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This will be our final newsletter of 2021. Here we are just days before Christmas and after that 2022. It is hard to believe the year has come and gone--my first year serving as your Associational Mission Strategist. It seems like only yesterday, I was seated at my dining room table writing Christmas cards to each of our churches for Christmas 2020, and now your church family should have already received one from my wife and me for 2021!

It has been an enriching experience. There are more lessons to learn, more advances to be made, more challenges to overcome, and more unknowns to face--mysteries to us, but clearly seen and mapped out by our sovereign God!

I am listening to Steve Green's old song, "Find Us Faithful," as I type these words. It has been a driving passion for me since I first heard it (and sung it) years ago. The message of being faithful to the finish is even more poignant for me now. Please pray that I can run without stumbling through the finish line. I want that strong kick evident as I pour it on down the homestretch!

By the grace of God, let us seek that we will be more engaged, elevate the level of our commitment, be stronger in passion for God, and getting the Gospel out. May we dig deeper into His Word, draw closer in fellowship, rise higher in our prayers, and reach wider in our mission.

I thank you for the trust you have placed in me--this glorious opportunity before me. Oh, that 2022 would be a year of spiritual awakening in Haywood County that is unprecedented, thus, manifestly a work of God! If that is to be, it starts with our churches, and that means it must begin with me and with you as individual Baptists. If I can serve you in any fashion, do not hesitate to contact me!

Merry Christmas to You and Happy New Year,

Dennis Thurman, Haywood Baptist AMS

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