February 8, 2021
Dear Saints of the Kansas District:
We’re now approaching the one-year anniversary of the declaration of the pandemic. The past year has been challenging, yes, but we’ve also experienced many blessings. Despite the trials we’ve faced, our workers and congregations have faithfully carried on—adapting here, modifying there, but always keeping the “One Thing Needful” at the center.
The work of our churches is essential. You’ve made that clear with your steadfast commitment to our shared mission. Thanks be to God!
In Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 we read:
Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
How true these words are! The past year has provided us with countless examples. Church workers have found creative ways to bring God’s word to parishioners, often partnering with others. Laypeople have stepped up to serve when others have been unable. Members have continued to support their congregations with their talents and gifts (countering some predictions to the contrary).
We’ve seen the same generous and faithful spirit in our district, too. Some good news that we can ALL celebrate: The Kansas District ended its fiscal year at 98% of budgeted congregational gifts. Expenses came in at 92% of budget, allowing us to end the year on very solid ground, financially. What a blessing! On behalf of the whole district, I’d like to thank you for supporting the district so generously during such a difficult year.
2021 will no doubt continue to present challenges, but as we move forward, I encourage you to keep in mind the words of Romans 8:28: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.”
I pray that God will continue to bless your congregation and our Kansas District as we all seek to do His will.
In the service of Christ,
Rev. Justin A. Panzer