Coker family, 2018 has, yet again, been a wonderful time of ministry and mission together. I feel immensely blessed to be the pastoral leader of this congregation at this moment in her history. God has done so many wonderful things in and through Coker for well over one hundred years and it is quite clear that not only is God not done with us yet, but there are some great things in store for us as we move into his future for our church. I am thankful for your commitment to Christ through the ministry of Coker United Methodist Church.

When looking at things through standard metrics of church measurement Coker has closed out 2018 very strong. We have seen an increase in average worship attendance of over 10%. Our livestream ministry has been a huge factor in being able to help people stay connected when they are away, in addition to reaching new people in other places and adding them to our worship community. Financially, we had a very strong year due to the commitment of our people. The financial commitments allow us to grow ministry, do new things that will impact our community, and reach the world in new ways that are very exciting. Additionally, our Sunday School numbers were up 20% over the previous year. If you have been on campus on Wednesday nights, you can see the increase in families that are participating in the life of the church. We have added new ministries like “Mom’s In Prayer” and updated ministries like our “Family Serve Day.”

At the end of 2017, we said that our word for 2018 was “connection.” We wanted to work to connect more people to our church and these numbers show that 2018 has been a great year for connection. Praise God for working through our amazing staff, lay leaders, and volunteers in leading this charge of connecting people to Christ through the ministry of Coker.

Looking ahead to 2019 we are excited about what lies in store. God has given us a clearer vision that we laid out to the church during our stewardship time. That vision is:

Coker exists to lead people to love God, serve others in the way of Jesus, and change the world through the power of the Holy Spirit.

During stewardship, we also spelled out some of the ways we plan on leading the church to live out that vision in the new year. We will be launching a new “core discipleship process” that highlights our particular vision and disciples people with a foundation of faith so that they can move ahead with us in living God’s mission in our church. We will be launching a leadership development academy in the second half of the year, in conjunction with Asbury Theological Seminary, that will train up leaders for the future of our church and equip leaders for the city of San Antonio- all to have a Christian impact in our city. Our children’s and student ministries will be taking steps forward in reaching families and kids. Our mission/outreach ministry will expand on current ministries and be reaching out in new ways through dinner churches, our Health and Wellness ministry, and mission work beyond our city.

If the word to guide our ministry in 2018 was “connection,” I believe the word to guide our ministry in 2019 is “impact.” I believe that God is calling us to increase our impact for his Kingdom. It is my prayer and, frankly, my belief that at this time next year we will be looking back on a year where Coker United Methodist Church has made an unprecedented impact in our city and in other parts of the world.

Please join me in praying for God to continue to pour out his Holy Spirit on each of us as we seek to be obedient to his calling. Join me in praying for God to do a new work in us and through us as we look ahead at telling the story of his amazing grace offered to all people. May we be a church that the world will look to in order to see the power of God poured out.