(704) 376-3695 | Front Desk Hours: 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m., MWF

2020

annual report

A Year for the Record Books

Video Transcript

Friends,

2020 was certainly a year for the history books. Our world has been rocked by a pandemic claiming over two million lives and counting as of the publication of this report. In the wake of the killing of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, an awakening to the realities of racism and systemic injustice in our nation led millions to take to the streets. In November, after the most contentious presidential election in our nation’s history saw a record number of voters and contested results on a level not seen since 1876.

Amid all this turmoil, the church’s ministry endured a transformation I never imagined possible for an institutional church. Our worship shifted to an exclusively virtual format that in time was supplemented by limited in-person experiences. We pivoted our education ministry to an online platform with a mix of live and self-directed opportunities. Disciples from not only our congregation but around the nation participated in a web-based 21-Day Race Equity Challenge. During a year of virtual church, we had 90 new disciples join our congregation, 85% of whom were under 40 years old, and many who have never been to our church’s facilities.

As COVID impacted our economy, with unemployment spiking and many people’s income plummeting, need for our Outreach Ministry has never been more profound. Our congregation responded by launching a COVID-19 fund to which members of the church contributed over $500,000 to date, allowing our partners to respond the most pressing needs in our community.

When the COVID fund was launched in April, our annual giving had been off 50% in the previous month. As we made our disciples aware of this, you responded in an incredible year. We finished 2020 receiving 99% of our budgeted revenues for the year. With reduced expenses due to limited facilities usage, we actually completed the year in a surplus. This is nothing short of miraculous.

God has always been faithful to our ministry, but that faithfulness has never been more profound than in 2020. We have been incredibly blessed this year by your commitment, your generosity, and your faithfulness to God’s call to us to live out love within our congregation, in our community, and in the wider world. We thank God for continuing to work through you to empower our work in the world.

Love in Christ,

Joe Clifford
Pastor

Administration Council

The Administration Council seeks to provide a stable, supportive platform from which we deliver our various ministry efforts. We engage our members and vendors in ways that manifest God’s gifts to us and God’s love for the world. This council is comprised of the following committees: Communications, Endowment, Facilities, Finance, Food Service, and Personnel.

Administration Council:

Communications Committee  |  Christine Hoke, Chair

  • 83% higher website traffic over 2019
  • 143 pieces of music recorded, edited, and banked for online worship services
  • 51,547 total live stream views across 196 broadcasts
  • 112 average comments on worship services streamed to Facebook
  • 1 new weekly email campaign launched: The Friday Forecast

The Communications Committee serves as a sounding board between our Communications Department and the congregation. The committee offers candid guidance and feedback with the heart of the congregation in mind. Particularly during this past year, the committee focused on ensuring that church communications were structured consistently and delivered in a useful manner to our diverse membership.  

While social media and online communications have been revamped and retooled to deal with current times, the committee has not lost sight that print materials are helpful in certain instances.  

With the committee’s support, the Communications Department has worked tirelessly this year in many areas – revamping the website, coordinating with worship council on both live and virtual worship, designing and sending annual and capital campaign materials, and recovering from a significant file loss (due to a server hack) to name a few.  

As we look to 2021, the committee and the Communications Department remain committed to staying nimble and thinking creatively to keep our congregation engaged and informed. 

Administration Council:

Endowment Committee  |  Edwin Peacock, Chair

  • Distributions during the year totaled $288,000 from both designated and undesignated funds
  • In addition, the Mullis trust provided $226,000x for affordable housing in Grier Heights
  • Funds for extraordinary outreach needs were $372,000
  • Causes related to PC(USA) received $31,000
  • $100,000 was contributed toward facilities equipment replacement

The Endowment serves the life of MPPC by providing

  • The primary means for members to contribute to the ongoing mission and ministry of the church on a perpetual basis
  • Financial stability in unusual circumstances
  • Stimulus for new and innovative ministry efforts in our community and in the wider church

Each of these areas played a role in a year dominated by a pandemic and general uncertainty. The work of managing investments, making judicious distributions, cultivating new gifts, and telling the stories continues through good times and bad.

In the year ahead, please consider becoming a Legacy Partner and joining with scores of others who are active pillars of our congregation and who have gone on before us. Contact Lauren Mulcahy at lmulcahy@myersparkpres.org. We must be prepared for future periods of disruption, uncertainty, opportunity, and great need.

Administration Council:

Facilities Committee  |  Matt Gantt, Chair

  • 6 full-time and part-time staff sextons
  • 6 elevators
  • 20 mounted TVs
  • 34 entrances and exits
  • 45 paper towel dispensers

The Facilities Committee maintains and improves our facilities to support our ministries. In 2020 we responded to the pandemic with new cleaning products and procedures to protect everyone who came on campus.

We improved the HVAC system to increase fresh air in our buildings and adjusted building navigation pathways to foster social distancing. We completed maintenance and improvement projects to replace our security camera system, installed a new sound booth in Oxford Hall, renovated the Brides Room, improved landscaping in the Columbarium, and repaired roof and stone exterior sections that were leaking.

In 2021, early capital projects will include replacing the main campus chiller and needed safety and maintenance repairs to the Cornerstone house. Other projects will include upgrading exterior lighting, improving to classroom audio/video equipment, and additional roof repairs.

Administration Council:

Finance Committee  |  Henry Fulton, Chair

In 2020, the Finance Committee continued to ensure the safeguarding of the church’s funds as stewards of the financial resources entrusted by God to MPPC.

We maintained our focus on healthy practices and our financial performance transparency and received a clean audit for year-end 2019. Given the pandemic related challenges, the committee supported and recommended receiving funds pursuant to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The committee also set up unique ongoing processes to support all ministries’ ongoing funding needs. Importantly, we continued to share financial updates regularly with our congregation as well as how to give and and review giving history online.

As we transition to 2021, we will continue to ensure the church’s strong financial position to live out our mission by cultivating community, crossing divides, and changing lives.

Administration Council:

Food Service Committee  |  Ed Baesel, Chair

  • 1,780 casseroles prepared
  • 1,760 boxed lunches prepared for students in the Grier Heights community

The Food Service ministry provides all of the food and beverage needs for the church’s various ministries. These include Weekday School lunches, Outreach partner events, staff lunches, and support for other specific ministry events such as the Youth Pie project, church retreats, Session dinners, Congregational Life breakfasts, lunches, and other dining needs. We do this by designing menus that taste good, are filling, and meeting nutritional guidelines all while at an affordable price. 

This year has been far from ordinary due to the pandemic halting and significantly reducing the number of meals we serve. Once the Week Day School Full-Day re-opened and the Learning Lab started, we resumed lunch service. Another rewarding effort was to support Outreach by providing casseroles for our ministry partners. The casserole program began as a direct response to support our local shelters. Into 2021 we look forward to continuing our food service support of the Week Day School and community ministry partners with needed meals but will continue to face operational and financial challenges. 

Administration Council:

Personnel Committee  |  Norman Walters, Chair

  • 159 total active staff
    • 60 Ministry leaders and support staff
    • 64 Weekday School teachers and staff
    • 25 Wellness Ministry staff
    • 3 Food Service Staff

 

The past year has been challenging and unique as the Personnel Committee strived to come alongside our staff team during the pandemic. We continue to believe that our staff is a critical aspect in achieving the church’s mission. While it has looked different this year, the church had an excellent opportunity to join in God’s transforming work in our city and worldwide!

One of the most challenging decisions we faced this year was fiscal responsibility, with many ministries limited due to health and safety restrictions. We received a grant through the Payroll Protection Program, which covered eight weeks of payroll expenses. Once those funds were depleted, our leadership teams began to respond to the longer-lasting implications of the pandemic, which had an unequal impact on ministry areas, depending on ministry scope and funding sources. In 2020, we furloughed 23 staff members, eliminated two positions, and reduced hours for five staff members (most of which were part of our Wellness Ministry).

On the flip side, we have had the opportunity to experience the blessings that come with talented and creative staff using their gifts to live out our calling in new and innovative ways. In particular, our worship, technical, and program staff members have used technology to create community and have given our church many opportunities to live out love, supporting our MPPC family as well as our neighbors.

This coming year, we intend to find ways to staff creatively and support the ever-changing landscape of these unprecedented times. We are excited about the opportunities God has given us to love our neighbors and grateful for a team that wholeheartedly serves as an extension of every ministry area and the departments they support.

Adult Faith Formation

Adult Faith Formation Council:

Mary Howard Shaw, Chair

  • 1,661 participants in the 21-Day Race Equity Challenge of reading, listening, and noticing racial equity issues
  • active Zoom Sunday School classes: Fellowship, Feasting on the Word, MPACT, Rhodes-Johnston-Boyce, and topical studies
  • high-commitment weekly Bible studies deepening discipleship and community 

Our ministry provides a variety of faith formation opportunities that equip our church members to build lasting faith formation habits. Our ministry changed this year like many others within the church as we all adapted to a virtual world. We have experimented with live Zooms and hybrid models to engage our members virtually. 

Our challenge and opportunity moving forward are to help members understand that faith formation is not just for Sunday morning. We hope to encourage our church members to explore options throughout the week and to take advantage of the flexibility that virtual learning can afford. 

Children and Family Ministry

CFM Council:

Amber Lynch, Chair

  • 223 Vacation Bible School campers from 125 families
  • 161 children and their families participating in milestone events
  • 80+ families engaged with monthly Sunday School videos
  • 39 volunteer Sunday School teachers
  • 34 families engaged in the All-Church Retreat

Children and Their Families Ministry partners with parents to develop young disciples of Jesus Christ. We believe children learn discipleship as they grow in faith and share in ministry from their earliest years. We seek to provide meaningful, age-appropriate ministry opportunities for the whole family. 

In 2020, Children and Their Families Ministries engaged children of our church in opportunities to learn, worship, serve, and share fellowship as our children and parents alike practiced discipleship while respecting the pandemic’s constraints within and without the walls of the church. From welcoming children at birth and baptism, nurturing faith formation in the Weekday School, Sunday School, and Vacation Bible School, and walking alongside families in our milestone workshops and mission projects, we have engaged families in active discipleship even if virtually at times. We found new ways to engage our Sunday School families through a new curriculum, Zoom gatherings, and pre-recorded videos. 2020 was a year of adaptation as we evolved our ministry programming to meet our community’s needs during extraordinary times. 

In 2021, we will continue to partner with parents and their children’s faith formation by exploring our faith’s stories and traditions through Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Faith Milestones program, Weekday School, and providing tools to continue to nurture children’s faith at home. We will seek ways to integrate faith milestones into the church’s life and engage children in worship throughout the year. We will continue to offer fellowship opportunities through our Young Families Ministry and grade-level gatherings in a safe way. We will continue to love our neighbors through our Sprout Outreach and Mission Kids. We are thankful for the inspired leadership provided by Linda Ibsen, ushering us into the New Year, and welcome Lisa Hickman. She has answered the call to become our Associate Pastor in our beloved ministry. We will remain dedicated to and guided by the belief that you are never too young to worship and serve God.

Weekday School Board:

Scottie Trapp, Chair

 Half-Day Program – Weekday School

  • 243 children and 41 teachers began the January 2020 semester
  • 156 children and 34 teachers began the September 2020 semester

Full-Day Program – Weekday School

  • 60 children and 15 teachers began the January 2020 semester
  • 90 children and 20 teachers began the June 2020 semester

The Weekday School continues to teach of God’s love to our youngest disciples. Although COVID-19 caused our programs to shut down in late March, we finished our school year with virtual learning for all. Drive through goodbyes took place at the end of May. A pre-pandemic highlight for Half Day was when our Fours and TK were honored with the Youth Partner Award for their contribution to the Second Harvest Backpack program for raising funds equivalent to 4,375 pounds of food. We filled almost 65 backpacks for those in need. Our students also donated 939 pounds of food to Loaves and Fishes in March just before the shut down for the school year; the food was earned by doing chores at home.  

Our Full Day program reopened in June, and our Half Day program reopened in September. We were able to successfully operate our school-age summer camp program and add an extended learning lab to our programming, giving families with elementary aged children a place to do remote schoolwork. This addition was critical to maintaining our regular programs while supporting our staff with school-age children. We continue with the same curriculum and vision with masks and increased screening and sanitation protocols. We have found ways to serve others, socialize safely, and continue the same hands-on, play-based approach young children have experienced for the past 75 years at the Weekday School.

Clerk’s Council

The ministry teams that comprise the Clerk’s Council handle various activities on behalf of the Session. Near-term activities include recommending officer assignments, facilitating our relationship with the larger church, supporting the residency program for seminary graduates, providing for the health and wellbeing of our members and the community (Wellness Ministry Board), and providing strategic direction (Strategic Planning Team).

Residency Program:

Bill Warren, Chair

  • 26 Communion Services and Baptisms led by Resident Pastors this year. Since these are the two sacraments recognized by the church, they are significant for recently ordained clergy and are essential for their development as pastors
  • 5 ordained non-Resident Pastors on staff who feel energized serving alongside recent Seminary graduates in their early stages of ministry and excited about being able to mentor them through the generosity of this church’s willingness to offer time and commitment to this process
  • Resident Pastors when fully staffed, and a number of smaller churches that they also serve, exposing them to congregations likely to be more representative of their pastoral calls in their early years

Myers Park Presbyterian Church has long strived to serve both our denomination and the Church Universal as a “teaching church.” Our many talents and resources nurture the development of future leaders in the church. The Pastoral Residency program is our most intensive involvement under this model and prepares recent Seminary graduates with involvement and mentorship in all areas of our ministry. With the hiring of Savannah Demunyck this summer, our program now has both a first and second-year Resident Pastor on campus for the first time ever, and this will be the case moving forward as we search for our fourth Resident Pastor to start in the summer of 2021.

Ben Brannan is in his second year with us. He is working on a project integrating regular fitness routines with bible study and reflection that will run concurrently with the Lenten season. The development of such a program is an expectation of our second-year Resident Pastor, and we look forward to the creativity these programs will bring to MPPC over the years. Savannah Demuynck is in her first year of our program and “dove right in” with regular participation in worship leadership, Sunday School and Bible Study leadership, and handling of Pastoral Care duties as needs arose. Together they have participated in worship leadership 47 times, preached 10 times (either at MPPC or elsewhere), written 65 daily devotionals, and led morning prayer 47 times, along with other responsibilities.

This program is supported through a generous Legacy gift from one of our church families. The program regularly applies for funds to recruit our next Resident through their Foundation, which is managed by the Foundation for the Carolinas. The FFTC had asked for input from our Resident Pastors about their perceptions of the program, and Ben wrote the following as a part of his response: “Looking back, I cannot believe the diverse and rich experience this residency has provided me in only one year. I can say with full confidence that I am a better pastor and a better person for being here and learning alongside the MPPC staff, members, and clergy.”

Wellness Ministry:

Mitch Brigulio, Chair

  • 396 youth basketball players for the modified 2020-2021 season
  • 20 weekly YouTube or Facebook fitness classes per week by certified instructors
  • hospital-grade electrostatic sprayer to sanitize all fitness and gym equipment

The Wellness Ministry seeks to encourage and cultivate a spiritually, physically, and emotionally healthy congregation and community by offering facilities and programs to help individuals and families strengthen these areas of their lives.

2020 has proven to be a challenging year for the Wellness Ministry to live into its mission in light of COVID-19 and the Governor’s order to close all fitness facilities in the state for over six months. But, with teamwork and member support, we have endeavored to remain a resource that empowers our members and guests to remain engaged in the community while addressing their health and wellness goals in the safest ways possible.

A strategic planning team has been formed to review, analyze, and develop long-range ministry goals and objectives in light of the changing landscape.

Congregational Care Council

Congregational Care:

Sheri Joseph, Chair

  • $19,000 donated to local mission partners through consignment sale proceeds
  • 1,660 reported contacts by Clergy and Deacons via phone, email, text, and in some instances, in-person meetings
  • 817 contacts by our Faith Community Nurse
  • 297 condolence notes written to members and friends
  • 190 members participating in online fellowship opportunities (Men’s breakfast, Presbyterian Women Circles, Cup ‘o Joe, etc.)

The Congregational Care ministry meets our faith family’s needs by encouraging fellowship, hospitality, and connection within our church community.  

Early in the 2020 pandemic, the council sought ways to continue this ministry in creative, intentional, and collaborative ways while maintaining safety. Congregational Care is a ministry that provides care and connection.  

Our “Connecting” initiative provides new member classes for individuals interested in becoming members of MPPC and helps them get engaged in the life of the church and its ministries. Members may be surprised at how many fellowship and engagement opportunities are available virtually during a pandemic.  

Our “Care” initiative reaches all MPPC members through Deacons, Stephen Ministers, a Faith Community Nurse, and Clergy. These trained individuals walk beside members in times of need and challenge by listening and offering support, prayer, guidance, and encouragement.  

In 2021, Congregational Care will continue to seek creative ways to provide connection and care when in-person fellowship and connection are limited.  

Deacons:

Mary Whittaker, Chair

Before COVID-19, Deacons assisted the Sunday Hospitality Ministry team at the reception desk by meeting and greeting visitors and members and walking them to campus locations, which allowed the disciple at the reception desk to remain to answer general questions. Deacons also made hundreds of in-person visits with homes, skilled nursing facilities, and retirement communities. Since COVID-19, the Deacons have looked for creative ways to reach out to the congregation through phone calls, cards, letters, email, and texts. 

In the Spring, Deacons called all of our members over the age of 70 twice to check-in. Since then, Deacons have continued weekly visitation of our most frail members and their families by phone. Care Teams have delivered groceries and prescriptions and provide emotional support to people who are isolated from family and friends.  

Deacons prayed for the entire church membership, church leaders, pastors, and staff during Holy Week and sent Christmas Cards to those they have visited throughout the year. They supported the Faith Community Nurse’s work through the Flu Shot Clinic and shared the gift of caring in various ways within our church and our community to those facing illness and other challenges.

This ministry will continue in 2021, hoping to gather mid-year for in-person fellowship events, hospitality, and caring support.   

Outreach Council

Outreach Council:

Allison Hinshaw, Chair

  • $431,961 contributed to the COVID-19 Emergency Outreach Fund
  • 45,000+ pounds of perishable food was purchased with funds allocated to Loaves and Fishes as they fight Charlotte’s food insecurity
  • 130 Roof Above shelter guests provided hats, gloves, socks, and additional supplies throughout the winter season
  • 111 families and 254 children received Christmas gifts and a holiday meal through Charlotte Family Housing’s Jubilee Store
  • 30 female Congolese students now have safe housing on campus following the completion of the UPRECO dormitory project

In response to Jesus’ invitation to love God and love our neighbors as ourselves, our Outreach Ministry continues to focus on forming and strengthening relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ that transcend economic, racial, and cultural differences. This ministry invites us to hear and act on God’s call to grow in faith, to go and make disciples, and to experience God at work in our world.

In a year unlike any other, the Outreach Ministry continued to experience an abundance of blessings poured out by our faith family through generous contributions to the COVID-19 Fund. This flexible funding provided immediate and critical financial support to each of our 17 local ministry partners. These local ministry partners are on the frontlines fighting against food insecurity, homelessness, and various pandemic-related challenges that face our most vulnerable neighbors in Charlotte. 

When mission travel came to a halt and in-person volunteer opportunities restricted in early 2020, MPPC’s Outreach Ministry adapted by finding new ways to foster relationships with our local and global ministry partners. Our members engaged in virtual conferences, Zoom gatherings, and various messaging forms with our brothers and sisters in Congo, Hungary, Cuba, Uganda, and El Salvador throughout the year, where we shared triumphs, challenges, and the love of Christ with one another. This year also marked the culmination of an extended period of discernment and partnership with the Sheppard and Lapsley University of Congo (UPRECO) to construct a girls’ dormitory and the near completion of the Presbyterian Church of Remedios’ sanctuary restoration project in Remedios, Cuba.

Locally, our disciples supported our community by sewing face masks for our ministry partners, becoming home delivery drivers with Loaves and Fishes, purchasing school supplies for Billingsville-Cotswold Elementary students, and winter-wear items for guests at Roof Above. Disciples also provided academic support and weekly meal delivery to the 40 students participating in remote learning at the Grier Heights Community Center. 

Through Outreach Ministry, our church has continued to boldly live out the love that builds up a child, a home, a neighborhood, and a world. As we look to 2021, the Outreach Ministry will seek to deepen our congregation’s commitment to develop and support strategic ministry partnerships on the continuum of housing for our neighbors in Grier Heights and the larger Charlotte community, commit resources and discipleship support to the educational journey for all of God’s children, build upon the foundation of MPPC’s six global partnerships through active engagement and advocacy, and steward annual budgeted funds and offerings consistent with the mission and vision of the church. 

Our many blessings humble MPPC’s Outreach Ministry. We are grateful for this congregation’s faithfulness to engage with the work that God calls us to do in Charlotte and around the world. 

CROSS Board:

Pender Hollmeyer, Chair

  • 382 participants registered for 2021 (if they can participate safely)
  • 43 Outreach partners served by CROSS
  • 20 years of CROSS missions

CROSS Ministry started 20 years ago to serve 43 Outreach Partners of MPPC by hosting groups of young adults from across the country for weekends (Urban Plunge) or weeks (City Serve) throughout the year and in the summer to serve in various capacities. While the youth volunteer in our community, they see firsthand how neighbors living in poverty face discrimination in large cities like Charlotte.  

Before the pandemic, 208 participants registered for the Spring, and 535 participants were registered to serve in the summer. We host these groups overnight in the Cornerstone Building and Outreach Center. They usually work face-to-face and hands-on with our neighbors. This year, we made the difficult decision to shut down most of our ongoing programs. However, with local participants, we continued to serve our community. Volunteers assembled school supply kits for Billingsville Cotswold Elementary; built dressers for Beds For Kids; baked and delivered cookies to Hope Haven; delivered casseroles to Charlotte Rescue Mission and Roof Above; assembled and delivered lunches to Grier Heights and groceries to homebound neighbors on behalf of Loaves and Fishes. Also, Erika Funk and Genie Richards created a curriculum package with activities for service; and devotional and theological material to equip and train youth to serve in their communities, which has allowed us to reach beyond Charlotte and the south eastern United States.  

The success of CROSS in 2021 will hinge on the pandemic. We hope to properly assist our Ministry Partners face-to-face by hosting groups in our renovated Cornerstone building. As of December 5, we have 21 churches and 382 participants committed to serving our community if they can do so safely. We will continue to be innovative if we can not perform our traditional duties, calling on the MPPC community and local churches and groups to participate in CROSS programming. We hope to close the gap between CROSS and our congregation by having Genie Richards split her time between CROSS and Outreach, bringing knowledge of each department to the other. We will continue to address urgent, biblical social justice issues such as immigration, incarceration, and racial injustice, equipping young people for advocacy. As a community, we belong to each other now more than ever.   

Stewardship Council

Stewardship Council:

Mac McBryde, Chair

  • $5,804,314 total pledges for the 2020 ministry year
  • $5,668 average pledge
  • 14 members indicated on their pledge card that the church is in their will
  • Text-to-Give initiated for annual giving and plate offering

The Stewardship Committees’ responsibilities include encouraging giving as an expression of discipleship, developing, overseeing, implementing all fundraising activities, and encouraging and supporting planned giving and major gifts to the church.

The dynamic father-daughter 2020 Annual Campaign Chairs, Katie Hallaway and Lewis Norman, steered a wonderful committee whose efforts increased the total dollars pledged in 2020 compared to 2019. The committee also led an initiative to educate members on the importance of stewardship. This effort yielded positive results, especially with our new members who surpassed the prior year’s new member giving. In a very challenging year, we are grateful that through God’s grace, contributions to the church remained steady, allowing our mission and ministry to thrive and touch the lives of so many. 

One of the most significant challenges of 2021 is the unknown and concern over the pandemic’s lasting impact. The pledge responses to date have been positive, and we are hopeful that we will be able to fully fund our mission and ministry in 2021. The council looks to build on the spirit of generosity for the glory of God!     

Worship Council

Worship Council:

Beth Bell, Chair

  • 956 – Average virtual worship attendance during COVID-19
  • 33 – Average in-person Sunday worship attendance during October. Worship was limited to 50 in-person participants during this time
  • 14 Worship Council members, including clergy and staff

Worship is the core of our identity as a congregation. We seek to honor God in all that we do, coming together in corporate worship to share God’s word, engage in prayer, lift our voices in song, and be reminded God’s grace is in our midst. Worship is essential in maintaining our integrity as people of God. 

With the impact of COVID-19, worship in 2020 has looked quite different from prior years!

Our clergy and staff have done an excellent job enhancing our live stream worship to make virtual worship accessible and meaningful for all during the early months of the pandemic. Stay-at-home orders prevented us from worshiping together as a congregation. However, we saw God busy at work, expanding the reach of MPPC beyond Charlotte to places such as Minnesota, Spain, and Puerto Rico, as our virtual offerings touched hearts around our nation . Also, we have offered creative worship through drive-up opportunities for communion and prayer, as well as morning prayer services via Zoom. 

As restrictions eased, clergy and staff continued to pivot and added live studio audience services in the Sanctuary, followed by live Celebrate services. Members hungry for fellowship and in-person worship were excited to be back on our church campus with one another, albeit safely socially distanced and wearing face masks. Working with our Medical Advisory Team, we will continue to offer in-person and drive-thru worship services whenever it is safe to do so.

Hopefully, as we enter 2021 and begin to emerge from this pandemic, Worship Council will continue to discern where God is calling our congregation prayerfully. Isaiah 43:18-19 says: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!”  

We are excited to continue to create engaging, welcoming worship experiences for all who join us in person or through live stream in 2021, and we are eager to see where God leads us as our “new normal” emerges.

Youth Council

Youth Council:

Mike Lenhart, Chair

  • 1,370 average pounds of non-perishable food items donated at monthly food drives
  • 13 small groups met regularly, averaging 10-12 youth in each group
  • 8 Boy Scouts from Troop 55 were awarded the rank of “Eagle”

2020 brought many changes to our country, our communities, and the youth ministry. But our mission remained constant: to bring our youth into the Christian community, grow in faith, and discover how to live as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

To accomplish our goals during a global pandemic, our youth and their families adapted from larger class-sized gatherings to small accountability groups. The youth took on more significant community service roles such as monthly food drives and virtual “check-ins” with classmates and friends. This year’s challenges did not waiver our youth; rather, it made them stronger and more resilient. Of course, we weren’t surprised by this at all!

Looking ahead to 2021, Youth and Their Families ministry is hopeful that canceled mission trips, larger gatherings, and even simple things like getting ice cream, making Thanksgiving chocolate chess pies, and not having to imagine someone’s smile beneath a mask will gradually become routine again. Youth events postponed or canceled in 2020 will return in 2021. Some will return as they have historically been, while others may change based on what God has taught us this year. If you want to become reassured in our faith family’s future, spend a minute, an hour, or a day with the MPPC youth!