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2017 Annual Report

Letter from the Senior Pastor:

And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13:13


Dear Friends,

The thirteenth chapter of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians is well known to us. We hear the “love chapter” read at weddings and sometimes at funerals. Paul didn’t have weddings or funerals in mind when he wrote these words. He was describing the whole of the Christian life in the church. No matter what conflicts the community faced, no matter what gifts individual Christians possessed, and no matter what challenges lay before the church, love was the one thing that mattered most. If conflicts were not addressed in a spirit of love, if gifts were not exercised in a spirit of love and if challenges were not met with love, then the church failed to be the church of Jesus Christ.

I am grateful for the many ways in which I see the love of Christ manifest in our life together in the church. We praise God; we teach our children and youth; we welcome strangers; we feed the hungry; we reach out into the community and world; we face changing culture and community – all in a spirit of love. This annual report gives us a glimpse of our life together in the past year. I invite you to see the ways in which love is manifest among us. When I look back over 2017, the words of Reinhold Niebuhr come to my mind:

Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope. Nothing which is true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith. Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we must be saved by love. No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or foe as it is from our standpoint. Therefore we must be saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness. (The Irony of American History)

Let us enter the new year together in a spirit of faith, hope and love.

Yours in Christ,

Dr. Lewis F. Galloway
Senior Pastor


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