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An Update from the Kaysers

by Ian Kayser

Just like everyone else in the world, 2020 was unlike any other. The pandemic and all of her effects came into our lives and has shaped much of what we have been able to do.  

We, along with all of you, had to make some major adjustments. Ruby and Julia did distance learning last Spring, I worked from home for awhile, and we did the “us four no more” thing for a couple of months. There was no trip to New Mexico, no beach vacation for us, we were pining for a swimming pool in our back yard, but we managed to get through the summer anyway. And then the girls headed back to school in August for fourth grade and first grade. Overall, school has gone great - I’m amazed and thankful for all the hard work the teachers and students are doing to keep school going during the pandemic. Ruby and Julia played intramural soccer at the school this fall. They are currently playing intramural basketball. We decided it would be best to keep them out of the city leagues just to keep in our “bubble” - I think I am the only one in the family that misses it. 
At the church, we discussed, prayed, discussed, prayed, discussed again, then prayed again as to how to do ministry in this environment. And then with all the meetings, all the prayer, and all the conversations, we still didn’t know if we were doing the right thing (pray for your church leaders - its been a rough year!). When the dust had settled, we didn’t hold in person worship for 7 weeks, but we started back in the middle of May. We were one of the first in town to get going, and looking back I’m glad we started when we did. We still haven’t been able to have Sunday School, but we are having worship and have pulled off a few new discipleship groups of 4 people. The most surprising thing to me about this last year of ministry is that despite all the difficulties we were still able to welcome about 15 new members and we have nearly 10 people signed up for our new member’s class later this month. It seems like our church continues to grow and I don’t really understand - yet we are thankful for God’s grace to us during this time. God has been good to us. 

An Encouragement 
I recently watched a documentary from 2011 called "Knuckleball!". It's about major league knuckleball pitchers. If you don't know, the knuckleball is a pitch in baseball where the ball has zero spin. Every other pitch has a spin and the spin makes the ball behave in predictable way. But the knuckleball floats through the air, is slow, and is widely unpredictable. This means that knuckleball pitchers are the odd balls in baseball. The coaches don't know how to coach them because they can't throw a knuckleball. The manager doesn't know how to manage them because they don't know if the pitch is working or not. The other pitchers on the team don't know how to talk about the knuckleball with the knuckleballer. And then there is this one interesting fact about the knuckleball pitcher: it's that nobody wants to be a knuckleballer. Its almost always a last ditch shot into the big leagues and they tend to stumble into this style of pitching. And for this reason, there is usually only one or two knuckleballers in the major leagues at a time. What has been striking in this film is that the knuckleballers have formed a tribe. It is a community that gets together. They help one another out. They give one another tips. The retired pitchers help the ones that are still playing. They have an informal community of knuckleballers because they are the only ones that understand one another. This is a picture of the church. We are the weird ones in the world. The odd balls. Our character is different. Our ethics and morals are different. We've been shaped by grace and not by effort. We stumble into Christ because of our failings and our weakness instead of our successes. All of this makes us different. And for this reason, we need one another. Just like the knuckleballers. 
This encouragement is from a weekly email that I send out to Providence and friends of Providence. It's similar to the Westminster Weekly, which I still receive and enjoy. If you would like to receive these, and stay in touch with me, you can sign up here: 
We miss our church family at Westminster. We are so thankful for you and for our partnership in the gospel! 
A "This Week at Providence" email that was recently sent:
Dear Friends,
"Do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you." -Wendell Berry 

Last week I was able to stay home and away from the office. I had finished 2020 with some extra vacation days and thought I better use them before the year was over. I played golf one day, but for the most part I stayed home with the rest of the family. We rode bikes one day. Another day we played laser tag with the laser guns the girls got for Christmas. I cooked out one day. Another day we ate leftovers. We stayed up too late and we slept in too late as well. A couple of times I even forgot what day of the week it was! It was good week of rest for us all. I am reminded that rest is a good thing for all of us. And its sad to consider that rest has become counter-cultural. Today many of us have been so conditioned by efficiency and productivity that sitting on the porch and twiddling feels unproductive, irresponsible, lazy, and maybe even selfish. We all know we need rest, but we struggle to see the value of rest as an end in itself. It seems that for a lot of us (myself included) is only worthwhile if it helps us recharge our batteries so we can be even more productive later. But rest is a gift from God. He gives us a day of rest. And rest is also a picture of salvation (Hebrews 4). We enter into rest, salvation, through Christ. So this year, instead of working on some productivity goal like I usually do, I'm going to try to get better at rest. Ask me how I'm doing sometime. 

Here is what is going on at Providence... 

The Shop - A New Men’s Group
There are so many voices out there that are telling you what it means to be a man. Discover God’s design for men with a clear definition and inspiring vision of Authentic Manhood.
The Man Cave starts on Tuesday, January 19 at 7pm and will meet for 6 weeks. We will be using a video curriculum called “33 The Series” and will have a time to discuss each lesson.
We will be meeting in the Kayser’s shop.
To sign up, go to this link. 

Discover Providence
If you are new to Providence and would like to take the next step into the life of our church, Discover Providence is your first step. This is a four week small group experience.
We begin on Thursday, January 27 at 6:30 PM
To register, go to this link. 

Here are some things we read this week... 
The Teachable Will Lap the Gifted
The Gospel in a Democracy Under Assault
An Open Letter to the Woman Struggling with Aging
Grace Gives Us a New Way to Live

I have also attached this month's CPYU Parent page. 

In Christ, 

Ian 

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