We are truly blessed at Church of the Blessed Trinity! As our name embodies the love of God seen between the persons of the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we too have spent the last three years to embody in our congregation the true love of God. Our time, energy, and resources have been caring for a nice building, although we have a more than adequate place to worship together on Sundays and during the week. We've not been looking to meeting our budget, God has provided for us at every turn. We've not even been looking to fill the pews, or chairs, because instead of these things we've been learning and putting into practice making the love of God in Jesus Christ known to people beyond our fellowship.
We are at a place where our Mission is helping people meet Jesus Christ. Working around the "holy hardware" and passing out bulletins isn't fulfilling the Great Commission ("go out into all the world...Matt. 28). Having others know that "no one comes to the Father, but by Him" is at the center of what we do. The love of God was so great that the Son of God would come to earth to be seen, heard and known. Our Mission is to love those we go out to meet that Jesus might be seen, heard, and known.
This past week I was at the Napa Clergy Retreat hosted by the Diocese of the West. Bishop Fredrick Fick was the presenter and led our discussion on how our congregations develop to be churches whose life is fulfilling the Great Commission. Bishop Fick started four church plants himself and now has oversight in other church plantings. What became clear was the extensive preparation required for the church plant team, the training, shifting from the old establishment mode of a member bringing someone to know Jesus Christ once every 38 years. With the mode you'll be burying more than the number you bring to know Jesus.
If you look back, we have a new sense of our Mission for Jesus Christ. We've had to relearn, rethink, even think outside the box, including giving new meaning to church in a box. The reality for us today is we're about the people and not the steeple. Today things of the steeple can easily be changed out, new locations found, and our efforts are on God changing our lives, new people discovering there is hope, there is new life in Jesus.
We have our work before us, the fields are ripe for harvest living in California where over 50% of our neighbors are unchurched; where our State government is issuing IOU's; where people have lost jobs, secure retirements, and their homes; where the Generation Y folks don't see much promise and much hope. We have much to do. They need hope in their broken, hurting lives. And we know the hope that changed our own lives--the Love of God made known to us, in our lives, Jesus. Jesus is the song of hope we sing; the sound of abundant life filling the emptiness; the voice saying "Knock, and it shall be opened unto you; Seek and ye shall find."
God has been preparing us during these past 3 years to be in this place, at this time, and with every member prepared, trained, confirmed for this Mission field. In looking back three years it is amazing how much growth I've seen in all of our members. We've studied Holy Scripture more; we've prayed more; we've reached out more than I had thought was possible. And the good news, yes, the Good News, our vision, our hope, our mission has grown much larger. We want to see and make seen the love of the Blessed Trinity, not only in our lives, but in the lives the store clerk, the student at the next desk, and the parent next to us at the ball game or concert. We are truly blessed!
Annual Meeting January 25, 2009 at 10:00am
While we meet monthly as a whole congregation to plan our mission work, we meet once a year to formalize our elected board members (Vestry) and to approve our budget for Mission. This year we enter the new year with the Anglican Church in North America actually springing into existence--yes, faithful Anglicans who are not dividing, and separating, but building and uniting.