In the meantime, we handed out the following letter yesterday (you can also download a copy) to give you a peak at what is to come:
May 1, 2016
Dear brothers and sisters,
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! As we approach the end of our “Sunday School year” and the beginning of summer, I wanted to give you a brief update and preview of things to come.
For the past eight months now, we have been on a journey through The Story, exploring God’s work to make all things new. We have seen how that has been God’s mission from the very beginning, how God has relentlessly pursued that goal in spite of the unfaithfulness of God’s People, and how the life and ministry of Jesus Christ brought that project to its climax as God himself broke into creation that we might be reconciled to God. For the past few weeks, we have been discussing the ways in which we, as God’s People, now continue that mission: we are God’s ambassadors of reconciliation, called to carry the Good News that God is making all things new into the world around us.
Though our journey through The Story is now complete, our call to God’s mission is not! Indeed, if we have gained anything from this experience, I hope it is that we more clearly understand God’s ongoing mission and feel our calling to participate in that mission; The Story has launched us on a trajectory that I hope we will continue to travel!
To that end, we will continue to discuss this theme of God’s Mission throughout the coming months. You might even get tired of hearing me talk about God’s Mission! But there is nothing that is more central and vital to our identity as God’s People than our understanding of and participation in this mission. So between now and the end of the year, we are going to take a look at the story of Jonah as an example of how not to do mission, we will explore the practices of our church as our embodiment of God’s Mission, and we will take a more in-depth look at the book of Acts to see how the earliest followers of Jesus took their experience of God in Christ and proclaimed it to the whole world!
But all of this will be meaningless if all we do is talk; we are called to be active participants in God’s mission.
For the past several months, the Leadership Team has engaged in conversations together about how we as First Covenant Church are specifically called and equipped to participate in God’s Mission to Superior. We have focused on the ways in which our church’s gifts and abilities, the needs of our community, and the work of God among us all intersect. It is only when we are working in this intersection that we find the “sweet spot,” where our efforts and ministries bear real fruit for God’s Kingdom.
As we continue forward, we will be using the framework of the Great Commandments (“Love God; love neighbor”) and the Great Commission (“Go therefore and make disciples”) to define our purpose as a community of God’s People. Furthermore, we will be framing our ministry and life together in terms of four primary areas: worship, discipleship, hospitality, and mission. These four priority areas stem from the work that we are already doing as a church and will form the basis for our Ministry Teams, but I hope to spur us to think more broadly and carefully about what each of these areas means and how we go about them.
You will hear more about this framework in the weeks and months to come and we will provide a more formal opportunity for you to respond at a later time, but I would ask you for now to consider how God might be calling you to participate in one or more of these areas of ministry. Clearly, all of us have a responsibility in each area, but we will be looking specifically for people to lead and serve on Ministry Teams that provide thoughtful vision, leadership, and ministry in each area.
Thank you all for your commitment to our church community and the Body of Christ. Please continue to pray for this congregation, and specifically for the Leadership Team, as we seek to be God’s People for this place in which we live. May God guide and bless us.
(on behalf of the Leadership Team)