Dear CCOV Family,
Happy New Year to all of you! Clint and I came back refreshed after a truly educational, eye-opening cruise to Mexico and Central and South America. In Peru we were struck by the poverty and rambling shanty towns: humble homes behind gates, iron bars, concertina wire, and even electric fences. We always hear how good we have it in this country (especially in our part of Scottsdale), but the reality of poverty in so many corners of the world truly hits home when you see it stretching on endlessly with your own eyes. Some parts of Mexico, Peru, and Nicaragua that we saw were especially poor. Helping the poor is a consistent theme in scripture, and we will have many new and on-going opportunities to do so as a church in 2017, so stay tuned.
It was good to return just in time for our annual Christmas Eve service featuring lessons and carols and the lovely music of our own Larry Loeber and visiting soloist, Jen Newman. The sanctuary looked stunning with all of its Christmas decorations. Unfortunately, what goes up must also come down. I hope some of you can stay after church on January 8th and start taking down the decorations and/or stop by during the week (after 1/8) to complete the task. Speaking of Sunday, January 8th, our conference minister, Rev. Dr. Bill Lyons, will be preaching and leading an Epiphany-themed worship. Clint and I are flying to Pennsylvania for the weekend to celebrate his dad’s surprise 75th birthday, but after that, I’ll be in the pulpit more consistently!
I look forward to a great year with you all at CCOV, fulfilling our mission of “sharing Jesus’ message of love, hope, peace, and joy with all persons.” As always, please let me know if you are need of support, prayer, etc. You are all very dear to me.