Saturday, March 24, 2012

2011: The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

Dear Friend of CMCC,

With deep appreciation I thank you for your financial support of Catskill Mountain Christian Center during 2011. What a year! In trying to capture the essence of the overall experience of 2011, I cannot help but think of the famous opening line of Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities: “It was the best of times; it was the worst of times…” On the upside, 2011 was an amazing year filled with blessings, productivity, service and life. On the down side, August 28th, 2011 saw our little village of Margaretville and the surrounding region smashed to pieces by devastating flooding driving many people from their homes, businesses and further damaging our already struggling local economy. 

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7

But God…

As amazing as it seems, however, the aftermath of the flood brought out the best of people and God used the crisis to perform miracle after miracle through CMCC as we cared for our neighbors in need! Through His grace and the help of many caring friends like you, funds came in to support the army of CMCC members and out-of-town volunteers as we outfitted our facility as headquarters to serve workers and displaced neighbors. We cooked thousand of hot meals, provided a hundred thousand dollars of food, water and household supplies to hundreds of families and sent out teams to clean out homes and businesses, logging thousands of man-hours of service. Again I say, thank you for your financial support of CMCC. Neighbors have been comforted and Jesus Christ has been lifted up through your gifts.

The rest of the year at CMCC reads like a continuation of the Acts of the Apostles. At the core is a thriving church community with all of the bells and whistles: Sunday and mid-week services, Sunday school, Power Kids, Bible studies, men’s and women’s ministry, youth groups, boys and girls groups, home groups, Bible college, nursing home ministry, music ministries, prayer meetings, conferences, radio ministry, church planting, social media, web site, pastoral counseling, leadership preparation, mission support and short term missions trips (Kenya and the Dominican Republic in 2011). We also host many visiting ministers who provide enrichment on a wide range of subjects from marriage to music concerts.

It is our ongoing mission at CMCC to broadcast the good news of the Lord Jesus Christ through all of our services, activities and programs, and by doing so, represent a living expression of His love in action. Through your donations, Jesus’ instructions to love God with all our hearts and love our neighbors as ourselves have been accomplished through our work. Some of the extra events & activities in 2010 were: January fasting and prayer, prayer vigil, Game night, Devoted teen girls event, movie night, Rev. Jim Jorgensen, Apologetics simulcast, Alight pancake breakfasts, teen movie night, Dr. Larry Keefauver, Rev. Paul Costa, Kenya mission, Re. Jimmy and Terrie Mas, strawberry social, Art for Life, Keith Johnson, Dominican Republic mission, CMCC 20th Anniversary Ball, FaithConnect women’s event, Apostle John Kelly, Margaretville Street Fair, Rev. Dion Boffo, car wash, bake sale, John Osborne, Rev. Tim Byler and leadership Christmas banquet.

Apart from specifically church activities, CMCC includes a number of ongoing services which demonstrate our faith in a tangible way. The book of James says, “But someone will say, "You have faith, and I have works." Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” (James 2:18) Besides the normal work of caring for the needs of others done through our church, CMCC operates several ongoing ‘faith in action’ programs:

Catskill Mountain Christian Academy – This is a full pre-k through twelfth grade school offering an excellent academic training experienced within the context of a Christian worldview. Our school strives to develop Christian faith and character qualities for the lives of our students as well empowering academic preparedness and accomplishment. Founded in 1995, CMCA continues to serve the children of Christian parents who value the integration of faith with academics. 

Family Table Community Assistance Program – The Family Table ( is a food program offered to low-income families in our region. Serving over a thousand local families in 2011 as well as providing food and training to other outreach centers, The Family Table dispersed a well over a half-million dollars in food to the needy in 2011. Since opening its doors in 2004 The Family Table has distributed food valued in excess of two million dollars!

Senior Citizen’s Dinner – For eleven years CMCC has opened our doors each Wednesday evening to offer a no-cost hot meal to senior citizens. Consistently drawing dozens of  attendees each week, since the beginning our teams have served more than fifteen thousand meals to our elderly neighbors. 

Alight Care Center – Alight Care Center (  serves individuals and families in Delaware County and surrounding communities by providing educational and support services including: Pregnancy resource center, free & confidential pregnancy tests, peer counsel for pregnancy-related topics, 24/7 crisis pregnancy hotline, educational services, infant care classes, parenting classes and anger management classes.

On Fire Radio – CMCC’s half hour Sunday morning radio broadcast. Aired on four commercial stations, On Fire Radio is a spiritual lifeline to Delaware County, New York. We receive consistent reports that many are encouraged in their faith, and others are introduced for the first time to the Gospel of Jesus Christ through this invaluable outreach. Broadcasting for over fifteen years now, On Fire Radio has helped CMCC to be established as perhaps the most popular and influential voice of Christianity in the entire region.

FaithConnect – FaithConnect is a networking vehicle created to provide ministry covering and resources to local church pastors, especially those ministers produced by CMCC. 

At CMCC we have a slogan: Serving our neighbors with our hands and proclaiming God’s kingdom with our voices. Through your donations, 2011 was another banner year of doing both! From the bottom of my heart I thank you for entrusting CMCC with your financial gifts without which, none of the above would have been possible. It has been the highest privilege and the greatest joy of my life to be associated with such a fine group of believers who share the common vision of representing Jesus Christ with excellence in this generation.

Pastor Bob Engelhardt