Yost Post

This will be my final Yost Post for 2020. First, I pray you have a sacred Advent and Christmas takes on a deep and profound meaning this year. Now, to close out this year…

When I arrived at Wesley three and a half years ago we discussed a whole range of possibilities for our future together. At multiple points we have faced unforeseen variables, new conditions, and subsequently uncertain outcomes. As a part of my leadership paradigm, I shared with you all my confidence in the reign of God, the grace of God to lead us through all seasons, sometimes we need clear windshields and foggy rear view mirrors, and a deep trust in God using all of us, laity and clergy, to lead the Church in its mission. Underlying everything I said, then as now, was my personal commitment: no matter what, no matter the conditions of the world or church, in sickness or health, in good times or bad, “I will be faithful to the call of God at all times and all places to the best of my ability.” I have shared that commitment with you before. But in this final column of 2020, I want to testify that God is faithful and I believe, in spite of every challenge we have faced, Wesley has been faithful. Words defy my ability to express my thoughts: somewhere in the midst of the pain of not seeing each other, the losses of beloved members through death and not being able to mourn together, the births and new lives we have not been able to be a part of, the pain of making difficult decisions, having lost some people who disagreed with those decisions, the expansion of our worship life through online means, the digital expansion of ministry, and the hope of the future… somewhere in the midst of ALL of that, I have seen Wesley stay faithful to our mission as best we understand it. Glory be to God.

Friends, I am not going to bemoan what could have been this past year. I am going to ask you to celebrate the faithfulness to Jesus Christ we have seen in 2020. No matter what, even when we messed up, we were faithful and Christ has redeemed out messes. When we have had successes, Christ has been lifted up. In a world hurting to find Jesus, our church “opened up the doors” digitally to connect to even larger audiences of folks.

I do not know what all 2021 holds. I may never again make such bold predictions for an upcoming year as I did going into 2020. All I will promise you is we will be faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ, the reign of God, the grace of God to lead us through all seasons, and to have clear windshields and foggy rear view mirrors. I trust God to use us, laity and clergy, to lead the Church in its mission. Speaking of Lay leadership…
Friends, we all owe a profound debt of gratitude to our Board members who have met countless time to lead Wesley through this year. I thank our Board Chair Beverly White for her calm, committed, faithful leadership, and agreeing to serve one more year. Our outgoing Lay Leader Becky Bishop has been an aide-de-camp. Vicki Ward has led our Finance Team through multiple upgrades, transitions, leaves our “house in order”. George Kroncke, John Wright, and Trey Johnson have been invaluable members in this season. On behalf of a grateful Church, staff team, and myself: Thank you!
God bless you all and Merry Christmas!

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