And when he [Jesus] got into the boat, his disciples followed him. – Mt.8:23
A year ago, Messiah's leaders and members committed themselves to get in the boat with Jesus, not knowing where the Holy Spirit would take us. After a long discernment process and lots of prayers, we were willing to allow God to use us and our resources to reach groups of people who would not otherwise come looking for God and a community of believers within the doors of our building.
We now know what God had in mind for us. When we issued the call to Pastor Lenny to be Messiah's mission developer, he brought with him a whole host of gifts to reach marginalized people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. These include those who have been hurt by the church, those who feel unwelcome to it, and those who life's journeys are different than the majority of those in the greater Vancouver community.
A few weeks ago, we reported that after several months of introduction to Messiah's cross-campus membership, Pastor Lenny has now turned his full attention to growing Messiah's third worshiping community called Jubilee Collective. The focus of this community is to draw upon and serve people in downtown Vancouver. Jubilee will look much different than Messiah North and the Hazel Dell campus. Pastors Peter and Kathy and Intern Pr. Maggie will continue to lead those two campuses in worship and study as they have in the past.
It is with gratitude and wonder that we watch the developing ministries and worshiping community of Jubilee Collective. We know that God has only good planned as they gather to hear the Gospel faithfully preached and taught by Pr. Lenny. If you ever want to catch up with what is happening there, or drop in on one of Jubilee's worship services, or would like to refer a friend or family member to any of Jubilee's ministries, point them to Jubilee Collective.
At this same time, you will likely notice new experiments happening at the Hazel Dell and Messiah North campuses. We are encouraging all of Messiah's staff to engage 6-week experiments in ministry. The purpose is to open ourselves and the congregation to see what new ways God will work with us in worship, study, and staying connected during this time of COVID. Those that seem to work best will stick. We know that at some time in the next 12 months, a new "normal" will appear. But we don't know what it will look like yet. Having had the powerful experience of "being in the boat with Jesus" before, we know that we need not fear what is on the other side of the lake or the future, since we know who holds it in his hands.
God's peace and blessings be with you all. – Prs. Kathy and Peter