Hello everyone! This has been an unusual year no doubt, and since many church members have been streaming services from their homes there haven’t been as many in-person get togethers and events as in years past. However, there still things that have been happening in the lives of our brothers and sisters that I hope to share.
When COVID cases started to escalate in the state of Arizona, and lock-downs were instituted, the Phoenix local began exclusively steaming services starting March 18th. As result, many activities were cancelled or put on pause. On May 17th the chapel was opened back up again, with services still being streamed and members having the option to attend services in person if they chose by keeping a distance while seated. During this lockdown, members were still able to have sacrament served to them in their homes.
One of the most notable, and joyous, things that happened this year is that we were able to welcome three beautiful blessings into the world. First was Titus Alexander Ely, born July 21st at 3:04pm, weighing in at 8lbs 10oz to Katie and Jared Ely. Shortly after, Sophia Marie Case was born to Mary and Jerimiah Case on July 30th at 11:42pm, weighing 7lbs 12oz. Lastly was Emma Quinn Stewart, born on August 25th at 3:46pm to Lindsay and David Stewart. She weighed 7lbs 4oz. We are all so blessed by their arrivals, and wish nothing but the Lord’s love and guidance to be bestowed upon them and their new mothers and fathers.
Thanksgiving weekend was the time for the Phoenix Reunion, as is our custom, but this year the format was changed to reflect the inevitable lower attendance and inability of many ministry to travel due to the pandemic. Due to a year of great change and many troubling events, the theme of “Joy” was chosen for Reunion in order to strengthen the hearts of those in attendance and the church body as a whole. The weekend started off with a prayer service in the morning and lunch, then a special program at 5:00 consisting of several member’s testimonies set to music. Saturday morning and afternoon consisted of discussion groups and the groups’ presentations of their discussion topics: Joy in Fellowship, Joy in Service, Joy in Faith, and Joy in Trials – while ages 3-12 enjoyed their own activity. The day was ended with a sermonette and song service in the evening. Sunday morning started off with sacrament service at 10:00am, followed by prayers and testimonies. Reunion was closed with a preaching service in the evening. Our hope is that everyone left the weekend feeling uplifted and reminded of the joy that one can have in the Lord.
Brother Glenn Saracino went to be with the Lord on the morning of December 3rd. He had been battling COVID and recovering from an operation on his leg when health declined, passing away due to a heart attack. He leaves behind his wife Jodine and their two children Anthony and his wife Alicia, and daughter Elise.
Please continue to remember in your prayers our brothers and sisters in Christ in foreign lands as we are unable to meet with them at this time. Also pray for our nation as a whole, that our leaders would make the best decisions and that we as a people might emerge from this troubled year stronger and with a clearer purpose to serve the Lord.