Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Learning to Be the Church Gathered and Scattered

Hey Everyone,

We really enjoyed connecting with all of you who could make it on Sunday. We had a deep time of remembering the sacrifice made by Jesus, our soldiers, and others, so that we can live a life of freedom both now and forever! We also had some powerful moments of remembering some 'painful' events in our lives and allowing the Holy Spirit to come and minister more healing and freedom.

On a side note, what an amazing come back victory for the Stampeders over the pesky, and never say die Rough Riders! We will be watching the Western Finals on Sunday between the Stampeders and B.C. Lions at 2:30pm. Any of you are welcome to come to our house and observe how avid a football fan Esther is:--)

We are slowly finding a rhythm of regularly connecting with each other, God, and our neighbours. We are aiming to have one regular gathering a month all together where we practice some form of worship, prayer for our neighbours and the nations, discussion around the Bible, God stories, sharing our needs both spiritual, emotional, relational, and practical, ministry to each other, some eating of food and of course fun. This is not to say that we have to squeeze all of this into any given gathering. Sometimes the focus will be one or two of these practices such as worship and prayer or teaching and other times the focus will be on just hanging and having some fun.

Once a month we are aiming for the guys to get together and the gals to get together. In these smaller settings we want to have fun around our common interests such as cooking, beer and wings or football as well as go deeper in being vulnerable with where we are stuck or struggling to grow. These two gatherings a month are what we call the Church Gathered. We will be participating in the ageless practices that Jesus followers have engaged in no matter what the culture, the age, or period of history. (You can look at Acts 2: 42-47) The end goal is that Jesus is the center and the focus of why we gather. The other reason for church gathered is that we need to help each other grow in what it means to be apprentices of Jesus in His character and calling. We cannot grow as Jesus followers in isolation. By the way if you haven't signed up to receive the Mosaic posts, you should. Trang has been sharing cool stories of how Jesus has been connecting her to people through cooking and hiking. She then shares how she is naturally sharing Jesus with them and how these friends are inviting others to come. Go to www.themosaicnetwork.net  to sign up to get the posts.

The other aspect of church is being the Church Scattered. This means connecting and loving our neighbours where we live, work, study or play. We want to support one another in this. So once a month we are attempting to have a gathering where we can invite our friends to connect with each other and have a party! Over time as we see who is spiritually curious and who the Father is drawing into the Kingdom, we hope to have gatherings where we can intentionally invite our friends and neighbours who are interested to have conversations about Jesus and His Kingdom. This does not mean we can't invite friends to our Church Gathered Community Events. In fact it gets fun when the lines get blurred.

With these intentional rhythms in mind, we want to give you a heads up on different ways of gathering over the next month:

  • This Sunday Nov. 18th we are gathering as guys and gals. For the guys, we want to connect over beer and wings at Seanachie's Irish Pub 5909 Signal Hill Ctr SW @ 6:30-8:30pm. It is in the West Hills area. Rumour has it that the gals are going to be gathering at Amy's for some chocolate fondue from 6:30-8:30pm....guys we might have to crash that party. Let Joel or Amy know if you are coming. IF you want to watch the Western Finals, you are welcome at our place. Just bring your favourite beverage and snack to share, and let us know you're coming
  • Nov. 25th is Grey Cup Sunday and no official gathering though rumour has it that the Brauns are having a neighbourhood Super Bowl party. Linda or Rob let us know what you are thinking for this.
  • Esther and I will be away from Nov. 25h to Dec. 2nd celebrating our 25th...Yes, its hard to believe, but its true!
  • Dec. 2nd could be another guys and gals gathering. Joel and Amy will let you know if this is on. We should start a FB page for this or Joel I can add you as an author for the Close2Home blog site if you want. Joel and Amy will you let everyone know if this is a go.
  • Dec. 9th we'll meet @ Beth Brown's from 12pm - 3pm for a church gathered time. This time we want to start with lunch together so bring some food to share, and hopefully Emily can make it:--)
  • Then Dec. 16th @ 6:30pm we are having a Community Theatre night at the Boys and Girls Club in Bowness @ #36 7930 Bowness Road. The show is called Twinkle. It is not churchy and only goes for 45 minutes with Christmas theme. We hope to have some food as well. I've included the e-card below which you can use to invite friends. It will cost $300 to put it on and we will suggest $10 an adult with children coming free. It is family friendly and a chance to invite our neighbours and friends to connect. Start getting the word out and inviting friends.
Have a great week everyone and shoot up some prayers for me for a successful hunt as I head out Thursday and Saturday with a good friend....hoping for a bull elk or mule buck:--),

Tim and Esther