst.
On Sunday mornings, we started this past year out by looking at some of the teachings of Jesus and what He had to say about our problems and successes in our day to day life. In January, we were challenged not only to grow in our faith, but to look for ways to share our faith with others. Then, leading up to Easter, we did a study in Proverbs focusing on some of the characteristics that should visible in our daily lives. After Easter, we went through the Apostles Creed phrase by phrase and studied the basics of our faith. Then we moved into how we can live out our faith in our day to day life.
As a church family we continue to reach out to our community of Madera, demonstrating Christ love, by teaming up with the City Parks and Recreation Department and maintaining a mile of the Bike Trail along the Fresno River. We also had the opportunity to be the gathering place for our local Neighborhood Watch, hosting three informational evenings. Connected to Neighborhood Watch we also hosted a National Night Out event where our neighborhood gathered together in our parking lot for a potluck dinner.
We increased our staff this year by adding Kat Lanoie on a part time basis as our Youth Intern. Kat has taken over some of Pastor Paula’s responsibilities and is leading our Youth on Wednesday evenings allowing Pastor Paula to become more available for our FSKids ministry.
On a district level, after serving for over nine years on the Executive Council for the Central California District of the Church of God I have stepped aside from that committee and now serve on the Credentials Committee for the district. The Credentials Committee is responsible for credentialing and accountability of ministers and congregations within our district.
This past April, I had the privilege of attending the Western Regional Convention for The Church of God in Vancouver, Washington. It was a good time of networking with the other ministers and hearing from the General Director of The Church of God. And currently I am enrolled in a weekly coaching cohort with Gravity Leadership where I am being challenged to grow as a pastor and in leadership of the church.
This past year was an eventful year, but I believe that it is only a foreshadowing of what God has in store for us in the coming year as we continue to follow Him and allow Him to teach us to DRAW people into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ; to DEVELOP believers into fully devoted followers of Jesus; and to DEMOSTRATE the power of Christ’s love to the community of Madera and around the world.
Peace and Blessing,