Happy New Year Berkeley Mt. Zion Family (BMZ),
After all we’ve been through, we are still here! Thank you, thank you for your prayers, support and participation during what we all would agree was a very challenging year. And yet, morning by morning the Lord sent brand new mercies, and day by day He did not leave us nor forsake us – even on those days when we wondered where God was. Thank you for your consistent gathering online – which by the way, was a tough assignment for me. I confess and admit that the “camera congregation” is not the same as looking into the faces and smiles of the saints. Yet, God has been good.
Because of your faithfulness among other things, we were able to administer COVID-19 testing, conduct drive-through events that fostered connection among the membership, blessed hundreds with food boxes, ensured our youth had gifts and food during the holidays. Thank you! Because of your faithfulness we were able to serve families during times of bereavement, some of whom were only able to memorialize their loved ones in funerals where only two or three were able to attend. We are still praying for those families and continue to walk with them.
Because of your faithful financial support, we were able to finish the year in a strong financial position! I can’t adequately express my gratitude to the BMZ family for your financial support during this time! God continues to prove that He is faithful. I thank our Board of Directors and Sis. Cassandra Kitchen for their diligence in navigating the rough waters of financial management during this time.
Because of your faithfulness and prayers, our media production and technology were on the front lines of online ministry week after week and Sunday after Sunday. Bro. Jonathan Smith, Bro. Richard Thompson, and Sis. Kathryn Ballard have been at their computers, on social media platforms and trafficking in and out of cyberspace on behalf of the BMZ family. Managing and creating technology is not an easy job. What they have done has been so crucial to the Word and this ministry going forth. As a result we have gained viewers from Berkeley to the United Kingdom, and even viewers in India! They are gifts from God to this House. We are blessed that even during this pandemic we have still saved and brought individuals to Christ and many have been added to the BMZ family. We embrace and receive them.
I thank God for our Ministry Leaders who adjusted to a “new normal” and still continued to provide ministry, empowerment, and encouragement during this pandemic. Thank you! Many were encouraged and blessed as a result of your faithful efforts. We will keep the momentum going. My prayer for you is that you continue to lead, think outside the box, and continue to provide relevant ministry that is so needed during this time.
I thank God for our Team of United Christian Hands (T.O.U.C.H) Ministry, Deacons and Deaconesses, and Spiritual Mothers, all of whom have helped steady our course with their prayer, support and servanthood of congregational care. I especially thank God for the various members who looked out specifically for our seniors. Many of them served behind the scenes to assure that our seniors felt embraced, included, and cared for. I am so grateful for you.
Though we were not able to gather and worship as normal, I thank God for Bro. Ernest Dayce. Week in and week out you encouraged our souls by providing music that ministered and encouraged us through some dark days.
Unfortunately, I cannot answer the million dollar question which is: When will we be coming back into the building? My priority has always been the welfare and safety of our members, and this is still my priority. Until it is deemed absolutely safe for us to return to our building we will continue to gather, worship, and minister virtually.
As we cross over into a New Year, thank you for your prayers and concern for Sis. Lori and our family. I am looking forward to serving as Pastor and People and watching the Lord open doors for us to save, disciple, and empower His people. Be on the lookout for some exciting things to come as we trust God to lead us into 2021. Stay safe, wash your hands, be wise, and wear a mask!
THE BEST IS YET TO COME!
Pastor Brian D. Hunter