Posted by: Jim Black | December 16, 2013

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

I cannot believe that this time has rolled around once again… time for our annual “Christmas Letter” to all of you.  This final bulletin before Christmas always sneaks up on me, but I SO appreciate the opportunity to write up a little “end-of-the-year” note.

This year has been an incredibly blessed one at Washington Street!  We ended 2012 with an emotional “note-burning” dinner as this congregation made final payment on our building which had consumed so much of our time, attention and financial resources throughout the previous seven years.  With that behind us, we faced 2013 with a renewed focus and a new energy to take on whatever God wanted for us!  I truly believed… as I continue to believe that “Greater Things are Yet to Come!”

In May our prayers were answered and we welcomed Wes and Stephanie Collum to our church family.  Wes got off to an incredible start as our new Youth & Family Minister… hitting the ground running with a jam-packed schedule that kept our young people busy with camps, retreats and, most importantly, service opportunities.  He and Stephanie have been a tremendous blessing to Washington Street and they are a joy to work alongside in the ministry here.  Our church family has grown as we welcomed twenty seven new members place membership and witnessed what will be seven baptisms this year!

As I look back and reflect over this past year, I think of so many who have left us.  This year we have seen the passing of many beloved church family members here at Washington Street.  My heart goes out to each and every one of you who have lost a dear loved one this year.  Their absence is felt especially at this time of year.

At our house, things are busy as usual.  Andy and David are playing on the Middle School Basketball team for Riverside Christian Academy and having a great season.  Michael is about to start his basketball season in RCA’s “Jr. Pro” program.  They are 13, 11 and 9 respectively… which still blows my mind!  Daniel, our precocious 3 year old, runs the household giving orders to his brothers (which they usually follow) and is full of life… and energy!  This year marks the twelfth anniversary of our coming to Washington Street (December 2nd of 2001 was my first Sunday here!) … and we celebrated 18 years of marriage AND ministry in July!  I thank Celeste profusely for hanging in there!

One change that has affected both our family and our church family has been Celeste taking on additional responsibilities here at church as our new Children’s program director.  She coordinated a Children’s Christmas party on Sunday that was a great success and she is looking forward to greatly expanding this incredible ministry to the kids of the congregation.  This means our schedule and daily routine have changed just a bit and we are still getting used to it and figuring things out.

We continue to be so blessed to be a part of this church family.  There is no way that we could send every one of you, our family, the traditional “Christmas Card” so let me take this opportunity to say to every one reading these words, “Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year!”  We sincerely pray that the holidays will be filled with joy and laughter… with good times and great memories!  May God bless you.

-Jim, Celeste, Andy, David, Michael & Daniel

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