Message from Pastor Paul…
This past year has been a stretching, challenging, but fantastic experience. Beginning with our noticeable numerical church growth.
Few of us expected the major changes we would experience—but rejoice knowing that the recent growth has been the result of sincere hunger for God, the absolute truth found in the word of God, and a solid Biblical worldview.
We know that the word of God contains all that pertains to life and Godliness but also understand that rightly dividing the word of God is critical to maintaining a solid compass amidst voices and directives designed to discredit the Bible, our faith, America’s pulpits, and polity. Erosion of truth cannot be tolerated nor can the freedoms and responsibilities afforded us by Almighty God. We are the watchmen, torchbearers, ambassadors, and human agents who are entrusted with contending for the faith and freedoms many earlier saints and warriors defended—even at the expense of their own blood. Babylonian humanistic philosophy and dogma are evil and cannot be tolerated. Therefore, you who have illumination and understand the truth have gravitated to Candlelight in order to find the encouragement needed to navigate the prophesied times we are now experiencing. Thank you for being a part of this great move of God—a move He has called us to.
Secondly, we must thank the Lord for the lives that have been changed—by God’s grace amidst these times. Souls have been added to the Church, saints have been enriched, families have been served, equipped, and encouraged by the many ministries both supported and developed.
Thirdly, we can celebrate the way God has brought new staff into this growing ministry, the ever-increasing volunteer base, and the development of roles and activities God is using to benefit all.
Finally, I need to thank all of you and ask the Lord’s continued blessing upon each of you for the way He has used you to increase the necessary financial resources associated with the growth we are experiencing. We have paid off the mortgage on the primary church facilities and are now on a fast track to paying off the much-needed “Plaza” property. (It provides us both parking and an outreach center intended to serve the families of Candlelight and the community.)
We have ended the year with financial reserves and anticipate greater financial growth as we move into the future. Missions have been supported, outreach programs have continued, families have been assisted, improvements have been made to the church property, and anticipated developments are still forthcoming.
The world we sojourn has changed and will not return to what some believed to be normal/business-as-usual operations. However, this does not mean that this is the end. We should not be discouraged—nor should we tuck and run. Now is our hour to stand up even stronger, boldly proclaim the true Gospel, and defend what God has entrusted to us for those around us, our children, our children’s children, and as many as the Lord our God shall call. The wicked will not relent—nor will we.
Now, for a few growing instructions:
The world has always given focus to self-preservation and self-interest. It is a natural part of the fallen nature. However, as believers, we have been both instructed in Scripture and have observed the others-centered nature of Jesus. He does not call us to the temporal self but to be His worshippers who sacrificially give up self-interest for the furtherance of the Gospel and for the benefit of those around us—first to the household of faith and then to others who desperately need what God has equipped us to offer.
This is no time to recluse or “circle the wagons.” Of a certainty, we must attend to the needs of our own—but not to an isolationist independent self-preservation. As we see things continue to decline both morally and socially we should be wise as serpents but harmless as doves. To this end, may I suggest the following:
- Attend to the word of God. Study to show yourselves approved—rightly dividing the word of truth.
- Show yourself to be of diminishing self-reliance and of greater dependence upon the Lord. Prayer is key! God desires to bless His own through answered prayer. As we pray we honor Him by recognizing that He alone is our source, resource, and provider.
- Teach and lead by example. Most learn through what they see—more than what they hear. Our walk matters!
- Continue to faithfully support Candlelight as your local church ministry. The church is your family resource center. We are here for you! This is no “one-way street!” Candlelight is not simply a receiving center—we are a community of believers who invest in the ministry together. We corporately prepare for all those things God has called us to—this includes you in the event you have need.
- Be personally prepared for future difficulties. This may include proper Biblical readiness for financial strain, material supply, self-defense, and transportation.
- Don’t be overly dependent on others for what you need. However, do be ready to share and serve alongside others in the Body of Christ—and with other like-minded neighbors. This is a healthy way to work together for the benefit of all.
- Do not depend on the government for what you need or desire. Let us all remember that the government is intended to serve at our discretion. They are not our providers. We are called to provide for them—and hold them accountable!
- Always remember that God is sovereign and that we belong to Him. He will never leave us nor forsake us. He can be trusted with all and for all.
Moving forward may we all heed the counsel of Paul the Apostle who wrote, “I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them…” (Romans 12:3–6a NKJV).
In this context, we see both the individual and corporate means by which God intends us to live, serve, and advance.
He also wrote, “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,’ is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,’ is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you’; nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’ No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually” (1 Corinthians 12:12–27 NKJV).
We need each other, and serve one another for the benefit of all—to the glory of God.
Finally, he wrote, “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:11–16 NKJV).
We are engaged in the ministry together! We worship and serve together—as individuals but as a corporate assembly of the redeemed. Let us go on to maturity, useful and empowered by the person and work of the Holy Spirit in these last days.
Happy New Year my friends!
It is going to be an exciting year. Advance—together—in the grace, mercy, anointing and truth of the Lord!
We love you all,
Pastor Paul and Brenda Van Noy
Message from the Staff at Candlelight…
Our church is blessed as many new people are calling Candlelight their home church! People are professing new and renewed faith in Jesus as their Savior through baptism and committing their life to Christ. We have had an awesome year with our Children’s Ministry, Church Shopping Classes and other ministries at Candlelight. We launched new youth activities for our Junior and High School students with many adult volunteers walking alongside them during some of the most difficult times. We will continue to encourage our students to live Christ-like lives in service to others, stewardship and integrity.
Come celebrate with us as we get ready for “Launch”! This special event will bring focus to all the ministries of the church. Moreover, not only will it bring focus to the activities of the previous year, but it will also inspire a vision for the future—to create excitement and generate commitment for service into the new year. This is both beneficial and Biblical—for God’s people need a vision for the future and an accounting of the past. Mark your calendars for Sunday, February 6th from 5 PM to 7:30 PM. FREE DINNER! A GIFT FOR EVERYONE! DOOR PRIZES TOO! Don’t miss this exciting evening – 2022 Launch!
We would like to thank you for your continued financial support this past year. We want to continue to take care of our church family and serve our community.
Thank you for sharing your God-given talents supporting all that we do at Candlelight. We could not do anything without your faithful support. Together, we are the Body of Christ. We are believing in all the Lord is going to do in 2022!
Happy New Year!
Candlelight Church Staff