Dear Crossroads Leaders and Friends,

The picture above offers a partial glimpse of our family tradition during the Advent holidays at. Each year, Janice, my wife, lays out for display a beautiful Christmas city with love and great care. Janice’s Christmas city could serve as an example of Isaiah’s words in Isaiah 62:1-5, where he alludes that he will not rest until Zion is rebuilt. He declares that God will call the children of Israel, “my delight”, God’s vindicated and restored, that shall no longer be called desolate. This reminded me of the kingdom-building work of churches on the Crossroads District. Churches have met the challenges of these past devastating years by continuing to build a beautiful city, that declares God’s word, cares for God’s people, and serves faithfully in a way that glorifies God’s name. In this sense, despite the pandemic, the Crossroads congregations have strived to erect this beautiful city as God’s delight, God’s vindicated, restored, that shall no longer be called desolate.

So, as we begin this year, I just want to thank all of you for the kingdom-building ministries that you have faithfully continued to offer. Crossroads District churches have excelled in offering groceries and hot meals to those in need. Cloths and other goods have been offered. A brand-new ministry was formed to support new and young mothers. Ramps have been built. Opportunities to fellowship around pumpkin patches, Trunk or Treats, Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday celebrations, special days honoring first responders, and other acts of justice, mercy and Christian love. We can celebrate a year where we have paid 91.43% of Apportionments have been paid this year, which is a 6.87% increase from last year. I especially give God the praise for churches that raised the amount of Apportionments paid from last year. Through our Apportioned giving, we support God’s mission through our District, Conference, and Denomination as we seek to bear a faithful witness around the world. Hence, the city that we build for the Lord serve wide and far. Many of you have updated and added new technology, offered convenient worship opportunities, offered convenient worship and Bible Study opportunities and spread the Gospel further than before over the world wide web. There is so much more.

So, as we move into the new year. It is true that we are experiencing a new surge in the pandemic, but it is also true we have not stopped building God’s Kingdom! We have learned how to respond now in ways that help us to be cautious while also courageously attending to our mission. The District will be evaluating several events to determine how we might best proceed. However, as we face this new surge, it occurs to me that the beautiful city that we are building is more of a positive, uplifting, life-giving, and victorious factor than the treats from a lingering pandemic. So please know that you have support to take any precaution that you need to take, while at the same time, you have encouragement to keep on dreaming and building the Kingdom of God, remembering that the sufferings of this present age are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed to us. (Romans 8:18)

May your most noble hopes, dreams, and endeavors for the kingdom be blessed by God’s grace.

Most Respectfully & Sincerely Yours,