Bob Short’s report on behalf of the elders with an overview of 2020 and a look ahead to 2021.
A pandemic, racial tensions and a divisive year in politics created a disruption in our lifestyles that provided opportunities and challenges for the church to be the church. In March we were blessed by a dedicated and talented group of members who quickly put together the technology and plans to offer a weekly online service. Thankfully, in May we were able to resume in-person services with accommodations for social distancing and compliance with the Governor’s emergency proclamation. Issues of gathering vs. not gathering, masking vs. not masking and social distancing all raised a variety of opinions and stances, and we are thankful that the unity of the Spirit has largely prevailed among the church at Creekside, with opportunities for each to honor one another above him- or herself. “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:3-4) Our prayer is that our attitudes and behaviors to one another reflect the unity of the Spirit of God.
We are still waiting for the right time to re-introduce AWANA, and for enough volunteers to open a staffed nursery, but the Remember Service, Sunday School, Middle & High School Youth Groups, Timothy Team and Men’s and Women’s Bible studies have resumed meeting in person in addition to the Sunday morning Connect Service. Some of these are also available online as well. We place our confidence in God, and have confidence in His plans as we move forward in a time of change and prolonged uncertainty. “But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me. Follow the pattern of sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 1:12-13)
Toward the end of the year we were blessed to have Doug Elrick join the Elder team. His testimony as a teacher, leader and servant of the church at Creekside was well-known, and this addition was a natural fit.
Teaching and Discipleship
In 2020 we interrupted our Matthew series to consider Race, Justice and Government in response to social unrest, racial tensions and a very divisive year in national politics. Our desire was to search the Scriptures for the proper outlook and response to the issues of the day.
During the summer months we hosted Micah Tuttle and Brett Ricley for encouragement in evangelism and training in how to approach others with the gospel.
In spite of the disruption of our normal “Get to Know Us” classes we were able to recognize a number of new members in 2020.
The Richards visited Creekside this year again, giving updates on their plans to return to Liberia. We were also encouraged by a visit from Matt and Trista Deever, who are back in Iowa awaiting the opportunity to return to the foreign mission field. In September, Norb and Karen Metzler and Ryan Carter felt called to go back and serve on a short-term mission trip to Haiti, where they served in the gospel, as well as ministering to many practical needs, and we had the privilege of hearing stories of God’s grace from their trip.
We received other video updates as well as Zoom calls with the Calderons.
We were unable to host our regular Easter Egg Hunt and July 4th picnic, but offered ‘drive-thru’ candy pick-up and invited neighbors to watch fireworks from our yard in spite of it.
As we move forward in 2021, we will be exploring ways to mature our ministries, outreach to our community and world, and assimilate individuals, drawing people everywhere to a devoted relationship with Jesus Christ.
Be assured that you are being prayed for by your elder team as we navigate these uncertain waters together. We will continue to make every effort to stay in touch with you whether in person, by Zoom or by a personal phone call. God’s blessings in the upcoming year!