As your Pastor, I greet each of you in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Like so many, I assume that you are being inundated with the cares of this world. As my mother would say, “If it ain’t one thing, it’s another!” Despite all the problems experienced in 2020, as a congregation, we were able to experience much progress.
REACHING OTHERS FOR CHRIST
We began 2020 with a Church Theme: “Reaching Others For Christ” with an emphasis on Commitment and Unity. Even though we have not assembled together since March 15, 2020, we still fulfilled our theme, and we did it creatively. We reached more people online in the past ten months than ever before.
Our Online Ministries are exceptional, and we give God the glory. God blessed us with a phenomenal website designed by my son, Kevin B. Hall, Jr. Our website has enabled us to maintain a connection with each other and reach others in many ways, and we appreciate our Web Team that has faithfully navigated us through many sessions or meetings.
God inspired us to develop a Grocery Giveaway Ministry which began June 9, 2020. We distribute a total of 75-200 bags of groceries at our South Campus and North Campus every Tuesday at noon. We commend our dedicated workers who prepare bags of groceries every Monday, and we commend our dedicated workers who distribute these groceries to the public every Tuesday afternoon. We also commend many of you who financially support this ministry. (Cars are often lined up to receive these groceries.)
“When God shows up, He shows out!” We serve a God who is a Miracle Worker, and many of us are a living witness that this is a fact. As your Pastor, I am alive and healthy today because God is a Miracle Worker. I experienced a health challenge last July that could have taken me out of this world or left me remaining in this world seriously afflicted or disabled; however, by the grace of God, my physicians have told me that I am doing exceptionally well. The fact of the matter, I am better in many ways than I was before. Moreover, we have parishioners who were infected with Covid-19 that recovered from it, and we have other parishioners who were seriously ill but are miraculously alive and healthy. To those of us who know that God is a Miracle Worker, we must share this with others all the days of our lives as we pilgrim through this world.
FAMILY LIFE CENTER
Our Family Life Center is a building project that is still forthcoming. It is designed to fulfill a portion of our Mission Statement: “Enjoying One Another….” To fellowship is an important factor of our life, and we envision our Family Life Center to be a facility where people will experience much enjoyment and recreation. By the way, the warehouse we purchased across the street from our North Campus Sanctuary has already been demolished, and we envision that vacant land to be one of our parking lots.
Our plans are scheduled to be reviewed next Wednesday at 6:00 pm by the Richmond Design Review Board, so please pray for God’s favor to be manifested on our behalf. The City of Richmond must grant us a Building Permit in order to begin construction. To many of us who have already contributed financially, thank you so much. To many who are still contributing financially, thank you so much. To many who have not contributed financially (yet are able to do so), demonstrate your loyalty to God and St. John by supporting this building project even if you do not see how it will benefit you personally.
Our income in 2020 was about 70% of what we have been averaging annually. We understand two major reasons for this decrease are the result of not being able to assemble together and the result of many who are experiencing financial challenges. Although we could have done better had many who are financially able but did not support St. John with their Tithes and Offerings, I am still thankful that we culminated 2020 in the black with an operative net income.
In 2021, I do not want anyone to feel bad or worry if you are not able to give financially. Keep praying that God will bless you to live and give, for Jesus said “It is more blessed to give than receive” (Acts 20:35). To those of us who are financially able, let us obediently, cheerfully and faithfully give our Tithes and Offerings throughout 2021 because God promises to bless us abundantly when we give our Tithes and Offerings (Mal. 3:10). We give currently by mailing or dropping off our Tithes and Offerings to our St. John South Campus (662 South 52nd Street—Richmond, CA 94804) or by giving online through our website (sjmbc.org).
By the grace of God, we are still alive! God is truly taking care of everyone, especially His children. Last week, we learned in Psalm 33:19 that God promised to keep His children alive even during a famine in those days. As God is able to keep us alive amid a famine, He is able to keep us alive amid a pandemic. Alternatively stated, God is able to keep people, especially believers, alive in dire circumstances. (Of course, this does not mean be careless or negligent.) Each day that God blesses us to be alive, let us make it a day of praise and thanksgiving. Also, let us remember daily to pray for our spiritual and civic leaders, and pray for the healing of our nation (2 Chron. 7:14).
May God bless and sustain each of us.
Your Servant In Christ,
Dr. Kevin B. Hall