Upper Valley church of Christ Mission
The Gardner Report September, 2018
Greetings from the Green Mountains!
We will start with the sad news first. Almost a year ago our beloved Bill and Lucy Sargent lost their grandson in a tragic accident in his pickup truck. After they went out to Ohio for the funeral they came back with a decision that had been in the offing for a while. They put their house on the market and it just didn’t sell. A few weeks ago, it finally sold for their full asking price and they will be gone on the 15th. It will be a great loss to this congregation. Bill is a former elder of the church in Concord N.H. and their strength and stability have been an encouragement to me personally. For several years Bill kept The Servants group going every Tuesday morning. They did everything from helping a shut-in clean his home to stacking wood for a widow, to making out get-well and we-miss-you cards for “missing” members. It will be a sad reality when I arrive early at the building each Sunday morning and they are not the first ones in the door. May God go with you to your new home sweet brother and sister in Christ! We will miss you.
Now the encouraging news! Lately our attendance has been consistently in the mid 40’s again on Sundays and our Wednesday night class in personal evangelism is well attended with a lot of great follow up discussion after each of the videos! Lewis and Maudean Neal (long time faithful members of the church up in Montpelier and hour away) are coming down for each one of the videos. This series by Dan Couper was put out a many years ago and converted to DVD on a very limited basis. Parts of it are dated but the content is excellent and our Wednesday night group is really getting into the discussion time after each video.
We have had an interesting chain link phenomenon in the outreach of this congregation. Almost three years ago one of our ladies named Lindy started bringing a guy named Mike to church with her which lead right into Mike and I studying the Bible and Mike obeyed the Gospel in June of 2016. Then this past year Mike asked me to help pick up a friend named Ed. We studied with him and just a month ago Ed obeyed the Gospel. Meanwhile, another single guy named Earl (who had come to Mike’s baptism) attended our Gospel Sing when Mike invited him a few weeks ago. I deliberately sat across from him at the fellowship meal that day so we could get to know each other. The following Lord’s day happened to be our monthly fellowship meal so I invited him and again he came so I casually mentioned us getting together for a Bible study. Earl tentatively accepted with details to be worked out later. Rather than trying to start the class already I invited him to grab some Supper at the 99 so we could talk and develop our friendship. It was really good to get to know him better and we shared a lot about our lives and interests. Come to find out he was raised in the Catholic church but is currently attending a little non-descript denomination with a woman preacher out in Enfield. We have yet to begin the class but for now he will be coming to our Sing and Chow next Wednesday and he wants to bring a friend named Joe. I love how the Lord puts the pieces together! In closing I would appreciate your prayers for Ed’s health. He is attending and we continue to have a study each week. Also pray for Earl as we begin studying together and for his friend Joe that he plans to bring to our Sing and Chow next Wednesday night. Thank you all for your support and interest in the Lord’s work here in the Upper Valley.
Your fellow servants in Christ,
Randy and Sharon Gardner