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What A Year

I had hoped this year would look different. I shared during Christmas Eve that when I sat down in the empty sanctuary on March 15, 2020, I really thought that the "pandemic" (new buzz word at the time) would last a few weeks, maybe a couple months. I thought that by summer 2020, the whole thing would be behind us. 

The pandemic forced businesses, nonprofits, and churches to get creative or die. In a time when it would have been much easier for us to close up or shut down, we stepped up. In 2021, we kept stepping up.

Community Relief Program
The Church in Aurora continued their commitment to helping the hurting through our Community Relief Program. In 2021, we are set to help more than 8,000 people (nearly 160 each week). We've helped with housing, utilities, food, clothes, school supplies, and much more. Liz and her team of volunteers have been shining the light of Christ to thousands in our community. 

Strategic Planning
During a time when we couldn't even meet in person or host events in person, the Long-Range Planning Committee (LRPC) kept going. Led by Mike Esposito and the contracted consultant, the LRPC developed a purpose statement, goals, and timelines. They helped get us pointed in the right direction to move into the future that we believe God is calling us to.

Small Groups
One of the goals was to grow our small group ministry, and you all helped us do that beyond our imagination. We set out to start a few new groups, and because of the excitement, we started 9 new groups that attracted over 70 participants and leaders. All of the reviews were positive, leaving us with hope for future small group offerings. Special thanks to Reed Fuller, who helped put the whole program together, including recruiting and training new leaders.

Exterior Project
What a group of Trustees! Together they helped make proactive decisions that kept our building in good shape, and they oversaw a MAJOR exterior renovation that restored the steeple and the stained glass window in the North Chapel. And, they did it without having to raise money!

Streaming Improvement
With the pandemic forcing us into live streaming, we had to get ready. The IT Committee and Paula Messner researched equipment and providers and made what you see, happen. 

Stewardship Success
Lance Bell and the Stewardship Committee raised awareness of our volatile giving base (having so many heavy hitters). As a result, they set a lofty goal to raise $525,000 by 225 giving units. While we didn't hit the target, the effort was amazing. We increased our giving over 2020 by $35,000. Nearly 100 families chose to increase their giving by more than $80,000! That is amazing! Thanks to the committee, to Lance Bell, and to all of those who stepped out in faith and stepped up their donations. 

And So Much More
Of course these things don't even take into account the 13 new members we received, the youth ministry program, the CE events (in cooperation with the Fellowship Committee), the 40 people who came to hang Christmas decorations, and so much more that I probably don't even know about. 

I list all of these things, not to toot our horn, but to point out the great things we have been able to accomplish, IN SPITE OF A PANDEMIC! It is so easy to focus on what's wrong that we don't see what's going right.  

It's my prayer that we keep up; that we keep finding ways to allow God to show up in and through us; that we keep shining light into the world; that we keep taking the next right step into God's desired future for our church. 

With Grace and Joy,
Pastor Derek

Winter Small Groups Coming Soon
SIGN UP ONLINE

We had such a great response from our fall small groups! We are grateful for all those who participated, and we pray that it was worth your time. If you missed a chance to sign up this fall, don't worry. We have some great small groups beginning in January and February. 

You can visit our
website now to view and sign up for small groups. 

More information will be available soon, so be on the look out! 

2022 Faith Promise Update 

As of December 21 we have received 182 Faith Promises for a total amount of $460,162.  Many of you have increased your Faith Promise amount over last year and thank you for your generous response.  We are still short of our target of 225 Faith Promises and $525,000.  Follow up contacts have been and are being made.  There are still quite a few of you we have not heard from yet. 

Your response is vitally important to our ability to fund ministry and missions at The Church in Aurora.  Please send in your Faith Promise card or make a Faith Promise online today.

Lance Bell
For the Stewardship Committee

 

ONLINE FAITH PROMISE FORM

Altar Flowers

SIGN UP TO SPONSOR ALTAR FLOWERS IN 2022

Flowers add a special element to worship, giving us something colorful and beautiful to set our eyes on during prayer and other reflective moments. They remind us of God's work in our world. 

You can sign up today to sponsor flowers that will remember a loved one, honor a family member, or celebrate a special anniversary or birthday. 

If you have questions, please call the church office at 330.562.8266. 

Thanks!
SPONSOR ALTAR FLOWERS

Fellowship Event at Blind Squirrel Winery

DECEMBER 30 AT 6PM

Greetings from the Fellowship committee! We have scheduled an event at The Blind Squirrel Winery, (7918 Pettibone Rd. Bainbridge), on Thursday 12/30/21 from 6-8pm. Fellowship will provide appetizers, entertainment by “Sommertime”, with wine or soft drinks available for individual purchase.Please go to  the sign up link and register  so we can plan to have enough appetizers to share. The event is limited to the first 20 reservations.  Look forward to your company at this event! 
SIGN UP TO ATTEND

Blood Drive 

Our next drive will be Wednesday, January 5. Please make your generous lifesaving appointment by clicking on the button below.

Contact Dorothy Bell (
dabtlc@gmail.com) if you’d like to volunteer with this service to our community. The RedCross provides masks, gloves, & sanitizer. 
Schedule to Donate Today!

Offering Envelopes Available

PICK THEM UP IN THE OFFICE

If you would like offering envelopes, please email or call the office. We have packs of 52 and 12 for your convenience. You may also drop by any time Monday-Friday between 10am and 3pm.  

News & Announcements

New, Free Office Furniture

Special thanks to Sheryl Reynolds, our Finance Manager, for getting us new-to-us office furniture. Because of her connection to the Canal District of the United Methodist Church, we were able to increase office workspace (larger desks) and increase secure file storage. 

Thanks, Sheryl! We appreciate your hard work. 

View Full Calendar
Prayer Requests

Submit prayer requests through the link below. Prayers are confidential to staff. 

 

Last Week's Service

You can watch last Sunday's worship or other services on our YouTube Channel. 

Give Online

Make a gift online or manage your Realm giving account through the button below. 

Communication Requests

If you have an announcement or ministry opportunity to share, please use the button below.

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OFFICE HOURS: Mon-Fri 10am-3pm

Our mailing address is:
The Church in Aurora
146 S Chillicothe Rd
Aurora, OH 44202-6801

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