Year End Update
December 9, 2021
Dear Friend of ACC:
As we approach the end of another challenging year, I am grateful for the faithfulness of God.
Do you remember what life was like a year ago? The COVID-19 vaccine was not yet available. Most NYC students attended school from home. Our city was a few days away from closing indoor dining again, after a failed attempt to get restaurants up and running. On Sundays at ACC, only a handful of church members gathered for worship, shivering in a cold sanctuary with the doors open for ventilation. All our other church gatherings (Community Groups, Youth Group, the Bible Club for children) were meeting remotely. Many of us had gone months without being able to visit family and friends. It was a difficult time.
I know that times are still hard, but isn’t it wonderful to look back and see how far the Lord has brought us? Here is a sampling of the good things God has done at ACC in the last twelve months:
- Our in-person Sunday worship numbers are growing and approaching their pre-COVID levels.
- Our Sunday morning nursery program is up and running, providing quality childcare for our little ones.
- This summer we held a successful in-person Vacation Bible Club for the children of our neighborhood in a local park.
- The Youth Group is meeting in-person again, under the leadership of our newly hired Youth Ministry Coordinator, JC Cha.
- Our diaconate, under the leadership of Andrea Mungo, continues to care for the financial and emotional needs of people in our church, as they also spearhead our outreach ministries to the neighborhood.
- We have re-started our Homework Help Hour and Bible Club at the Boys and Girls Club in Astoria.
- The Advent choirs, led by Worship Director Linnea Kickasola, are singing together again, blessing us with their music this holiday season.
- We are moving toward starting Sunday morning children’s classes, under the leadership of our new Children’s Ministry Coordinator, Annette Scattoni.
- Our Advent offering raised over $9,000 for a school we help support in Togo, West Africa.
Isn’t God good! I am so grateful for how the Lord has watched over our church during these challenging times.
I am also grateful to God for you. I cannot count the number of times this last year the Lord has encouraged me through the words and actions of my brothers and sisters at ACC. I am so blessed to be your pastor and to be serving Christ together with you.
I thank God, as well, for your giving. I never cease to marvel at the generosity of the people of ACC. Despite the pandemic, our giving is ahead of where it was a year ago. God is providing for his church and enabling us to meet our financial obligations.
But the needs continue. At present, we are over $40,000 behind in our budgetary goals. This may sound alarming, but because many people increase their support through their year-end giving, I am confident the Lord can help us to close that gap.
So, as you pray about special giving this time of year, I want to ask you to consider an extra offering to your church. Whatever amount you can give will make a big difference and will bring glory to God.
But whether you can give extra or not, please know that the Lord loves you deeply. The message of Christ’s birth declares the good news of Immanuel. God is with us!
Because God is with us, we have great hope. May God bless you this Christmas season, and may he shower his goodness on you and your family in the coming new year.
Pastor David Ellis