What I Did This Summer
Summer is rapidly nearing its end. Do you recall being in school and during the first week the teacher would ask everyone to share what they did during the summer?
Stories of faith
This summer I have been eating a lot of pie. We have held nine Pie with the Pastor gatherings. I have gotten to know over 100 of you. Each person has a unique story. Several themes that have repeatedly stood out are:
- Everyone has had trials and difficulties, they have come in a variety of forms, and they have resulted in deepening the roots of faith in so many lives here at Living Hope. 1 Peter 1:6-8 speaks of the spiritual value from trials.
- Relationships of care and support have been an important part of people's stories. We are not meant to try to do Life on our own. Asking for help, sharing our burdens and needs with others is a sign of health, not of weakness.
- Many of you are very intentional in asking the Lord how you can be used to minister to others who do not yet know Him. There is a beautiful seriousness I have seen time and again in many of you who are following your own God led calling, regardless of your age.
I have spent a good portion of my time in meetings with others. In June, I sat with a large group of our longtime and founding members as we together traced the history of Living Hope to identify our strengths (valuing God's word and caring about others) as well as seeing our weaknesses (conflicts unresolved, not communicating clearly during difficult times, uncertainty about roles of elders and paid staff). In July, the Elders and Ministry Staff met together for a constructive time of open communication with several practical follow-up assignments identified. I expect these joint meetings of Elders with Ministry Staff will continue this fall. During July, we met with 30 or more volunteers in Worship Arts to explore how worship is going and implications for how we worship in the coming months. Early in August, we held a kick-off meeting for the volunteers who will form the four teams to help carry out our church-wide Check-Up on October 1.
As we step into fall, I invite and challenge you to:
- Pray regularly for the Lord's continued work in us at Living Hope - for healing, for clarified vision, for uniting us as the apostle Paul urged - around one purpose, with one love.
- Give financially - as you are aware, our giving is lagging significantly behind budget. The only two options are to increase giving or reduce expenses.
- Engage - be an active, committed part of what the Lord intends to do during our interim. Resist the "wait and see" mindset. Raise your hand and voice to say "here I am, count me in", serving, praying and being a part of the healing and growth we expect from the Lord during this intentional interim.
"Now to Him who is able to do beyond all we could ask or imagine, according to His power working in us, to Him be the glory". (Ephesians 3:20)
Serving with you,