The verses above are one of the concluding portions of Scripture for Morning and Evening Prayer in our tradition. They have been on my mind as I reflect upon all that God is doing at Saint Barnabas since the beginning of this year. God has been at work in and through our church in far grander ways that we could have every imagined.
Since the beginning of this year we have seen quite an increase in attendance and baptisms. I imagine you have noticed the church is full most weeks. That is a result of the fact that our Sunday attendance has not dipped below 100 with the exception of one week (when we had 94 present) in nearly 10 weeks! As a result, we have seen roughly a 20-25% increase in average Sunday attendance from this same time period last year.
But wait, there’s more! On Sunday we will have another set of baptisms, which will mark a total of 7 baptisms since January (and we have a few more planned for later in the year). To put that in context, at the halfway mark of the year we will have exceeded our total number of baptism for last year (which was 5). To give a bit more data, in 2015 we had 3 baptisms with only 2 in 2014. What is so exciting beyond the numbers is the fact that the baptism are not just infants, but teens and preteens who are asking about how to accept Jesus and often tugging at their parents to be baptized (as is the case of our pair this Sunday)!
You may recall that we had an rather ambitious goal of reaching and retaining 20-25 new families this year, and thus far God has brought in 7! God is truly at work in our midst, as a result of our partnership, prayer, and hearts that seek after Him. I am so encouraged by what He is doing and wanted to share my excitement and joy with you, as we look to next fall and what He calls us to do in the coming year. We have some incredible things in the works and I am overjoyed to be on this journey following Him with you at Saint Barnabas. Thank you for your partnership in the Gospel and continue to uphold your leaderships in prayer as we look ahead!