Christmas Letter 2015

Greetings Abundant Life Community,

 

     I hope you had a wonderful time celebrating our Savior’s birth and am now eagerly anticipating the beginnings of a new year where we can continue loving and serving Him who has come for the salvation of all people.

 

     What an amazing year we’ve had as we experienced exciting ministry and grew together in many ways. Sadly we’ve lost a couple families due to them moving out of San Diego, but God also added to our numbers with many wonderful families. Slightly better than last year our average attendance at worship was 105 adults and our giving is healthier than ever. Thanks to your generosity we met our budgetary needs even before the end of year, and perhaps even more important is that through budgeted giving and fundraisers we gave almost $50,000 towards missions. On top of that there are 9 Compassion children who got sponsored this year through you. Way to go ALC! Remember, you’re not just giving to your church, you are changing lives and making our world just that much better for those who are in most need. I really am grateful to all of you who gave so faithfully this year, and I do pray you will know God’s pleasure over you. Please continue to give the best you can in 2016.

 

     This year we went through the Bible together as a way to live out our theme of “Word of God Speak”. It was such a joy for me to preach through the Bible and do hope it was as much a blessing for you as it was for me. I was especially delighted by the many of you who shared your commitment to year the Scriptures more faithfully this year than the last, and all the discussions regarding the readings were great as well. Though we may not be following the same Bible reading in 2016, I do hope you will continue to grow your commitment to read, study, apply and live out the teachings of Scripture.

 

     In 2016 our theme will be “Redeeming Relationships” with John 13:34-35 as our guiding passage; “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another”. To be redeemed means to be delivered from sin and its consequences by the sacrificial acts of Jesus Christ. The idea of being redeemed does not just apply to our relationship to God but also with our neighbors in our church and those out as well. I will be focusing on what it means to have a redeemed relationship with God, with one another and how affects our relationships with the world. Especially in the way we love on another as a Christ centered community, I will contend that such relationships when done well is the best witness to the world of God’s intention for everyone everywhere. I will focus on subjects like friendship, what accountability looks like, forgiveness, a ministry of encouragement, getting along with difficult people, dating/marriage, relational evangelism and how to handle criticism to name a few. I believe this theme is made more relevant by the fact that we are relaunching our LIFE Groups in the new year. My hope is that through our LIFE Groups we will experience such redeeming relationships that our love for God will grow ever deeper and it will lead us to share that love with an ever widening circle of friends. If you haven’t yet, make sure you sign up for a LIFE Group and/or speak with me if you have any questions.

 

     God is undoubtedly doing some great things at ALC; I’m sure that 2016 will bear even greater fruits than 2015. I want to invite you to pray and fast with me in order to commit ourselves to serving God’s purpose in this year. The first full week of January, the 4th-8th, I challenge you to fast breakfast and lunch so long as you are healthy enough to do so. Spend that eating time in reading Scripture and prayer for our world, community, our church, your families as well as yourselves. Then join us for community prayer at Wednesday Prayer, 6th, at 7:30pm and Saturday morning, 9th, at 7am. Join me in starting the new year with our best for Him who has given us everything! God bless you!

Your humble servant,
Pastor Jonathan