Moderator's Message

August 2020

Oh, How Far We Have Come!

As we conclude the first half of 2020, many of us are asking what does the second half have planned for us here at First Congregational Church of Escondido (FCCE)?

 

Well my friends, I am sure our Lord has plenty planned for us, but rest assured that no matter what He lays before us, in the next couple of months, we will rise to the occasion and continue down His path. After all, did He not tell us to “Fear Not?” The world can be scary right now, and we may find it hard to have faith or trust in each other, but our faith and trust in God needs to be stronger than ever before. We must embrace the new and move past the old way of doing things, but we must not lose each other in the process.

 

In the beginning of 2020 we were faced with many challenges, as our world was placed into a panic by a global pandemic. We could no longer meet for Sunday Service in the way we had for so many years before 2020. But we as a congregation did not let that stop us! As many Christians before us, we found solutions, and braved the storms, to emerge out the other side strong and united! This was not easy, nor is there an easy way forward ahead of us any time soon.

 

I recently spoke to Pastor Holgie about how the current state of the world is reminiscent to what occurred between the Crucifixion and into the Book of Acts. In the beginning, many traveled great distances to wherever Jesus Christ was preaching “The Word.” Whether He was standing on a mountain, or on the shore of a sea, the people came to Him from far and wide. They sat and listened to Him as He told them of the greatness of His father’s kingdom, and the way His father wanted His people to pray and live. But after the crucifixion, the people no longer had a place to go to hear “The Word.” They were lost, scared, and unsure of how to go on! But then Jesus Christ reappeared as promised to His disciples, and told them that they would have to go out into the world and preach to the people. The days of the people coming to “The Word” were over, and now it was their responsibility to bring “The Word” to the people where they lived.

 

This is all very similar to what has happened to our world and our church. But we are ready to rise to the challenge the Lord has placed in front of us. We will continue to push forward and get “The Word” to the Lord’s people. Whether this is accomplished via social media, parking lot services, or some other new way we find to reach those who need to hear His Word, we will do it, we will not fail! And as FCCE, we will set the example for other faiths in our community to follow. We are strong, because HE IS STRONG!!

 

As we move forward into the end of the summer, I want to take a moment to recognize some individuals who have done an amazing job in keeping our FCCE worship alive. First, Danny and Jenn Castro deserve a huge round of applause and many thanks. They have been the power-couple who set up our online worship via Zoom and Facebook Live, plus facilitated the purchase and setup of the equipment for this summer’s parking lot services. Without them we would have had a difficult time accomplishing all that we did. Secondly, a special thank you to Cynthia Poole for her wonderful music—Sunday’s just wouldn’t be the same without it. And finally, I cannot thank Pastor Holgie enough for his leadership at the pulpit and amongst the congregation. Pastor Holgie has led us through some of the most trying times we have faced here at FCCE, and he has done it with the warmth and smile we have all come to love.

 

In closing, I would like to remind everyone that we can accomplish anything the Lord sets in front of us, and we can do anything together. There are plenty of obstacles left for us to tackle as we move into the second half of 2020, and as always I look forward to working with each and every one of you.

 

If you have an idea on how we can improve our Sunday Services, please don’t hesitate to contact me at gary.e.patterson@gmail.com.

 

Please remember this isn’t a complaint line, I want to hear your solutions.

 

Yours in faith,

Gary