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This has been a year no one will soon forget. It started out normal through January and February but due to COVID19 everything changed in March. I don’t have to do a play by play of the year because you all lived it. It certainly brought change to how we functioned in the church.

Many issues had to be addressed by the church council related to how we continued to function with the pandemic a constant threat. Sunday services were cancelled for safety reasons, protocols put in place for cleaning and sanitizing, and safety protocols for people were put in place as well. Zoom services were put in place so services could continue from the safety of our homes. The decision to cancel Sunday services was a difficult one for the council knowing how much folks wanted to continue in-person services. We eventually landed on a workable solution of a combination of in-person, Zoom and Facebook options. So far, thank the Lord, no one has contracted COVID while being in the church.

I want to thank the church council for staying on top of issues and making wise decisions for our congregation and church. Thank you to those who have gone above and beyond to keep the church functioning including:extra cleaning and sanitizing, setting up the church for social distancing, making signs, providing face masks, making communion safe and sanitary, providing for Zoom and Facebook services, setting up on-line donations, providing ongoing maintenance to the building and grounds, collecting and counting offering, providing music during services and I could go on and on.

Thank you to Pastor Carl for his ongoing support for this congregation. Also a thank you to Wendy Reamer-Johnson for her worship leadership and a huge thank you to our Lay leaders, leading services or behind the scenes, who have truly stepped up to the plate and played a critical role in ensuring we have services from week to week. Thank you to our youth leaders and parents. This has been a difficult year for youth activities. Several youth activities and Bible School had to be canceled but Faith Finders classes were held. Confirmation Classes are also ongoing with Pastor Carl leading.

Thank you to WELCA for their ongoing planning and support throughout the year including; annual quilt donations, prayer garden sidewalk behind the church, planning for next year’s centennial celebration to name a few. Unfortunately some events such as Life Events had to be canceled due the pandemic.

Some of the maintenance items tended to this year included: repairs to broken windows due to vandalism, outdoor camera put in place to monitor activities, repairs to the air conditioning and furnace systems, carbon monoxide detectors replaced, sidewalk added to the rear of the church, fire extinguishers serviced and put on an annual inspection schedule, new laptop purchased, repairs to the outdoor sign plus numerous smaller projects.

I think if nothing else, this year has shown us we can survive, regardless of the challenges, if we work together to make it happen. Hopefully, before long, this pandemic will be behind us and everyone will feel comfortable to return to church services and activities again. God bless this congregation and this church.

Rich Bruns, Council President