As the year comes to a close, I would like to offer this entry into “Pastor’s Gratitude Journal” to say “THANK YOU!” to my church family at Good Shepherd United Church of Christ. With 2015 behind us and 2016 ahead of us, I personally have so much to be thankful for, but little compares to the love, fellowship, support and community that exemplifies our church.
The time leading up to Christmas and the end of the year has been hectic, as this time of the year often is. This was accentuated for my family, by the unexpected complications my mother-in-law Dottie encountered several days after a surgery in mid-December. Having a loved one spend Christmas in a hospital is not ideal, but her release from ICU on Christmas Eve was truly a Christmas gift that is memorable, priceless and worthy of praise to our Lord.
For each of you who have called, texted, emailed or reached out in person or by social media to offer your words of encouragement, support and prayer, I offer my heartfelt gratitude on behalf of my wife Renee, my father-in-law Clif, my brother-in-law Clif II and our entire family.
As we look back on 2015 as a church, I hope we have many fond memories and experiences that will live on forever in our collective conscious. But, with such a bright future ahead of us, let us not keep our eyes fixed on the past! It is with great excitement that I look to 2016 and I hope you too are ready to ride that wave of excitement at Good Shepherd as we prepare to celebrate our 40th year as a Christian congregation, a ministry-minded parish and loving family of faith.
Much will be forthcoming in the days and weeks ahead about very special events and services that are being planned to celebrate our 40th anniversary. As we head into 2016, I hope you will join me in offering prayers of thanksgiving and gratitude for a wonderful four decade history and God willing, many, many more decades ahead for our church and her ministry to our community!
On behalf of Renee, Madison and the entire Graf and Frilot families, I wish you each a very Happy, Joyous, Blessed and Prosperous New Year!
In Christ's service,