2023 Year in Review

| December 31st, 2023

Dear Beloved Community,

On this final day of 2023, I find myself awash in reflections and gratitude from the year we’ve shared together. For what a season it’s been, our joy made full with celebration and grief, with change and familiarity, with the horizon and the rearview mirror, but mostly with the God who remains steadfastly with us, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. 

It’s been a remarkable year in the beloved community of First Baptist on Fifth, which you, friends, made possible with your very lives. This year was a year we began by journeying together on the way and ended with tending that which is in our care. Our Sunday School classes and small groups have deepened in their spiritual formation, and our age-graded fellowships have held each other through all the changing seasons of life. To date, we have welcomed 67 individuals into our family of faith this year, who have energized every square inch of our life together. Worship has lifted us in heart and spirit, and the servant leadership of so many in our midst brought to life our God-shaped vision to be “a community in the heart of the city called by Jesus to practice bold love of God and neighbor and boundless compassion for all people.” 

Yet the year we shared would not be possible if not for your faithful gifts to God through the ministries of our church. Your dollars fed the hungry, accompanied the lonely, invited the neighbor, taught the young, cared for the aging, stirred the faithful, extended welcome to the new, and proclaimed affirmation and celebration to the overlooked.  Your resilient and hopeful gifts to our church quite literally helped to create the church God dreams us to be. What better witness in an age of such fear and anger, dissolution and division than a witness to, in the words of our Confession of Identity, a beloved community that “welcomes, affirms, and celebrates all people in the fullness of who they are!”

As you’re considering your final financial gifts of 2023, would you consider giving a final gift to God through First Baptist on Fifth? Your gifts will allow us to enter the new year buoyed by the road we’ve traveled and ready for what God has in store for us ahead.

Here’s how you can give:

1. Mail your contribution and ensure that it is postmarked by December 31.

2. Bring a contribution with you to worship this morning, Sunday, December 31.

3. Click this link or the button below to give online. 

In addition to sustaining our annual budget, called the Ministry Funding Plan, if you’d like to see all the places where you might direct a year-end gift, you can see those on our website here

Our year ahead holds such possibility, as we explore how to deepen our physical presence in Winston-Salem, continue our growth in number and faithfulness, and listen carefully to the Spirit who continues to call us to the work of “bold love and boundless compassion.” Together with God, our financial gifts make it possible!

Enjoy now a snapshot of our 2023 together. And know, friends, that as we stand on the horizon of one year turning toward another, in the words of Paul, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you.”

Click here for our 2023 Year in Review roundup!

Together in God’s work of Love,
Pastor Emily