Happy New Year! I hope that each of you had a joyful Christmas and New Year’s celebrations with family and friends. (I finally made it to Salisbury, Maryland, where I got to hold and hug my newest grandchild, Will, who is one month old!) What made Christmas 2015 especially meaningful for Deborah and me were the opportunities that we had to worship, serve, and fellowship with you, our beloved Calvary Church family. Christmas just would not be Christmas for us without the Calvary Christmas Project (where our church was able to share the good news of Christ with 169 families and 507 children), the music led worship service by our Sanctuary (and Children’s) choir, and our Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion Service (where a “packed downstairs- sanctuary-and-overflow–into- the-balcony” congregation gathered to worship our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ). Christmas time at Calvary is one of the most meaningful times in the lives of the Baker family. Thank you, Calvary Church family, for being such an integral part of our Christmas celebrations!
Those of us who were present for the 11:00 am worship service this past Sunday received an incredible blessing from the leadership of three talented and gifted young adults. The Rev. Dominique Robinson, who was in Lexington as part of the Academy of Preacher’s National Festival of Young Preachers, challenged our minds and stirred our souls with her New Year’s sermon “Full Steam Ahead.” Our congregation was literally mesmerized by the singing of Gabby Barker and Jordan Lindsey whose duet “The Prayer” was in and of itself a spiritual experience. How blessed and encouraged I was by that service led by amazingly gifted young people who are using their God-given talents in our Lord’s service.
This coming Sunday, I will be preaching on the subject “God’s People – Covenant People” as we celebrate the Lord’s Supper in both worship services and as we celebrate the ordinance of baptism in the 11:00 am service.
I want to thank you for your faithfulness during 2015. In so many ways, you – both congregationally and individually – shared the good news of Christ with our community and our world. You served with your time, with your talents, and with your financial resources. We have just learned that our church surpassed our budget giving financial goal for 2015! This accomplishment helped make it possible for us to minister for Christ in 2015 and provides us with a strong financial foundation as we enter into 2016 where among other mission and ministry endeavors we will engage in a major capital campaign designed to enhance our worship space, to “pay off” the loan on the Mission Lexington building, and to prepare our church for serving our Lord in the future.
I am blessed by the opportunity to be your pastor. I look forward to serving Christ with you in the New Year ahead.