God Has Done Great Things

2020 has been a hard year for us all, but God has done great things in the midst of our suffering. Here is our “Top 10 Cherrydale Highlights of 2020,” and this list is just the tip of the iceberg! Join us in thanking God for the great things He has done.


Who knew a parking lot would be so valuable for our new practice of “social-distancing” outside? Not only did we use it for fellowship after church on Sundays but also for our Men’s Weekend, the Prayer & Worship for the Nations evening during Missions Conference (with firepits and s’mores), and our Fall Festival. In addition, our community used it too! The Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Department hosted their “Drive Thru Visit with Santa.”


It has taken a unified “village” to reopen church for worship during COVID-19. In May, hundreds of Cherrydalers participated in a survey and many others in focus groups prior to our reopening on June 7. You shared your feelings and concerns, and ultimately everyone has done an amazing job following our church leadership with safety guidelines so that we can continue to worship together in person. We are also very grateful for our facility team’s hard work in keeping our building clean and sanitized!


Our Children’s Ministry leaders had to rewrite the book of children’s ministry during COVID-19, and look at what God did! We loved having children join us for Sunday worship! They’ve enjoyed their sermon activity packets, and a number of children have trusted Christ as they listen to the sermon and ask questions. Wednesday Family Nights and Family Sunday School have been such a blessing to allow children to fellowship in-person and continue to grow in Christ. Thank you to the many volunteers who led Zoom Sunday Schools, participated in our Fall Festival, created YouTube videos, and more!


COVID-19 has underscored how important it is to be a member of a church family to care for one another and to reach out to others. You have called and prayed with each other, brought meals, visited together in front and back yards, sang Christmas carols for those stuck at home, contributed clothing to refugees, participated in Operation Christmas Child, and much more that only you and God know. Thank you for your love for one another.


In the midst of the pain of racial division in our country, our Elder Council led us though a biblical conversation about race, justice, and the gospel. Their efforts included the following: about 100 of us are participating in “Conversation Groups” reading two books together, the Elder Council published a position paper on Christian Unity in Ethnic Diversity and hosted two events – a seminar and a panel discussion. Read the full overview here.


Youth Ministry takes the Zoom cake for the most creative and robust use of online technology! (We’re so grateful for the teens and how they’ve served us on Sunday mornings.) Zoom has served us well, bringing us together for Members Gatherings (including Pastor Tom’s book giveaways!) and many more events. In addition, our building has been outfitted for hybrid (in-person/Zoom) gatherings enabling youth, Women’s Bible Study, Kindred, Elder Council and staff meetings, and many more ministry gatherings to safely take place. Thank you, Cherrydale Tech and Facility Team!


Whether it has been sickness, loneliness, exhaustion, online schooling, financial concerns, or relationship strains, 2020 has led us to our knees. In the spring, we held weekly Wednesday Prayer Nights online, allowing Scripture to be our guide, and our elders have continued to lead us on Sunday mornings. The gospel has given us great assurance in approaching Jesus’ throne of grace with confidence (Heb. 4:14-16).


Our pastors led us through a “Gospel Response to COVID-19” Bible Study online as we were adjusting to the crisis of a global pandemic. And ever since, we’ve been able to hear God’s Word preached each Sunday, either online or in-person, with series in Abraham, the Psalms and the gospel of John. Pastor Tom also led us through more than 56 video devotions on Mondays and Fridays. God’s Word is a lamp unto our feet in times of confusion – let us continue to depend on it!


In God’s kindness, we have been able to meet together during COVID-19 for worship in-person 30 times this year with an average attendance of 600 people (in-person and online). God has given us grace to sing and fellowship with masks on, which has allowed us to continue to safely gather and encourage one another. Those who were unable to join in-person have faithfully worshipped online for months. We are especially grateful for our interim Worship Director David Loebsack and his team and Production Director Jamie Tolosa for leading us in worship during these tough times!


Our number one highlight is being able to look back at a difficult year and see so many evidences of God’s faithfulness to us individually and as a church family. “As for God, His way is perfect” (Ps. 18:30a) – even though we do not always understand His ways, His lovingkindness is everlasting. Lord, we praise You for the great things You have done!