I (Jacqui) am still having trouble believing that 2016 is over…yet here we are in January already. It seems like a good time to reflect on 2016 and all of the amazing things God has done through Harvest. We are constantly amazed by His goodness and grace in all things.
2016 has been a year of huge growth for Harvest. We currently average 500+ people on Sunday mornings. Easter was our biggest Sunday, with almost 900 in attendance. In 2016, we had 100 people join our church and 32 baptisms! Our volunteers are some of the most dedicated and consistent believers; we are so thankful for your involvement this past year. Harvest could not function without your time and support.
Weekly giving has increased and we were able to add on an additional staff member (Faith Fox) to work in community outreach. Chyanne Higgins did a great job ushering in the 2016 year as Children’s Director. We appreciate her time and work. She stepped down in October and we welcomed Faith Fox, who has been doing a great job.
A few of the things Harvest has been involved in this year:
- Chartered Trail Life and American Heritage Girls Troops
- Opened the Food Pantry in March 2016
- Planned and executed 33 activities and outings for our Uptown Kids this past year
- Harvest became the sending church for Tierney Christian Mission based in Kenya
- We sent a group of people on a 3 week trip to Kenya to minister to the Po-Kot people with Jim and Kathy Tierney
- Started “Seedlings,” a community outreach and play group for parents or caregivers and their little ones
- The Men’s Ministry cooked and served dinner for The Harbor at the Portland Rescue Mission each month
- 52 Food Baskets delivered to families in need for Thanksgiving
- Kicked off “Unplugged,” a monthly worship night hosted by Rachel Johnson
- Hosted a community Harvest Carnival in which we filled the gym to capacity (we’ll make it the whole building next year!)
- We packed 133 shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child
- During Compassion Sunday, 14 kids were sponsored
- We created a new church app in which you can easily access sermon recordings, calendar or events, blog posts, and even a Bible reading plan! (Haven’t downloaded it yet? Go download it right now!)
The staff and Elders here at Harvest are excited about the opportunities 2017 will bring and the impact we hope to have on lives in the congregation and in the community. We are currently working on plans to implement discipleship small groups! Be sure to keep an eye out for info on how to get involved.
The office has been busy putting together a photo directory – and it will be available soon. This is a great resource to help you learn names and get to know our brothers and sisters in Christ. This is the LAST Sunday we will take pictures, so be sure to have your picture taken if you haven’t. (You will not receive a photo directory if you haven’t had your picture taken).
Your handy Admin Staff!
A Happy New year to you the church at Harvest!
It has been a joy and a privilege to be your Pastor this last year. I know God has great things in store for us in the months ahead. I am already asking myself “What can I do differently or better to advance his kingdom this next year?
As your Pastor, my goal is to see Harvest grow in some of these following areas:
- The hiring of additional Pastoral staff
- 50 baptisms (we had 32 this last year)
- Growth of 150 in our Sunday morning attendance (we averaged 500 + this last year)
- A weekly Hispanic service or study
- At least 15% growth in our children’s and youth ministries
- At least 50% of the congregation involved in some sort of mid-week small group
- Expanded use of our gym facility midweek
- The completion of the children’s playground (out the double doors of the children’s wing)
- Develop an expanded ministry to those in need in the Troutdale area (life skills, parenting, marriage, job counseling etc.) in addition or our current food pantry and Change for a Dollar Benevolence programs.
- This one is left blank for YOU to fill in. Let me know on Sunday on the communication card what you would like to see that would advance his kingdom!
I will be preaching this Sunday, but traveling to Africa for the following three weeks to help build a mission house for our missionaries Jim and Kathy Tierney. It is summer there and 100 degrees every day. You will recognize me when I get back, I will be the tan one! . . . .and most likely have band aids on all of my fingers. Have a great week. We will see you Sunday! Pastor Mike
2016 was a great year for Uptown kids. We are so glad to have the many kids who have become a regular part of our program. I am so grateful for our volunteers, those who have stepped out, stayed constant, and stepped in this last year. We had a very full summer, led still by Chyanne, with several “Upcamp” adventures in their various forms. I was a volunteer for one of them, a cooking themed three-evening adventure, and I thought it was a blast. The kids had so much fun. We touched the lives of kids in our program and in the community with these events.
Since I have stepped in, I have been encouraged by the support that flows into our kids. Many of you are volunteers, or you talk up the program to your friends, or even just bring your kids on a regular basis. These children are students of God’s word, already. With our The Story for Children curriculum, they have been learning about the promised Messiah- and about how God keeps his promises. Now we have been able to see that Jesus has indeed come! With the use of crafts and hands-on activities, these truths are reinforced. I am so looking forward to what truth we can learn in 2017!
We have been in our new building for over a year now, and fantastic things have been happening in The Bridge, our preteen ministry here at Harvest. Preteens are an age group that tends to fall between the cracks because we don’t always know what to do with them. It is tough to be caught “in between” childhood and adolescence – but the Bridge has been able to provide a place where Preteens can have fun, make friends, build relationships with adult members of our congregation, and learn more about God’s love for them. The Bridge has grown into such an amazing place for both the students and the adults that lead them. We worship together, we play together, we learn together, and we pray together. Because “church” isn’t a building; the Church is people, and it doesn’t cease after Sunday service. Our prayer for 2017 is that this ministry continues to do God’s work in a powerful and meaningful way, so that our preteens can CONNECT with each other in relationship, SERVE God and His Church, and LOVE the way Christ loved us. May God’s will be done here on earth, as it is in heaven.
What a year! As we celebrated our first full year within the new building, we also celebrated new friendships, amazing events, and, of course, the way the Gospel was both taught and lived in 2016. Throughout the year, we had a lot of fantastic moments, including our camps, a 45’ wet obstacle course, filling the Wunderland laser tag area, uniting in worship for our first worship night in the building, and the best part, baptizing several students. We are praying that 2017 is as great as 2016, and we are looking forward to our winter camp in February, and our week of service in March, so make sure your students are ready to have a great time and grow in their faith!