(Note: this went out as a church-wide email, but I wanted to post it here also to those who aren't part of our seedling congregation but might be interested in God's work in Santa Fe)
In case you missed it, this past Sunday was the one-year anniversary of True Faith Community Church! As mentioned before, I think it's wonderfully appropriate and providential that we will celebrate our anniversary each year on All Saints' Day when we celebrate all the faithful in Christ who have gone before us.
Thinking back over the last year, I'll riff a little bit on the old jazz tune--what a difference a year makes!
A year ago, many (most? all?) of us were exhausted (physically and spiritually), angry, heart-broken, frustrated, confused, bitter, disappointed...and a whole lot of other things. More than anything, we were hurt and in desperate need of God's grace, healing, and rest. We were wandering in our own wilderness, not sure where God would lead us or what he had planned. But we were hopeful.
Early on, we gathered on the Coleman's back porch to sing Advent and Christmas hymns. We heard the old promises of Emmanuel (God with us). We came to the table weekly, remembering and experiencing Christ's promise of forgiveness with all our senses. We encouraged and took care of each other. It didn't take long until we found our rhythm, meeting at the Thelma Webber center, starting Bible studies, and creating our own traditions of reading Scripture together, praying together, and eating together, to name a few. By early summer, we were getting deeply involved in mission work from Santa Fe, to the greater Houston area, and all the way to Ethiopia!
In less than a year, we'd gone from the chaos of the wilderness to truly BEING Christ's church in Santa Fe, clinging to the Word, offering those who join us a place of rest from the world and a foretaste of the joy to come in heaven...all without any experience in church planting or desire to start something new. Surely we are a testimony to the grace of God in Christ in spite of ourselves, ha ha ha!
It's been an honor and a joy to be involved with our work and ministry at TFCC, and I'm encouraged that everyone I talk to feels the same. Be proud of your labors and continue to be quick to point to Christ as the source of our strength and successes so far. As we come to the close of the church year and spend several weeks thinking about Jesus' return, keep looking to the future and prayerfully considering how we can continue to get involved in our community, sharing the hope we have in Christ and rejoicing in the grace God lavishes on us every single day.
Yours in Christ's service,