The year 2014 was filled with many challenges that through the Holy Spirit we were able to weather through.
Our churches threw off the government yoke of 501 (c)3 slavery and ended any and all incorporation. This caused a name change where the Synod voted unanimously through congregations to adopt the name Puritan Church in America.
This caused an immediate reaction from the state boards of incorporation but a review by the 5th US District Court immediately put any questions of our legal standing as a Free Church to rest.
We faced in June the influx of Episcopalian, Lutheran, and Presbyterian congregations joining our fellowships. Our church numbers grew from 27 to over 60. While joyous and a cause for celebration in the Spirit, we found quickly that unresolved issues in those fellowships spilled into all. Quickly the Synod acted to firmly establish order and discipline in all congregations.
It is with much thanksgiving, prayer, and humility that we thank Almighty God for the blessings of the past year. It is with the same we look to 2015. We wish to exhibit these three signs of a Spirit Driven Church.
One, care for the widow and orphans. The first fruits of all collections whether monetary or material belong to the widow and orphan. Each congregation is to care for those within the congregation and those outside in the community. This is a scriptural command we are bound to follow. 2015 shall be the year we in the Synod firmly ask that each congregation does so.
Two, feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, visiting the sick and imprisoned. This again is a scriptural warrant that each congregation is bound in obedience to. As the light of the world we are to show mercy that those who see imitate our example and give glory to God.
Three, stepping outside the church and into the world. We are all individually the church, and the church is not now nor has it ever been buildings. The church is the bride of Christ and not an institution. As such we are called to a public proclamation of Christ in the greater community. It is the hope all congregations will develop and implement a public ministry program. Whether street preaching, sponsoring public improvement projects, or hosting an event at a public park it is the call of each and every Christian to be the public face of faith in Jesus Christ.
Our focus should never be purpose but the Spirit. Our purpose is very clear - give glory to God in all we do. By focusing on the Spirit we live our purpose with support from God and understand that what we do to the least we do to Jesus Christ.