Pastor Duane's 2014 Annual Report
Did you get what you wanted for Christmas? I did, for the most part. A friend wrote a Reality Christmas List that is, well, realistic:
1) Matching socks – this seems to be a continuing (about fifty year) problem for me. Please buy me twenty pairs of two kinds of socks and hide all the others.
2) A new wallet – one that stays flat and thin in my back pocket no matter how much I pack into it.
3) A nice pen set – with some sort of GPS device attached.
4) Comfy clothes for around the house. One can never have too many comfy clothes.
5) That I be given my own reserved spot on the couch that takes priority over the one that belongs to the cats.
6) Permission to wander aimlessly in a home improvement store for as long as I’d like, and a gift card that would actually allow me to buy something there.
7) That I become involved in something spiritually significant this year.
Obviously this is not my list (see #5) but I do agree with #7. I want to become involved in something spiritually significant this year. I know we have a wonderful church, and I know that we are making a difference. But I want more from myself and more from my church. I want significance not success.
You can’t read a Christmas Carol without realizing that the one ghost drags chains and objects “wrought in steel” attached to those chains. These represent all the good deeds in life that he could have done but did not do.
What can we do as a church, and as individuals, that will contribute to significant growth, significant evangelism and significant ministry to the broken and lonely? That’s what I pray for in 2015. Please join me so that, unlike Scrooge, we will have found a way to keep Christmas in our hearts every day of the year. 2014 was an amazing year. Here are some highlights of what God has accomplished among us.
MEMBERSHIP AND ATTENDANCE
Our membership is 308 (we added 32 members, minus 1 deceased, to our 2013 total of 277). Our average attendance reported to the Covenant is 447.
In addition to our communion services, we saw 14 adults & teens baptized and 9 infants either dedicated or baptized.
Prayer continues to be the cornerstone of our ministry. Steve & Lennie Stewart lead our Prayer Team (“Lifted Hearts”) each Tuesday and Jim Blackburn leads our “Altar Team” of 30 individuals who pray with people after each service. In addition, a group of prayer warriors pray each Sunday morning at 8:15AM for our services in my office. Anyone is welcome to join us in prayer.
Brian Pollard retired from his Youth Pastor post after 17 years of service. On October 19 we celebrated his outstanding ministry to Christ and Hope Covenant Church. While we search for a new Youth Pastor, Pastor Ryan, intern Mikey Dascoli, and newly hired intern Julie Bogle serve as our Youth Leadership Team. In addition, Corrie Gustafson resigned to take a position at the Christian school in Oahu, Hawaii.
I had the privilege of officiating at 6 weddings and 2 renewal of wedding vows in 2014.
FUNERALS AND MEMORIAL SERVICES
In 2014 God has called home some of his choicest saints: Ron Roper (1-24); Yuri Hoshiwara (1-26); Leroy Gibson (8-25); and Gilbert Hernandez (11-22). Peace be to their memories.
The Holy Spirit has drawn many children, youth and adults into a life-changing relationship with Christ. This year, 73 individuals have prayed to receive Christ. Thanks be to God!
INVEST AND INVITE
Our church served the community and witnessed to our neighbor in various ways in 2014:
• “Serve the Church” (Feb. 8)
• “Jazz and Chocolate” (Feb. 21)
• Ten-minute parties
• Leadership Retreat (Feb. 28 – Mar. 1)
• Picnic in the Park (Mar. 16)
• Easter celebration at Tumbleweed with over 2,000 people
• Several “Pizza with the Pastors”
• Blood Drive (June 29)
• Leadership Summit (Aug. 14-15)
• Men’s Retreat (Sept. 5-6)
• “On the Move” Missions Month (Sept. 14 – Oct. 5)
• “Black & White Ball” fundraiser for Streetlight Ministries
• “Harvest Party” (Oct. 24)
• Annual Holiday Boutique (Nov. 12-15)
• Partnership with San Marcos Elementary School
• Thanksgiving Eve Service
• Two amazing Christmas Eve Services!
And much more!
This year more than ever I am grateful for the dedicated people I serve with at Hope Covenant Church. Our staff, Brandon Hovey, Ryan Starr, Barbara Ellis, Corrie Gustafson (left in June for a fulltime assignment), Brian Pollard (retired Aug. 1 after 17 years of incredible service), Mikey Dascoli, and new intern Julie Bogle. Each brings giftedness and passion to ministering at Hope. Thanks much to our admin staff led by Pat Bahle. Pat’s service to our church comes to an end this December after 7+ years of extraordinary service. Pat will be serving her husband as he faces mounting physical challenges. Richelle Caubang began part-time in October. She will continue in a fulltime capacity. Mike Wolfe continues to serve as our maintenance staff and does an excellent job. To our Board of Elders, Andy Cary (Chair), Gary Boydston (Vice-Chair), Debby Anderson (Secretary), Viki Reed (Elder), Will DeVaughn (Elder), and David Vogt (Elder), I want to extend my heartfelt thanks for dedicated service and leadership.
Finally, I want to acknowledge my partner in ministry and life, Sheri, for her passion, her heart for people and her unparalleled commitment to Christ and his church. Honey, I couldn’t do it without you.
2015 will be our greatest year of impact and transformation – I believe this with all my heart.
For the Big Kingdom,
Pastor Duane Cross
Download a copy of the complete Hope Covenant Church's 2014 Annual Report here.