Dear Cypress Street Family, Last Fall, I was invited to participate in a 1.5 year endeavor titled Project Imagine. This project has brought together a "roundtable" of 29 leaders from across the Church of God in the U.S. & Canada. Our goal is to "imagine" a new way of organizing ourselves that will encourage greater unity & collaboration as a movement. At our first meeting in December, I was further selected to serve as one of 4 group chairs who are now tasked with helping to plan the agenda for our next meeting at the end of February.
To say that the task set before us is daunting is an understatement! There is much that gives me hope: I don't believe the Church of God has ever had leadership better suited to the challenges we face and the spirit at the first roundtable meeting was so good. But we also face significant obstacles and need the Holy Spirit's involvement desperately.
So I'm writing this to you for two reasons: First, to keep you in the loop on something your pastor has the privilege to be a part of. But second, to join me in praying for Project Imagine. If you have some sort of longer term prayer list, this will need prayer through the summer of 2019!
I feel blessed to be a part of a movement that wants to move (if you'd like to know more about the Church of God we are affiliated with, I'll make a few notes below). And I feel blessed to be part of a church family that prays...even for their pastor! :)
Grace & peace through our Lord Jesus Christ,
What is the Church of God?
The Church of God we are affiliated with began in the 19th century as a movement to call believers out of the divisive denominationalism of that day. We're still all about the Unity of believers. One of the ways this emphasis on Unity plays itself out practically in our church is through membership: If you are a follower of Christ, you are already a member of God's Church and we welcome you as a member of ours!
Another characteristic of the Church of God has been our laser focus on the Bible. This also began as a reaction to a denominationalism that tended to emphasize doctrinal creeds over the Bible, itself. The Bible has always been our creed and, even here at Cypress Street today, we try to ground our preaching, our Circles, and most everything squarely on Scripture.
The Church of God has also been known for an emphasis on Holiness. Simply put, followers of Jesus should strive to live as Jesus' taught. Of course, that's a tall order. But we believe that's why He sent us the Holy Spirit...to help us live His way! This is such a huge part of our vision to be "Ordinary people pursuing an extraordinary way!"
Most recently, the leadership of the Church of God has called for a radical refocus on Jesus. Jesus is the subject. He's the primary focus of all we do! It's all too easy for churches to get sidetracked, even on good things, and forget Who it's all about!
Learn more about the Church of God, Anderson, IN and it's beliefs at their website: JesusIsTheSubject.org.