Slideshow image

Today I have writer's block. I don't know how to start this Dearly Beloved. I guess I could just start writing and see what happens. But I'm nervous about that. 
Because our first words matter so much. 
Ideally, when writing these weekly notes to you, our Pastors aim to start out with a strong opening line.
Because our first words matter so much. 
Our first words have the potential to capture interest, compel, and point toward something that matters a lot. 
Today's Dearly Beloved is the last in a series of five dedicated to our 5 Prayer Priorities for 2023. Our fifth prayer priority is Provision for Building Development. 
Why not just start fundraising and see what happens? 
Because our first words matter so much. 
Before we get to the work of raising resources for the ways God calls our church to steward our building and its future, we must first pray. Praying is not a way of stalling or delaying (well, in some instances it actually can be - and that shouldn't be). Praying is a way of committing things to God first. It is a way of ensuring God has the first words on the subject. It is a way of remembering that though we have a responsibility and work to do, God is the one who is leading this priority. And, perhaps, as we continue to pray this year, we will find that these first words of prayer are a means by which God captures our interest, compels us, and points us towards something that matters a lot. 
Psalm 127.1 says, "Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders' labor in vain." 
Let's be clear, 1919 Guthrie Road is not the church. 
You and I are the church. 
But, importantly, we have a gathering place. It's at 1919 Guthrie Road. It hosts and facilitates the church and is an important place for encountering God together in worship and the Word, and equipping followers of Jesus -of all ages- for lives that bring the message and ministry of Jesus into the everyday stuff of life in the Comox Valley and beyond.
What an important building! 
We need to steward it. And now is a crucial time for us to enhance its ability to serve the purpose of God and be a facility that is useful to this church and community for generations to come. I shudder to think what might be if we ignore this responsibility. We know this will be costly and require sacrifice and everyone's participation. And while investing in our church building and its future is not always as exciting as some other potential ministry ventures, it is a way of affirming the importance of our building and property in being a space God is using significantly to multiply the sending of His word and His work into everyday life in our local community (through you!). 
At last Fall's two Townhall Meetings, we learned that 92% of respondents indicated they were ready for our church to use 2023 for assembling funds with the hope that in 2024 a building development (renovation) phase could begin. We know that these kinds of projects sometimes take longer than projected or hoped, but we realize that we need to continue to take action. 
And the first action? 
Would you join me in praying this year for God's provision for the upcoming development phases of our building and property? 
Would you join me in praying for ongoing guidance from God for how these priorities and phases are to unfold? 
May our first words on this project continue to be to Jesus in prayer. 
Pastor Mike