Greetings! On March 22, 2022 we held our yearly Church Conference with the State of the Church address and election of leadership.Below is a summary of that message.
To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world
We connect people to Jesus
We worship passionately and authentically
We bless the Hastings area
We develop Christian leaders
We look like our community
2021 Year in Review – The Year of Return
In 2021 COVID did not go away as we hoped, but we began to rebuild after the complete closures in 2020. Last year we saw the return of:
In-person worship and rezKids
Christmas eve worship inside
Smalls groups such as Dunn Bros guys, Joy Circle, etc.
Jail ministry in the jail
Funerals and weddings
4 Confirmation Sundays
We didn’t just stand still.
Many ministries came back bigger & better than they were before COVID
Youth group has grown to 50 from a half dozen at the start of 2021.
Intern Duncan Kusant shared the need for additional adults to assist, and also reminded us that gifts to Be the Hope offering on Easter will help provide scholarships to camp and events.
Worship Music – A new band leader (Seth Johnson) and many new members were added. There are now 16 persons involved in our music ministry.
Wednesday meals expanded to invite the community to dinner each week
Fall Festival at Tharp’s – 300 in attendance
Thanksgiving Meal – most ever served
Community groups – We serve our community by providing space for over 30 different groups including girl scouts, 4-H, AA, NA, GA, adults with disabilities, River Valley Band, neighborhood associations, voting, and many more.
New in 2021
We led games for the community at movie night at Levee Park
Community Fall Picnic at Pioneer Park
Craig Wasner and Friends special Advent service (Note: the group will be returning for our Good Friday service in 2022 on April 15th)
Floor to ceiling renovation of classrooms 202 and 203 done by volunteers
Be Our Guest 2 capital campaign for mortgage. (At this point Finance Committee member Jon Rose gave a financial update and celebrated the good news of strong giving to both the annual budget (Glad to Give) and the capital campaign (Be Our Guest 2). General giving increased 6.8% in 2021 to $512,574. Also, pledged commitments per household for 2022 increased 10.9% to $3,038. Using money from both the Be Our Guest commitments and our rental properties we have been able to accelerate our mortgage payments. In four years we have paid approximately half of the project costs. At our current rate we will pay off the remaining mortgage of $753,455 in another four years. (Paying off the mortgage early will save money and position us to address additional needs such as the south wall reconstruction.)
New for 2022
Finish renovation of classrooms 205 and 207
Be The Hope mission challenge on Easter. One big mission offering to support core ongoing missions of 30% rez youth scholarships, 30% Hastings /Family Services, 30% Zoey Empowers work in Africa, 10% to respond to emerging mission needs.
New confirmation program – experiential based rather than classroom based
New friendlier website
Supporting All People’s Project (Elisa and Ricardo’s new church start-up in Inver Grove Heights) by serving as their fiscal agent to handle their books until the new church can incorporate. The Minnesota Annual Conference is providing us with funds to cover the additional staff time needed for this.
Explore creating a Wednesday worship and family ministry night for all ages
2022 General Conference has been postponed until 2024 and will no longer be held in Minneapolis.
As you can see COVID did not prevent us from carrying out God’s work in 2021. We entered 2022 in a strong position and look forward to the Lord using us in powerful ways in the months ahead.