2018, the Year in Praise
At the end of 2018, of all years, we should take time to remember the good things God has done and praise him for it.
Last year at this time we were still Chico Grace Brethren, but early that winter Pastor Matt opened a discussion about changing the name of the church. This discussion incorporated suggestions from the whole church body that we funneled down to two choices for a final congregational vote.
Meanwhile we were looking at two significant staff additions. By the time April 1st rolled around we kicked off Easter morning with a new associate pastor, Heath Jarrett; a new music director, Clark Minor; and a new name: Living Hope Fellowship!
Later that spring we threw two block parties, small outreach events hosted by members of our congregation in their own neighborhoods. This outreach theme culminated in a large block party here at the church on the fourth of July. We had a barbeque that included some folks from the surrounding neighborhood as well as some parents and kids from Vacation Bible School and the high schoolers from Operation Barnabas.
On the heels of that, youth camp at Mount Hope was a time of relational and spiritual growth for our group, brought about, at least in part, by the impact Pastor Heath’s teaching had on the campers that year.
This October we did something we had never done before: we held a car show in our parking lot. Initially conceived as a way for men of our church to fellowship together, it morphed into an outreach that enabled our church to bless a lot of people in the “car restoration world.”
After the catastrophic Camp Fire, we had several wonderful fellowship events, probably the best of which was our Christmas dinner. We packed the sanctuary with almost as many people as are present on a Sunday morning. We shared great food, great talents, and celebrated the beginning of the Advent season more sweetly than we ever had before.
In the shadows of so many great decisions and events are all our leaders and volunteers. Their love and dedication to God’s work make them the biggest praise of this, or any year.