Hello, All:

I just want to take a moment to share my enthusiasm for the great things that are happening in our church this year. I believe that you can really feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in our church, and this is manifested in the great work that you are doing here. This motivation and enthusiasm is really contagious, and God has blessed us with some great opportunities!

First of all, the Cal-Pac conference has recognized that we are a vibrant and growing church that has the ability to spread God's Kingdom in our community, and they have decided to provide us with some assistance to help us grow our outreach ministries to our community. This grant is designated specifically for new ministries, and not other church business, and we will need to show quantifiable progress, but it will give us the shot in the arm that we need to get this ball rolling, and as these ministries grow, they will bear fruit in the form of a growing and strong congregation.

The good news is that we are ahead of the game with many great programs already in the works. Paula Knuth began Breakfast Ministry on January 31st, 2015. This ministry provides breakfast and fellowship to the patrons of our food pantry. The first event was a fun and rewarding experience for us volunteers and for our guests. The next breakfast will be held on April 25th. Come join us.

And since we are on the subject of Broken Loaf Food Pantry, I will point out what a great program it is for our community. The Broken Loaf Food Pantry is really a joint effort with other churches and denominations in our area. In fact, a majority of our volunteers come from other churches. The food pantry gets food from Project Shepherd, the Katella Deli, CDC, and individual donors like you. We serve 50 to 100 clients each week, and it really is a great program to show our good will and God's love to our community.
As you know, Paul Kaho is our new Director of Youth and Family Ministries, and he has great plans for this year. To begin with, he is developing a new and exciting Vacation Bible School this year. Paul also is working on revamping our youth ministry, and he is relaunching our Family ConNEXTion ministry. Paul is also leading the effort to plan for our family camp at the Lazy W this year. Paul is looking for volunteers in each of these efforts, and this is really a great opportunity to build our legacy in this church. We have a new website, and are building our social media presence on Facebook and Twitter. Check out our new web page at www.lakewoodfirstumc.org, like Lakewood First United Methodist Church on Facebook, and/or follow @Lakewood1stUMC on Twitter. We plan to use these new media outlets to reach out to our Lakewood community using a variety of tools to elevate our digital presence.

Finally, and this is a bit of a teaser, we are also scheduling some exciting and fun events that will be open to our neighbors here in Lakewood. Stay tune for more information about these events, they are going to be a blast!

As you can see, we have a lot to be excited about, and God has truly blessed us. Thank you for your prayers!

John Crewe Lay Leader