This amazing verse was a part of my devotions through Psalms recently and is fitting while  I was thinking back on 2013:

         Ps. 65:11, “You crown your year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.”

There’s nothing really magical about the changing of the years other than New Years always being a good time of reflection – to look back and to look ahead.

Looking back in 2013:
We always want to look back with praise…no matter the highs and lows. Here’s a few of the bullet points that were significant for last year:

  • The key event in 2013 was saying goodbye and sending out a beloved associate pastor in Brad Schroer to a new ministry.
  • …and of course, the flipside was in welcoming a “new” beloved associate pastor in Tyler Schmidt.
  • We saw  the precious blessings of new life and weddings…along with dear saints departing to heaven to be with the Lord.
  • Barbara Jandu and her team of volunteers put on a week-long VBS with many new faces attending alongside our OCC kids.
  • We were blessed at these major events and ongoing ministries and the resulting impact of each:  Hume Lake Summer Camp, Family Camp, Men’s retreat and Monday morning study, Trunk or Treat, Hand to Work Hearts to God (they completed 27 pillow dresses for Africa among other things).
  • We were blessed to share our facility with Bay Gospel Church – enjoying a great BBQ in November and a Christmas Eve service together.
  • We’ve had an increase in small groups – not only in those attending but in adding new leaders to our regular ones.
  • We’ve seen new brothers and sisters come to faith and get baptized.
  • We’ve been blessed to add some new members to our church family and sad to see some leave.
  • Each year we think through and pray through our budget with a mindset to be conservative and to be good stewards of the resources that God sends our way. What a blessing in that we took in over $30,000 more than budgeted and spent less than what we had budgeted. This has allowed us to move forward with some unplanned needs and freeing to accomplish them in 2014 including some repairs around the facility, $8,000 toward a Christian School project through 1040i, some forthcoming remodeling of the worship center and many others.
  • We had some great fruit as a result of various outreach activities including our Africa and Mexico trips and in advertising our Back to Church Sunday at the Farmer’s Market.
  • We finished our series on the Gospel of John and I was able to preach through several key topics pertaining to the life of the church including using our gifts, giving, understanding the Gospel in a way to share it with others, etc. and starting a new series inn the book of Colossians  Please catch up on any of these in the Sermons section on this website if you missed them.

Looking Ahead to 2014:

  • We have raised our monthly support to our missionaries Mike Cousineau at 1040i and Rigo Lopez at Fellowship of Christian Athletes while also adding City Team to the ministries we support. Our goal is one day to have 10% of our overall budget go to missions. We are currently around 4-5%.
  • Of course we would love to see more involved in small groups, Bible studies, family camp and fellowship events.
  • Our prayer is that many would come to faith in Christ and those who are in Christ to get baptized.
  • We also want to make more opportunities for equipping and discipleship through one on one interaction, providing resources, seminars, etc.
  • My goal in preaching this year is to finish our series in Colossians by Easter and hit other key topics like Church membership, Heaven and Hell, and to preach through an Old Testament book before returning to another New Testament book and/or series.

How should we respond as we look back and look ahead?

1)    Jesus should get every ounce of praise, glory and gratitude for His faithfulness through the ups and downs of 2013.

2)    As leaders, we are grateful for YOU, the church family of OCC, and all that you did to make 2013 such a blessed year.

3)    Be thinking ahead of how you will continue to partner in the Gospel and the Great Commission in and through God’s local expression of His church here at Orchard Community Church. In other words, how will you serve and be used of God for His glory in 2014?

It is truly a blessing to serve and lead the OCC Church Family.

Not Done Yet (Phil. 1:6),

Todd Burgett and The Orchard Community Church Elders and Staff