Thursday, June 25, 2009

Report on June 09

I'm just about to conclude a busy but very productive month of June. I traveled to Seattle/Tacoma for several days and enjoyed meeting with the leaders of nine churches for two days. It was so excellent to witness the amazing advancement that is taking place in the Northwest. Four more churches have a desire to become a part of what we are in Newfrontiers and have been in the process of building relationship with us for some time now. I feel a real kinship with these leaders; in fact, it feels like I have always known them. I am very impressed with the heart and quality of these pastors who value relationships, having a great desire to be together on a mission as a family of churches. I honor the work they have already accomplished and know they will make a great contribution to us. It was also a joy to be with Bo Noonan and Sam Poe as well as our church plant New Community Church in Tacoma and to see the growth of the church. Although I was unwell during the Sunday preach, I was aware of God's presence and several expressed appreciation for the message.

During some free time on Saturday, Sam Poe took me to Mt. Rainer for a little mountain climbing. I have to say we did not make the summit of 14,000 feet, but did climb high enough to look back at Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens on what was a beautiful, clear day. It was amazing to stand on Mt. Rainer knowing that 711 inches of snow had fallen that year and much of it still underneath our feet. The beauty of God's creation continues to be vividly embedded in my memory.

Upon my return to Missouri, we spent a day with Terry and Wendy Virgo and traveled up to "Celebration Midwest" at the University of Central Missouri campus. What a joy to meet together with hundreds of people from our Midwest churches for three days. I encourage you to download the teaching which received such an excellent response. This event is like no other we do: the entire family is involved as people serve to make this conference such a great blessing. I greatly appreciate the way the churches pitch in to administrate, teach children, oversee recreation, supervise the book table and usher. More than any other type of event, our Celebration conferences express our churches as a family together on a mission. The presence of God was so precious during our times to worship. I noted particularly as people seemed eager to drink in the preaching and respond during prayer times. The Saturday evening meeting is a time in which we report news, pray for new church plants, give a financial report, and show a video of our past activities as well as vision for the future and then receive an offering for our mission together. It is great fun to welcome the ONEBLAZE into that meeting as we celebrate late into the night. That particular evening has become a highlight for us and is often commented on as the most envisioning point of our conference. I always find myself in awe as to the way our people serve and give so generously in the offering. If you were unable to attend, I would like to encourage you to come next year; your children and teens will love it as well.

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