May 12, 2009
Dear Church Family,
During our worship gathering on Sunday we took a break from our regular sermon series in order to look back at the early dreams and passions of The Well and to celebrate how God is making these dreams a reality. (You can listen to the audio on the church website here: http://church.thewellpa.com/podcast/the-history-next-steps-for-the-well/)
The Well has four foundational values:
- Discipleship (we are a community of people becoming more and more like Jesus)
- Justice/Evangelism (we reach out and share the love of Jesus with others, especially those on the fringes of society)
- Locality (we are locally embedded in our neighborhood, especially through the use of our building)
- Unity (we are connected to the historical and global Church)
On Sunday we focused on three of these four values, and how God continues to bless our desire to serve in these areas. Below is a quick overview:
Discipleship: God has been actively working in the lives of the people in our congregation. It’s clear that his Spirit is present and active among us. We believe that it is now time for us to become even more intentional about allowing God to form all of our lives into the image of Christ. We seek to enrich our environment in a way that will help people discover practices and relationships that foster Christ-likeness. This summer we will begin a very intentional time of searching and seeking in order to more fully understand the next steps before us. If being part of this process interests you, please e-mail Shanna (email@example.com).
Justice/Outreach: Over the last few years God has given us wonderful opportunities to serve our local community in things such as the missions trip to Lower Bucks County, meeting specific local needs, and partnering with local community services organizations. As we continue serving in those ways we are making intentional steps to reach outside ourselves. God has planted a desire among many in The Well to serve our neighboring community of Bristol. From June 7 to August 23, we will meet in Bristol for informal Sunday night worship gatherings. We will meet at Brian and Dorie Morgan’s house (922 Spring St, Bristol, PA) at 6 pm for a potluck dinner, followed by music and discussion from 7 to 8. Once a month, we will also do a service project in the community of Bristol. We pray this will be an awesome opportunity to worship God in an intimate setting, grow close with friends and neighbors, and serve in the most depressed part of Bucks County. For now, this is a summertime program, but we will pray as to how God is leading us in the future. For anyone interested in serving the people of Bristol, there will be a meeting after church on May 24. If you have any questions, please contact Gary Alloway (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Locality: Our prayer is that our building would serve as an important means of blessing and partnering with our local community. We have certainly seen God honor our prayers, as he has allowed us to use our building to minister in exciting ways. We now see the need to hire a Building Ministry Coordinator to continue our faithful use of this resource by finding new opportunities for our community to serve others through use of our space. Our goal is to have the Coordinator in place by August in order to prepare for fall programming. We will also be undergoing some renovations to our bathrooms and coffee bar as well as adding another classroom. We are currently in the midst of estimating costs and exploring grants to fund this position and the renovations. If you are interested in helping with the planning process, writing grants, or doing renovations please contact Todd Hiestand (email@example.com).
Our journey the last twelve years has been much like a hike. Our dream was to walk this journey in step with the Spirit. There have been some peaks, some valleys, and some great stories of God working in, among, and through us. For the last year or so we have sensed that God has brought us (organizationally speaking) to a peaceful clearing on the trail. This clearing has been a place of much needed stability and rest. We’ve been able to catch our breath, roast a few marshmallows on the fire, and throw the frisbee around a bit. As nice as it is, we do not desire to stay in the clearing for too long. It’s time to continue on our journey. So we walk forward in faith, believing that God will continue the good work he started in us twelve years ago.
As always, we invite conversation and discussion about these decisions. We also ask you to join in prayer with us as we ask God to lead and direct these goals. As each of these areas proceeds there will be opportunities to participate with your time, ideas and finances. If you have questions, concerns, ideas or just want to hear more, please do not hesitate to ask.
The Ministry Leadership Team at The Well,
Gary Alloway, Shanna Cummings, Todd Hiestand, Patti Pearson, Anna Pelger, Phil Wood