“Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went” – Acts 8:4 (NIV)
Last October, our congregation was notified that Bethel University had decided to close Bethel Seminary San Diego (BSSD) and sell the building. Since then, our staff and vestry have stayed in a conversation with a group of local supporters of BSSD who wanted to retain ownership of the building and begin their own seminary. There were signs of real possibility through the negotiation between the University and this local group. However, this past week, I was notified that those negotiations have stalled and both groups are moving on. I spoke with a university official on Friday, May 10th, who informed me that our last Sunday will need to be August 11th. Continue reading
Over the past two Sundays we have heard testimonies of how God has met those in our congregation who have connected with the ministry of San Diego Refugee Tutoring. Our hope in this Easter season is to bless this ministry through an effort culminating on Sunday, May 19th. Leading up to this day each of us will have the opportunity to purchase needed items to donate to equip the students to continue to learn and grow.
On the day of our event, we will have the chance to celebrate God’s generosity through our congregation by gathering all of the donated items together and blessing them for the ministry. We will also eat a meal together, furthering our love for one another. We will hear more about San Diego Refugee Tutoring and be invited to different levels of involvement. Finally, we will engage in a multi-generational activity (some might call it a game) to continue to learn how to cross borders for the sake of the kingdom.
Our God provides abundant for His people and invites us to share in His pattern of life: being rich and yet for the sake of others becoming poor so that others might share in our riches (see 2 Corinthians 8:9). Plan on being there on the 19th to see and celebrate God’s work among us.
Each Sunday in the fifty day season of Easter we read from the Acts of the Apostles, the record of how the Risen Lord empowered his church to bring the good news to all nations. Throughout this book, the Holy Spirit overcomes obstacle after obstacle so that more people can be brought into this renewed family of God. As people of the Resurrected Jesus, that empowered call continues today as we share in this ministry to bringing the love of God into our neighborhoods. Continue reading
There are multiple ways you can get involved in this church planting initiative that we are embarking on! You can:
Please pray for us! We would not be able to do anything without prayer. This is the foundation of all of our activity, and also the wellspring of our common life in Christ together. Please pray for our families, for God to add leaders, for financial provision, and especially for those far off from God to hear the gospel and to respond in faith. Continue reading
The resurrection of Jesus Christ ushers in the New Creation, a world in which God’s purposes are realized, healing is available, and love reigns. The culmination of this New Creation lies ahead of us, when Christ shall return in triumph and “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Rev 21:4 NIV). Even though we are waiting for its fulfillment, by faith we know this has broken in because of Christ’s victory over the grave.
In the Church Year we are invited to bask in this reality through the forty day season of Easter. We spent Lent rooting out the rocks, plucking up the thorn bushes, and watering the hard places in our hearts. The good news of Easter is that the work is done. Christ has accomplished all and we are beneficiaries of his good work. “For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom 6:9-11 NIV).
You are hereby invited to rest and celebrate. Take time to feast, to smile, to take joy in God’s goodness in Christ and in creation. Bless friends, family, neighbors, and enemies. If one may be so bold to suggest it, take a day off of work. Now is the time for great joy. Work lies ahead of us as the King invites us to join in the expansion of His Kingdom. But for now we celebrate.
The week of April 14th through 21st our congregation will walk through Holy Week. This week consists of the celebration of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil, and Easter Sunday. This schedule of services is historically traced back to the late fourth century, when a Spanish pilgrim named Egeria traveled to Jerusalem and observed the various services with which the Christian church there marked Jesus’ passion and resurrection. Egeria wrote of these services in her journal and brought word of them back to her church in Spain. From there, they quickly spread through the Western Church.
These services are a way of us to walk with the Lord Jesus to the cross and out of the empty tomb. It is a liturgical participation in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. By taking part in the liturgy, marking the week with special devotion, and hearing and meditating on the Scriptures, our life is formed more and more into the shape of the cross. Continue reading
The bedrock of the Christian faith is discipleship, and the place where this takes place is in the Church. It is at this junction, the baton-pass of the faith, where the majority of our energy needs to be concentrated so that the next generation will know the Lord. It has been proven that more people come to faith through church planting efforts than if we seek to only revitalize older fading congregations. Continue reading
In the illustration below, you can see a picture of the values that will hold up the South Bay Church Plant. In the months ahead, our goal is to begin orienting potential partners and donors around this common vision and values. There are definite practices attached to each value that our community will begin orienting towards in the coming months. Also, a concrete plan with goals and different phases is beginning to take shape. One small concise statement to try to bring all of these ideas together is our vision statement: “Life Together Following Jesus to Extend God’s Blessing.”
“Millions of people have tried Alpha in 169 countries, and it has been translated into 112 different languages. Alpha is a series of sessions exploring the Christian faith, typically run over eleven weeks. Each talk looks at a different question around faith and is designed to create conversation (Alphausa.org).” The basic liturgy of an Alpha evening is to discuss life over a meal for about forty-five minutes to an hour, watch a twenty-five-minute video preceded by a joke and then discuss the video for another half hour.
When we moved to Chula Vista, we knew we would run an Alpha in our home, so from the get go, Continue reading
When the Anglican Church in North America began in 2009, our first archbishop, Robert Duncan, called for 1,000 churches to be planted in five years. Between 2009 and 2014, the ACNA planted roughly 475 churches were planted; not exactly 1,000 but still a mighty work of God. Holy Spirit Anglican Church was started in January 2010 and was one of the first few churches that were numbered as a fulfillment of the call. We started as a church plant, and church planting has been in our blood ever since. Continue reading