Sunday, December 21, 2014

Advent Celebration

Thank you so much to those of you who prayed for our recent church event! The advent event was a wonderful celebration of "hidden treasures", our gifts and talents, and the giver of those talents. The evening included an arts and crafts exhibit, plus a stage performance that included music, theatrical performances, hand puppets, a film, poetry and more! There were many many guests in attendance and our sanctuary was packed to the brim. The guests enjoyed the performances, heard the messages from our pastor, and then stayed for Punsch, treats and the exhibit.

Please continue to pray for those in attendance, especially guests who do not know Christ and who are in relationship with people from our church. Pray for conversations to go further and deeper.

Here are some photos highlights from the evening!

Member of the string quartet

Hand puppets, who told the sweet story of a shepherd

The packed room

A skit

8-person acapella performance (Bethany is second from the left)

Rachel planned the event (with our assistance) and directed the orchestra

The art exhibition that Nate built!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Update and a Prayer Request

As anyone that lives in a city knows, space is at a premium. Parking is challenging, apartment living is the norm, and things are smaller and more compact. This is also a European value. It still amazes me to think about my time last summer in the States - there is just so much open space! Many of these things we have gotten used to and recognize that they are just different ways of operating.

Because of this reality, most churches here consistently struggle with space issues. Rent (or mortgage) tends to hold a pretty large spot in any church's budget. Growth also brings its own challenges. Questions like: Where are we going to put all these people? or How will we have enough or properly-sized classrooms for all the groups that need to meet? Most church buildings are occupied by multiple congregations that are able to afford a rent together. Even with this reality, many churches can tell stories of God providing, such as finding a reduced-rent facility based on the church doing a renovation of the space. Others have seen God move in creative ways, utilizing the space throughout the week for non-profit offices, kindergartens, and other creative solutions.

Our church has been wrestling with the issue of space for awhile now. It is a long story, that I won't try to completely explain, but it is amazing to watch God move as He opens and closes doors and to see leaders making decisions and working with one another. This experience is invaluable, also because I will probably go through a process like this again in the future.

The latest step in this journey has popped up within the last few weeks. God recently closed the door in our church for renovating our current space, so we are seeking a new solution. There is a new rental opportunity, where we could fit more people into the sanctuary as well as have all the Sunday school rooms we would need. The challenge is the decision will need to be made fast (with in the next few weeks).

Will you pray for our church? Please pray for:
  • wisdom on the part of the leadership and the church to consider this from every perspective to have all the information needed
  • all of the details that would need to happen
  • ultimately, God's leading on behalf of our church

We can't wait to see what God does and how he leads in this new chapter our church's history. We will keep you posted!