WELCOME TO 2021!
The year 2020 was not just the year of the pandemic, it was also the year of great pandemonium – with many not knowing what to do and how to proceed as we faced one crisis after the next. So many of us were plain caught unawares, blindsided as it were, on every level – physically, emotionally, mentally, politically, socially, economically, and domestically. We had to find new ways of being and coping.
Who could have imagined a time when we could not assemble ourselves together to communicate and encourage each other as we normally would do Sunday after Sunday on a weekly basis. The new reality is, our normal day-to-day existence is now characterized by incessant sanitizing, mask-wearing and social distancing. What scary times were introduced in 2020 in so many different ways! Our whole world turned upside down and placed on lock-down! Honestly, very few would look back with nostalgia on 2020. Thank God for 2021!
However, it would be most simplistic to believe that with the striking of the clock at 12 midnight 2020, that all our problems, dilemmas and misfortunes were miraculously and magically dissolved and dismissed. The truth is no one really knows for sure what will evolve and transpire in 2021. What we do know for sure is – that the same God that allowed 2020 to be and who so meticulously watched over and brooded over us and who so faithfully journeyed with us throughout 2020 – shall be with us all the way through 2021, as He so graciously promised and committed to doing in His infallible and inerrant word.
Please receive this word with me and let it sink into our spirits – “God is not human, that He should lie, not a human being, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?” (Numbers 23:19 NIV). He unforgettably said to his pilgrim church “. . . and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:20). What a promise! What a cause for celebration and thanksgiving! Our God, the supreme creator of the universe, the sovereign God, the Great I am, the God of providence and providential care is with us and will be with us throughout 2021. No wonder the gospel writer responded with “Amen” to this absolutely uncompromising truth as he concluded his gospel.
Let this twenty-first century church similarly declare “Amen!” That we are in his providential care is most comforting. The word ‘providence’ means – foreseeing care and guidance of God. It speaks of God as omnisciently directing the universe and the affairs of humankind with wise benevolence. Therefore, I am so eternally grateful and remain mindful of the fact that we are in God’s forethought and foresight and not in His afterthought. Encouraged by this thought, I declare that by His grace we are fortified and well-equipped to meet and make it through 2021. Heaven’s richest benedictions upon you in 2021. Happy New Year! Healing, Health, Prosperity! In 2021 let us persistently pray; let us be graciously thankful and let us face each day with courage!
Leroy V. Greenaway
Regional Bishop — Northeast Region
January 2, 2021
In collaboration with our District Overseers, the Church of God of Prophecy submits to the wisdom of continuing to ‘Shelter in Place’ for the safety and protection of the flock. This is to be observed until further notice and the present virus is better contained. Should the need arise to meet, we are advised to meet in groups of no more than 10, while we strictly observe the protocols of social distancing, wearing of masks and aggressive sanitizing of our hands and surfaces frequently touched.
Please let us patiently observe these practices to keep each other safe and alive. We are reminded that we are indeed our brother’s keeper. Stay home! Stay Healthy! Stay Hopeful! We shall soon get through this! Premature re-openings of our churches seem not to be the wisest way to go at this point. Let us continue to pray, caring for each other and staying connected.
Leroy V. Greenaway
Regional Presiding Bishop — Northeast Region