I hope your Lenten fasts and reflections have been going well.
We're almost to that fantastic, life-changing week in the Christian year where we experience Christ's final days and transforming resurrection: Holy Week. The complete schedule is below. I realize it's a sacrifice to come to church five times in one week, but I promise you, it is worth the scheduling headache!
We're a new church start, a scrappy new ministry without walls looking to grow and reach new people with God's loving, liberating, life-giving Spirit. This means it's really important for us to try new things and become more present to others outside of our worship time.
Are you excited about the proposal we discussed at our retreat (vote below and discuss on Sunday)? Essentially, starting May 1, we would alternate the style of Sunday gathering in order to have a well-rounded congregation: worship, service, worship, fellowship/service. In addition, we can add a short Sunday morning or weekday Communion service to supplement. As Rick Warren says in this article, healthy churches naturally grow and reach sustainability because they're clear about who they are ad about the holistic nature of ministry. To start, we need to offer more "doorways" to our community other than just worship. We would do this during our worship time for two main reasons: (1) because we know everyone in Epiphany is available at that time for church, and (2) to get new people used to the idea of gathering on Sundays.
This is one strategy Teresa gave us for our church growth, since the fun/fellowship and mission/service would help us (1) grow as a team, (2) clarify our vision through action, (3) broaden our impact, (4) raise awareness of our presence, and (5) get excited by seeing God's presence outside of our worship service. We will discuss this on March 25 together.
We're making some big decisions as a community in order to life into the fullness of what has planned for us, a holistic ministry. Join us on March 25 after worship to let your voice be heard. Vote in our polls on this email below and read our notes from the retreat! If you have multiple members of your family, feel free to forward them the polling email to make sure their voices are heard. We'll also ask that you record your preferences on site after worship this week. If you have concerns, please time some time to reflect on them.
We can't rely on attractional church practices alone. Attractional church practices are based on the notion that "if you build it, they will come", but this is exactly the assumption that's not working. We need to go out of Bull Street Labs, together, and do the things Jesus would've done in our community, loving and serving those in need.
Our lovely group we have only has a finite amount of time and energy every week to devote to our cause. And we need to get out into the community as a group, doing service and having fun if we want this ministry to survive, mature and thrive.
See you Sunday and Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday!
Here is what's coming up for Epiphany...
We'll have an important "Business" Conversation on March 25 at 6:30 PM (after worship)!
All are welcome and needed! We'll discuss...
Sponsoring Kyle for ordination to the priesthood as a congregation!
Following up on our vision retreat from Feb 25:
Discussing the mission & vision materials
Exploring a temporary proposed change in the format of our Sunday gatherings, alternating worship and service/fellowship in order to reach more people, become more well-rounded in our ministries and ensure the longevity of Epiphany!
Divide into teams based on interest to spearhead planning of service and fellowship opportunities on Sundays
Meet with our Pastoral Intern: Kyle's studying for ordination to the priesthood and wants to get to know our community and hear YOUR perspective on life, God, church, etc. He's also new to Savannah so please also help him get to know the area. Please contact him to set up a coffee chat! His email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Readers Wanted: If you would like to read our Scripture lessons, please pick up one of the bulletins marked "Reader 1" and "Reader 2" or "Prayers of the People" on your left whenever you walk in, where the bulletins are. Kyle is compiling a list of people who are generally willing to read the lessons so we have some fall-back folks if we get to five minutes til and nobody's picked up the reader's bulletins. If you'd like to plan ahead to read, please look for the lessons here.
Musicians Wanted: If anyone would like to play with our worship band, please reply below and come to the rehearsals on Sundays at 4 PM - 5:15 PM to "audition" with Guillermo (please contact him for more details at email@example.com). These positions are open to anyone, even if they don't already go to our church. Tell the musicians you know about us!
Prayer: With our friends at St. Paul's Church at 1802 Abercorn Street
Monday - Friday at 9 AM and 5:30 PM (approx. 25 minutes each)
Or join us in prayer, online: www.dailyoffice.org
Pastoral Meetings: If you (or anyone you know) wants to get coffee to chat about your journey or to get involved in any way, reply below, send me a separate email and/or call me (912-349-9379).
Social Media: Like Epiphany's page on Facebook and make posts to our wall!
We're looking for someone to manage our account and start other social media accounts! Let us know if you're interested.