An Extraordinary Year

Dear Friends in Christ,

This past year was unique. We spent most of it apart. We worshipped from our homes through tv and computer screens. Committee meetings occurred virtually. Fellowship was limited to small groups outside. Easter and Christmas found our sanctuary pews empty. All were necessary precautions while enduring COVID-19, the worst pandemic since 1918.

Yet, we worshipped. We conducted our business at committee meetings. We fellowshipped in small groups by phone and by Zoom. We supported our mission partners and we spread the good news of the Gospel.

By its absence, we have learned how much more we enjoy fellowship that is person to person. We have a greater appreciation for seeing one another face to face – without a mask! We know more fully the value of being an incarnational disciples. We hunger for these things.

This was a year we did not imagine and there were times when we all wondered if it would ever end. As we gather for the annual meeting the pandemic rages on but a vaccine is being distributed and these hard days will soon yield to joyful ones. We have endured through the strength of the Holy Spirit and by the love of Jesus Christ.

When we emerge from this experience in the coming months, we will find our church at a crossroads. It will be time to adapt again to a changed and changing world. Online worship, a smaller membership, and the ability to broadcast our worship services far and wide will require some letting go.

For those of you who like to cook, you know one of the best kitchen items to have is a sharp knife. A sharp knife is made by honing it on a whetstone. By doing so, some of the metal on the knife is shaved away. But that honing process leaves you with a better, sharper, more useful knife.

This will be true for Webster Groves Presbyterian Church. The pandemic forced us to rethink how to do many things. Adding to this, our budget deficit requires us to reconfigure our staff and our ministry. So, as any church that has lasted for over 150 years knows, when times change the church must change too.

Therefore, we will be about honing in the months ahead and some things will need to be shaved away in order for this to happen. Do not fear. This honing process will prepare our church to be better focused and sharper for our future ministries.

I am looking forward to doing this work along with all of you as we listen for the Holy Spirit to lead us to the new thing that breaks forth. And I am reaaaally looking forward to worshipping in person with you again!

Peace be with you!
Pastor Ed

We seek to live Christ's love, welcome all people and joyfully serve God.