By Pastor Tom Anderson
Karen and I wish each of you a joy-filled Christmas and New Year! We are so grateful to be part of the Thrive Church family. We love you all. We believe in you and we are honored to be in ministry with you. You are a wonderful church family and it's a very precious part of our lives to be connected to you. Karen and I have discovered life together with you! We are very excited to think about all we have accomplished together with you in this past year. It’s amazing what happens when people just offer themselves to be used by God. That is who you have been this year. You are a living sign of God’s grace in our lives. Thank you again and rejoice!
Each week I’ve been zooming with two sisters, one elementary and the other middle school. We’ve been studying the gospel together because they want to be members of the Thrive church family! It warms my heart to see someone so young and so on fire for Jesus Christ! Right now they’ve launched themselves into a 30 day challenge to read the Gospel of Luke. It makes my week to spend time with them talking about Jesus! The Holy Spirit is moving among our families! Rejoice and be glad! It’s better than anything I could unwrap under the tree.
I connected with an 82 year old shut-in the other week. She’s not been able to be at church since the lock down. Her internet service has been sketchy and she’s lost touch with church and community. But recently, her wifi is fixed and she’s worshiping online again with us. She and her daughter were driving by the church and noticed the new name on the sign “Thrive Church”. She said to me, “I didn’t know this was happening but you know, I kind of like it!” I deeply admire the openness of you all to change and to doing new things to reach new people for Christ. You all inspire us!
A new family that has begun worshiping with us this fall shared with me that they'd like to get more involved in our ministry. They came by to grab some literature off our welcome table so they could use it in inviting others to come and worship with us. They are on fire to witness for Christ in our community. They said, “When we saw you guys out in the cold rain, putting on a live Nativity for the community, we concluded that this is a church we could support and be a part of.” Here is another thing Karen and I love about you: your determination to share your faith no matter what! It’s clearly contagious.
I delivered a poinsettia recently to an old friend of Thrive Church, Brian Thompson and his family. Bryan didn’t recognize me right away but when I took off my hat, he lit up like a Christmas tree. He wanted me to send his greetings and his love to all of you but especially to our cleaning crew guys. Thrive Church is a warm spot in Brian’s heart. It’s your friendship and compassion that put that grin on his face. Seeing his smile was one of the best Christmas presents I’ve gotten this year but it really belongs to all of you! Karen and I love the way you love each other. And when we think of you–like Brian does–we will always smile. Thank you for being our church family. God bless us, everyone!