2021 Annual Report

Released on February 11th, 2022

Letter from the Pastor

Year Two of the pandemic has been an emotional roller coaster. There was the advent of the vaccines – and the relief they brought with them. For the next few months, it was looking like the pandemic might soon be in our rearview mirror. People were booking trips. Shopping for clothes to wear back to the office. We could even attend church without masks!

But then the Delta variant entered the picture, and everything seemed suddenly dangerous again: eating out, flying, grocery shopping. Companies started rethinking their reopening plans – and not just because their introverted workers had flourished working from home! They didn’t know whether it would be safe for their employees to come back.

Enter the boosters and the hope they held out of preventing the vast majority of vaccinated people from experiencing serious illness, hospitalization and especially death. But enter also – the “anti-vaxxers” and their very public crusade against these public health measures. Now we find ourselves dealing with yet another even more highly transmissible variant: Omicron. It’s no wonder many of us are asking, along with the psalmist, “How long, O Lord, how long?”

It occurs to me that the challenge – and opportunity – facing us this next year will be to find ways to balance our own need for healing and relief during this anxious time with God’s call to be a force for healing, respite, and reconciliation for the world outside our church’s doors.

Bearing this in mind, I hope that you will discover, in the pages that follow, examples of how people at this church have been navigating a very difficult year with amazing grace, reaching out to people in need and leading during troubled times, while also growing and sharing their faith. I hope you will be able to draw strength from these examples and inspiration for a new year spent with God and your friends at First Presbyterian Church Concord.

Rev. Dr. Johanna McCune Wagner
Senior Pastor