Before rushing forward into a new year, we always pause one more time at the end of January, after all of the work of the previous year has come to a close, to take one more look at last year in order to say one more important word, “Thank you.” In looking at the previous financial year, our giving exceeded our expenses again, allowing us to further reduce the deficit from 2012. There are further details from the Stewardship Committee in this newsletter, but we pause in order to say to one another, “Thank you.”

We are thankful for each and every gift offered to the church, which represents the generosity and commitment of the congregation. We are thankful for all the ways in which those gifts support the congregation and extend its ministry. Each gift enlivens and enriches all we do.

We are grateful for all the church is doing, for the Brotherhood in Action, as they meet and talk about possible projects, recently helping a ministry for people with disabilities replace screen doors at a camp. We appreciate the Caring Hands ministry, making beads and knitted items, which can be taken to those dealing with grief or health problems. We give thanks when church members greet or befriend a college student or visitor on Sunday morning after worship. We are thankful for benevolence gifts, as we were able to provide food recently to families with immediate needs in the midst of crises.

We are grateful for the jail ministry, which recently received a letter from a person who received a Christmas box , but who needed reading glasses in order to read the Bible, which was part of the box, and how this ministry provided those glasses. We are thankful on Thursday nights, when the church gathers for study and prayer, calling out names and needs, as we join our hearts together prayerfully. We are thankful for the work of the two search committees, as they continue their discernment.

One other way in which we are grateful is for the first Claude H. Moore Lecture Series, which will be on Sunday, February 8. We are grateful to the family of Claude H. Moore for enabling the church to have these lectures, which will be presented by Dr. Bill Leonard, professor of church history and previous interim preacher at Auburn First Baptist.

We are grateful for the commitment of the congregation, for its generosity and ministry, and for all the ways in which the church enlivens the shared journey of faith.

Auburn First Baptist Church