2020 Annual Review

Dear Friends,

The year 2020 was unlike any other in Eastminster's 73-year history.  We started strong in  January and February with over 650 members in sixty-eight Small Groups participating in an eight-week Dreaming & Discerning process of study, prayer, reflection and idea sharing.  Then in March, just a few days after our second CORE Retreat, the word "pandemic" leapt from the history books to the headlines.  Responding to rapidly spreading coronavirus, our Session voted to shift so that our worship and multiple other ministries moved to virtual formats nearly overnight.  

With stunning speed, words like "Live feed" and "Zoom" went from unknown to familiar.  Our physical campus was largely closed.  But with God's help, good guidance from our leadership, and faith-filled determination from our staff and members, Eastminster focused not on what we could not do, but on what we could do.  Neighborhood Shepherds checked on others, worship was live-streamed and, so that we could continue to "encourage and build up one another"(1 Thess 5) despite our physical isolation from one another, on-line resources such as Bible Studies, Children's resources, Calming & Coping, Fitness, Daily Prayer, etc.  were developed and put on our website.

Despite the discouragement of the pandemic, we celebrated Easter by dressing the church campus with resurrection-themed art for the community to enjoy.  With outdoor activities being safer, the field across the street became (and continues to be) a wonderful resource for Sunday worship, youth activities, VBS, Sunday School classes, fellowship events, Scout gatherings and more.  Zoom technology enabled us to gather for conversations around our SOAP Scripture readings, the book "Waking Up White," and Small Groups.

We were blessed with new clergy and staff as Dr. Douglass Key joined us in December of 2019, and Janice Blair (Admin), Emmett Hough (CLC), Rev. Nick Demuynck (Sr. High & Younger Adults), and Bethany Dixon (Middle School) all joined the Eastminster family in 2020.  Even as we welcomed these, we marked the deaths and resurrections of, among others, Eastminster's first female Elder Edith Strasburger who was elected in 1974, and also Don Barton, who served seven terms (21 years) as Elder.  

Despite the pandemic, the Eastminster family recognized that God has prepared us "for just such a time as this," and not only continued in ministry and mission during the pandemic, but also: 1) received the 48-page Dreaming & Discerning Report from the Coordinating Team and formed two Task Forces to assess next steps; 2) adopted Five Kingdom Goals to be accomplished by the end of 2021, and also; 3) gave over a million dollars beyond the Operating budget to fund the Five Kingdom initiatives and increase the Eastminster Endowment.

Yes, 2020 was a year unlike any other in Eastminster's history, but God's faithfulness, and that of the Body of Christ in this place, has offered encouragement and hope both near and far.

Gratefully,

Brad

 

Rev. Dr. Bradley D. Smith
Senior Pastor/Head of Staff

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE 2020 ANNUAL REVIEW.
You may pick up a hard copy at either of our Welcome Center areas or at the front desk (reception area). With questions or suggestions, contact Blythe Lewis (ext 165), or email to [email protected].
(Below are pdfs of previous Annual Reviews)