2018.  That seems impossible.

Another new year to celebrate knowing Christ and growing together as a congregation.

One thing I think I've learned over these past 30 years in pastoral ministry.  That one thing is that the church is a dynamic organization.  At times, the church seems stagnant and unable to move forward.  Then there are times, such as I have experienced at Mt Chestnut Presby, when the church is excited and really wants to grow and reach out for Christ.  

So much to do in 2018.  The lst 7 months have truly been wonderful for me, as your pastor.  It has been blessing after blessing on a daily basis.  I think we are finally getting to know each other.  These past weeks getting ready for Christmas has been atime for me to sit back and view exactly who we are as a church.  It's when the pressure is on that we really see what the church is 'made of'.  The stresses of getting ready for the business of the season of Christmas can put a strain on relationships.  The thing that I have observed about us, though, is that we, as a church, actually drew closer during the stresses and busyness.  What a fantastic thing to be involved in the church during that time.  I am getting to know the church, and I really like what I see more and more.

I hope it is working the opposite way, also.  heather and I have been transparent about who we are, and I think it seems to be a good 'marriage. so far with the church.  We love it here.  There have been a couple times when I have opened my mouth and inserted my foot, but it seems to end up just fine.  It all works because I have nothing to fear and nothing to hide, and neither does the church.  Great recipe for success, I would say.

Now, we are beginning another year.  I am so very excited about what is coming our wa in the next year!  I'm so thrilled with the youth group leaders and the growth of our young people.  I am looking forward to a good class of confirmands this winter and spring.  Rachel and Sarah are a blessing to us all.  I am ecstatic about the possibilities!

The music program at the church is second to none, literally.  Michael is so intuitive and creative.  He and Carla make an amazing team!  Carla did a great job with the Christmas Eve services.  We are truly blessed to have them both!

Our office staff is incredible!  Carisa has blossomed these past months.  I seem to depend on her more every day.  Thank God for such a competent office manager.  Anita is a blessing to me, and she makes me laugh almost every day.  We are fortunate to have such a quality treasurer and bookkeeper.  Marianne is so detailed, along with her people she works with.  The church is in very good hands, as far as our church office staff is concerned.  Believe me, that is not always the case in every church.

I am enthusiastic about the preschool!  This year was a years of recovery.  The coming year holds great promise for increase!  Our teachers have sacrificed so much to keep our preschool going in the right direction!  God will bless them in the days to come with further success.

2018 is NEW, and what lies ahead is outstanding.  Newness and blessing with a new session and many many exciting plans for growth and change.  

Hold on, folks.  This is going to be a wonderful ride!

Yours in Christ,

Pastor Ron

R Schermerhorn