Counting Our Blessings
By Doug Bing, Washington Conference president
Dear Washington Conference Family:
“How are you coping?”
It was late summer, Covid-19 numbers were decreasing, and for the first time since mid-March our ministry directors gathered together in the same room (after every detail had been evaluated for this small assembly).
The ministry directors opened their hearts about how they were processing a year of altered plans, canceled events, interrupted dreams, doubts, discouragement, and personal losses. This was supposed to be a banner year of ministry with 2020 vision.
The team shared how they were coping through reading, eating (better or worse), exercising (better or worse), trying new hobbies, volunteering, investing in family time, participating in Bible study, and praying with prayer partners. It was a healthy time of connection before we resumed our weekly virtual meetings, praying our way through the ups-and-downs of this year, and trusting God to reveal the next steps.
When we are in the midst of life’s storms, we tend to be in survival mode. The old hymn reminds us to count our blessings and name them one by one, especially when life’s billows leave us discouraged, tempest tossed, and thinking all is lost.
In email exchanges in December, we started listing God’s blessings from this year. Before long, we collected 100 items of thanksgiving! God was truly on the move this year as we individually and collectively pivoted to new ways of doing ministry and moving the mission forward. Our team was truly amazed at God’s goodness! You may read through the list of blessings and watch a video message at http://bit.ly/2020blessings. It is worth reading, reflecting, and rejoicing about God’s acts!
John 16:33 reminds us: “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” We certainly had a year filled with tribulation, yet God is greater than the trials we face and wants to share His peace.
This is our wish for you: the gift of God’s peace.
Peace is grounded in a vibrant relationship in Jesus. Intimately knowing and depending on Jesus helps us when (not if!) we encounter the pressures and tribulations of life. This peace is nurtured as we intentionally invest time in meaningful Bible study, prayer, service, and the ministry of encouragement.
Whatever happens in 2021 — the joys, the sorrows, the victories, the struggles — keep your eyes on your Creator and Savior. Jesus is faithful. He will provide! He always does! May the Lord will fill you with reassurance, peace, and His protection as you anticipate His soon return.
Doug Bing, president, on behalf of the Washington Conference team
Counting Our Blessings in 2020
Whether we worship online, indoors or outside, we are growing spiritually and expanding our ministry territory.
We witnessed 65 professions of faith and 192 baptisms (to date) in pools, tubs, the ocean, lakes, and churches.
Altering Our Altars
We’ve checked in and prayed more together this year via Zoom, by phone, or with family.
Feeding Our Neighbors
Thousands of families received food from established and emergency food distribution sites.
Parents are reassured by each school’s Safe Start plan and our school enrollment is up to 1,222!
Launched the Just Us podcast to encourage listeners to open their hearts to one another.
Looking Ahead to 2021
Start the Year with Prayer
To nurture faith in a new year, you are invited to participate in your choice of virtual prayer times: the world church’s 10 Days of Prayer, the NPUC’s 10 Days of Prayer, Washington Conference’s Days of Prayer, and/or your local church prayer time.
Ministry Events & Camp Meeting Plans
By faith, we are planning for a camp meeting experience from June 18-26, 2021, whether online or in-person. All ministry events are initially planned to be online with a potential for in-person gatherings. Subscribe to Washington ACTS e-news for the latest updates.
Investing in Family Ministry
By faith, Sunset Lake Camp desires to invest in family ministry through the construction of family cabins for a new Rainier Village. There’s a $200,000 matching donation for phase 1 of construction. Every donation matters! Make a one-time or monthly gift at sunsetlake.org!