Pastor Update, Coronavirus Letter 26


December 8, 2021
Dear Members and Friends of FPC Moorestown,
Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Glory belongs to him both now and forever. Amen. (2 Peter 3: 18, NIVR)
These are the last words of the book of 2 Peter, and the final recorded words of the great Apostle. As we near the end of 2021, I look back over a wonderful but at times a challenging twelve months with deep gratitude for the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Peter’s benediction is both a call to continue to nurture our understanding and experience of these gifts while also recounting how both have held and guided us through life and this year.
Let’s define our terms with help from Wikipedia. Grace is a spontaneous gift from God to people – generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved. Grace takes the form of divine favor, love, clemency, and a share in the divine life of God. Knowledge is the gift of the Holy Spirit to aid us in apprehending and grasping what God is doing. Throughout 2021, we’ve experienced these lavish gifts from God daily.
When I think of grace as generous, free, unexpected and undeserved, I picture our new associate pastor Wes Allen standing before us at the close of his installation service hands raised, wearing his black pulpit robe with an electric guitar slung over his shoulder. Wes is a gift of grace to us.
When I consider knowledge, I remember how the Holy Spirit brought help in understanding what God is doing as our staff and Session guided us through the ongoing, turbulent days of this pandemic. Every time when we needed guidance and wisdom, God provided it.
Peter knew that grace and knowledge are gifts to be savored thankfully while each also energizes us for what’s to come. Once more this year, you’ve financially supported the work of FPC Moorestown with unfailing faithfulness and gracious generosity. I thank you. It’s for this reason that we’re in a strong position financially as we approach the year’s end. Let’s keep going! Let’s keep giving as we grow together in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ.
We see these gifts of our Lord Jesus on display in our 2021 stewardship season. At the time of this writing, we have received 194 pledges for a total of $1,501,200. Our 2022 operating budget is $2,123,060.
When we consider 2022, we anticipate hiring a full-time youth director. It will be wonderful to be fully staffed for the first time in a couple of years. We’ll need your continued support to keep us financially strong. There are great needs of every sort in our community. I want us to be ready to serve however, wherever and to whomever God intends.
Growing in the grace and knowledge of Christ keeps us robust. Here’s a few practical suggestions to help you grow with both.
  • One, join me in praying daily for God’s blessing and guidance for us. I’ve set aside Thursdays as a day for fasting and prayer. If your health permits you, consider joining me.
  • Two, be sure you’re current with your intentions for giving this year (2021).
  • Three, if you’re in a position to do so, consider making a year-end gift to help us meet our budget. A special envelope has been included for you and can also be found in boxed offering envelopes.
  • Finally, but significantly, if you haven’t yet completed an estimate of giving pledge for 2022, please do so. Please remember that you can begin giving offerings electronically by going to our church website and clicking on the “Give” link. If you need help, please contact the church office at (856) 235-1688.
Peter’s last words—all glory and honor belong to him now and forever—are at the center of my prayer for our congregation. May Jesus Christ alone be honored and praised through us and because of us.
Yours in Christ,
Stuart Spencer, Pastor