Let the Church ARISE!

You Are BelovedArise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
(Isaiah 60:1)

“ARISE!” It is a word that Jesus often used when healing the sick. It is a word Isaiah used to call the nation of Israel back to God. It is a word that describes the action of getting up as an imperative that seems to me a call to action. “ARISE!” – it is the word we are using to describe and kick-off a process of church re-focus that had its beginning many months ago.

Over the past several months leaders in our church have been working to find the best ways to reach more people with the Good News of Jesus Christ. These leaders have spent many hours in meetings, workshops, and seminars trying to learn better ways of sharing the gospel with our community. The prevailing wisdom is that the best way to share God’s Good News is by sharing the love of Jesus Christ through the mission and ministries of the church. That really is not surprising to most of us. The key is to be as effective and focused as possible with the resources we have available. The effort then has been to define our resources, define needs, and then determine the best ways to connect the two areas in ministry. We have already seen some really exciting things come out of this process. There are several things in the planning stages right now that we will be sharing with the whole church very soon. Here are some things that are already in process.

We continue to listen to the congregation and look for ways to improve both worship services so that they are welcoming and sacred. Worship is our chance to give glory to God for all that God does for us and it is a time for us to gather to nurture and pray for one another. We want every worship encounter at our church to be a place where you feel the presence of God in your life. Worship is at the center of all we do and it starts each week for us at a place where we can be open to God’s leading.

Mark Giovi, our Youth Director, has recently taken on the additional assignment of Missions Coordinator for the church. In this role Mark will be planning and organizing mission projects big and small. Mark has taken leadership of our monthly Helping Hands mission that seeks to provide services to our neighbors close to the church. He is also taking leadership of our Second Sunday mission projects that are designed to offer anyone in our church a chance to serve, regardless of age or ability. Going forward, Mark will continue to plan the annual Youth Mission Trip and look for new ways to reach out with inter-generational mission opportunities that extend the love of Jesus Christ.

You may have heard that someone has expressed a tentative interest in purchasing our Main Campus facility. This is in the infancy stage at this point, but it is something that does hold our interest as we look to our plans to locate our ministries south of the river. We are also looking at new ways to be a visible ministry from our Family Life Center and how we can reach out to those people who live in that neighborhood. There is much to do before a plan of this magnitude can be realized, but know that we are working on it.

There are other ideas working their way through various ministry teams that are designed to help us reach more people in the name of Jesus. The thing is that we really need the entire congregation to be involved in this process if we have any hope of moving our church forward into the future God has planned for us. We need the whole church to participate in framing the vision and understanding what the vision means for us. We want everyone to be in touch with what the plans are and how we hope to accomplish them. We really covet all your prayers that we will discern God’s will and that we will have the courage to carry it out. That is what ARISE! is all about. This is our chance to listen for God’s leading and respond with our ideas, our hopes, our dreams, and our prayers. Please be part of the process by attending this Sunday, October 12th at 9:30AM as we cry out – “Let the church ARISE!”

Praying for God’s leading,
Pastor Don