It’s the last day of the year—a time when we reflect on all that has taken place, celebrate the many ways God is with us and look forward to the dreams and visions 2020 will bring.
Two Rivers Church has much to celebrate in 2019, our first full year as a worshipping community. As we are people who live in the way of Jesus, we experienced significant growth in the five practices that ground us as a community.
This year we worshipped every Sunday at Philip Simmons High School, our new Sunday morning home. Our worship attendance has grown and deepened throughout this year, with new guests joining us every week. Our music experience has grown as well and we are now able to offer two worship experiences—our regular Sunday morning option and pop-up church on Sunday evenings. In 2020, look for more worship opportunities throughout the week.
Our small group ministry exploded this year. We finished the year with 13 dinner, study, lunch and justice groups and will add at least two more groups in January. Our community commitment to prayer, Bible reading and spending time in Christian community grew this year as evidenced by deeper questions, new friendships, and more frequent sharing of stories of God’s work during our worship experiences.
This year we committed to four solidarity expressions: Fresh Future Farm, Charleston Area Justice Ministry, Charleston Pride and Welcoming Newcomers (refugee and asylum seeker support). Our commitment to these solidarity actions enabled us to donate $2,500 to Fresh Future Farm’s efforts to purchase their land; supported free laundry days for our newcomer friends, started two new Network groups for CAJM, and participated in several Pride events. We put our money, our time and our physical efforts behind the causes that create change in our community.
Our community is extravagantly generous. In addition to helping purchase land for Fresh Future Farm, we also paid off the total student lunch debt for Philip Simmons High School in the Fall 2019 semester, supported neighbors who needed rent assistance after losing a week of income after the hurricane evacuation, and more. Our donations exceeded our budgeted amount this year, a sign that we are on our way to becoming a self-sustaining congregation.
We are not shy as a community in sharing what God does for us. Our community members have an active social media presence and share with deep meaning what God is doing in their lives through this congregation. We also publically our commitments to God; we experienced two sessions of beach baptisms and a congregational baptism on Sunday morning. God is at work in many ways here!
We don’t do life alone at Two Rivers Church—our community is supported by folks who worship with us, pray for us from afar or support our vision and aren’t even churchgoers. We are thankful this year for you!
I invite you to help us finish our year strong. We are only $4,500 away from reaching our stretch financial goal for 2019. Many of you have given so generously—thank you! If you wonder if your $15 or $25 gift makes a difference—it does! If you have the resources to support our Jesus-centered, fully inclusive, anti-racist community, know your gift will he used responsibly to bring about God’s vision of the beloved kin-dom.
I pray daily for you, friends, this year and the next. Happy New Year!