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  • Writer's picturePastor Jess Scholten

Pastor's Pondering - December 31, 2021

Dear friends –

One of our favorite practices at the end of the year in the Scholten household is to list all the things we’re grateful for over the past year. Last year, we realized how much we needed this after the disaster that was 2020, because even with a global pandemic and a lot of challenge for us personally, we still had some significant highlights. On this New Year’s Eve, here’s a short list of just a few of the highlights I’ve especially appreciated over this last year:

  • The Session – we have lucked out with the same session in 2021 as in 2020, and they are an amazing group of people dedicated to Jesus and to you. The number of special meetings and extra prayer needed to get through has been astonishing, and they’ve been here for you.

  • The Deacons – another dedicated group of people who have checked in on folks and prayed over the congregation

  • The staff and church leadership – some of the highlights below are ways the staff and leaders in the church have continued to minister and innovate and use the gifts of God to serve God and others in significant ways throughout 2021.

  • In-person worship – nothing like pre-recording for 53 Sundays (yes, I counted) to make one even more fully appreciate leading worship in real time.

  • Easter – it was a beautiful day out on the lawn, complete with an Easter egg hunt, flowering the cross, and so much joy at gathering outside.

  • Live-streaming - I love this, and I know many of you do as well – that when you’re not able to be here you can still join in on worship online. Dare I say this is a gift of the pandemic?

  • Outdoor worship - once a month until it was just too cold to have it, we were blessed with awesome weather and some beautiful Sundays on the lawn.

  • The Live Nativity – as brilliant as the star that guided the wisemen, this year’s updated live nativity was one of my favorite Christmas activities.

  • You – you are the reason we’ve experienced joy even in challenging times. You are how we’ve all been able to work together even when there is so much divide in our culture. You have cared and encouraged one another, adapted, jumped in, participated, planned, and been a part of things so that we can all worship, gather, celebrate, give thanks, and continue to live with Christ’s hope and love, sharing that love with others. Thank you!

There are many more joys and special moments over this past year – what are your River Glen highlights for 2021? Happy New Year!

In Christ’s love,


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