I need to start off this letter by thanking our Youth Associate Pastor, Benson Duong. January was a month of rest for me; I spent two weeks travelling with old friends and marvelling at God’s work in my life and in our world.

While I was on vacation, Benson coordinated our Sunday service ministry: preaching and planning music. It is such a HUGE blessing to have a partner in ministry like Benson. Ecclesiastes 4:9 says: Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor.

As a member of our pastoral team, Benson is so much more than a fill-in for Sundays when I want to be off adventuring. We meet and pray about our church together, hold each other accountable in our ministries, and make sure that we always have God as the central focus of our ministry.

This is especially significant in our spiritual lives. I have been praying and reflecting a lot lately on how we do discipleship at ABC. We have a strong group of prayer warriors who meet as a small group every Wednesday night. On top of that we have TWIG, the Women’s Bible Study, and the Men’s Breakfast, who all seek to connect and support our congregation members so that we grow closer to Jesus together.

Two are better than one. Do you have an accountability partner? Someone who you can meet with  or call/email/text when you need prayer? Someone who can keep you focused on God when the rest of the world tries so hard to distract you? If you don’t, we’re already 1/12th of the way in 2018, don’t let too much time pass before you seek someone out who you can journey alongside of. It could be your deacon, a member of a small group, or anyone who you share a passion to serve Jesus with and who can draw you closer to Him.

As this year is well underway, I’m so excited for what God has in store. This weekend our youth are gearing up for their annual winter retreat Blizzard, which I know will be an incredible experience. We had a great time at our Annual Dinner this year; we celebrated our church and made some important decisions regarding the life of our congregation. I want to thank all those members who came and shared with us!

An important date was Meet Your Deacon Sunday, which was this past Sunday, February 11. It was a great opportunity to find out who your deacon is and to ask them how you can be discipled and seek out an accountability partner here at ABC! Our deacons are charged with spiritually caring for the congregation, so never hesitate to connect with them.

Finally, the thing that has me the most excited is celebrating our three new members. This past Sunday, we officially welcomed Vatche & Maryam Atikian and Suzette Agbator as members of ABC! Commitment to a local church is a significant part of our spiritual life, and so we welcome them into our church family.

We’re off to a great start for 2018, and I pray that God will continue to draw you closer to Him.

See you on Sunday!

Pastor Matt Sampson

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