Coffee Culture creates an atmosphere of coziness. In that coziness, I enjoy sitting on the couch located in the back corner. Sipping my vanilla latte, I read through a Psalm, soaking in the serenity that it brings. "I have all that I need...He lets me rest...peaceful streams." I love it so much that I decide to etch it deep into my journal, slowly scrawling it onto the page with ink. The man sitting parallel to me turns. "I noticed you had a Bible and are writing...that. I hope you dont mind," ("Not one percent," I think). "I am new to town, I was hoping you had a recommendation for a good church. I am not much of a singer, but I do love a good sermon along with some fellowship."
Brett is his name. And my eyes must have exploded with great happiness as I shared with him that I personally attend Corvallis Church on Sunday mornings, I live in community with the people throughout the week, and I am even blessed to be on the staff! I stated that it was a church plant. "A what?" "You know, a church plant. A baby. Well, we are not a newborn anymore," I say, "We are in our third year!"
I went on to explain the beauty I have experienced. I mentioned that the pastor didn't even go to seminary, which really interested him, but instead had listened to the Holy Spirit and responded to a calling from Ephesians 4. He and his entire family. I expressed the growth I have seen in a multitude of the individuals who have walked through the doors on Sunday and stayed from anywhere between 3 weeks and 2 years! I mentioned that every Sunday morning, we have women who bring home-prepared food for the cafe, using their gift to build up and serve our church! I stopped myself, realizing I could go on forever sharing what Jesus has done and is doing through this church.
I share all of this to make a couple points.
1. I want to thank everyone who has decided to begin and decided to continue supporting Loren and I financially. It is because of God's provision through you directly that I am able to sit in a coffee shop on a Saturday, study God's word, and share with strangers the absolute beauty of a church community. It is because of you that Loren and I get to actively minister to people, pray for people in chunks of time, teach others about the wholeness that comes from pursuing a life of righteousness. Time and time again, I am overwhelmed with complete gratitude that others see the call and believe in the mission God has set before us. THANK YOU for encouraging us, supporting us!
2. I want to thank the people that make up "Corvallis Church." Each of you have moved me, driven me closer to Jesus himself. Thank you for choosing to grow with us, with me. Thank you for sharing your life, your stories, your heart! Thank you for committing to the community, but ultimately to serving God in this beautiful city! Thank you for being worthy of complete and utter excitement, when asked about "the church I go to."
I cannot wait for tomorrow morning.