Friday, August 21, 2009

The Lighthouse, Part II: “Sometimes… it IS what you know…”

As though I need any help getting myself in trouble these days, I stepped off into a very unintentional conversation last week. I believe all of you see my heart for ministry to the under-resourced and how that has been a tremendous part of my ministry for the past 15 years. I could have shared countless other stories about God working in other places that have meant so much to me over the years.

What I did not know was the wonderful, significant ministry being done by our own South Santa Rosa Interfaith Ministries. Providing housing assistance, a food pantry and clothes closet as well as unbelievable medical care and assistance through the Good Samaritan Clinic, their work for the under-resourced is invaluable. You can imagine how happy I was to learn that what I love and care about so deeply for the “least of these in our community” was already in effect in such a powerful way.

Now, I certainly would have liked to avoid the stinging array of emails I received passionately defending Interfaith Ministries but in the end not only did I become aware of this outstanding ministry, but the conversation served to raise the value and visibility of what is happening in this great place. I was also blessed with the opportunity to meet with Fred and Shirley Cornett, who are wonderful and passionate about the marginalized and forgotten as well.

With this newfound knowledge, first I would like to encourage each of you to get involved with Interfaith Ministries. What they are doing is so needed in the life of our community. Interfaith has between 120-150 volunteers who minister to those in need. Our congregation represents about 1/3 of those volunteers, which is great! But, we have over 2,000 people who attend worship here each week. Maybe over the next year we could double the number of volunteers? Maybe triple?

And, please also serve in our other opportunities for the under-resourced including the Angel Food Ministries and Loaves and Fishes. For more information on these great ministries, please check our website at

Second, I received new information that says the number of under-resourced in our community is rising. So, not only will Interfaith need your support, but also so will all of the relief and response agencies/ministries in our area.

Third, as we go forward in our discussions about serving, God is always unveiling new ways that we can minister to the needs of others. That is why I am so excited about the “Dream Session” on Thursday, August 27th at 5:30pm, where we can “dream” about how to increase our support of all existing ministries and think about the ways, unimaginable now, that God is expanding our vision.

Finally, allow me to personally apologize to the volunteers of Santa Rose Interfaith Ministries for not knowing all of this sooner. I look forward to being involved with you for years and years of service together in meeting the needs of those who sit “at the city gate” and who only require our “willingness” to make a true difference (Mark 1: 40-45).

Blessings, my friends.

Loving Jesus ... Loving Like Jesus

Beginning September 23rd, we will begin a time for Covenant Commitment Renewal in the life of our church. Together, we will learn both how to Love Jesus more and how to Love Like Jesus in our world.

On September 23rd we will begin our 40 Days of Serving Devotional Time. And, on September 27th, we will begin a five week teaching series at all of our campuses where we look at how we Love Jesus through the following five areas:

1. Studying our Bible
2. Living in Community
3. Sharing our Resources
4. Faithfully Serving and Using our Spiritual Gifts
5. Worshipping Joyfully in Christ

Then on October 25th, we will have a Covenant Commitment Response Time for each family to commit themselves in real ways back to the life of our congregation. I can’t wait for what God will do!

Be Salt and Light... You matter!


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