Dear Emmanuel Family,
I’ve heard it said that 90% of success in life is based on showing up. Simple presence is worth a lot. As I ponder the history of Emmanuel, I think a good bit of our current health can be attributed to the decision this congregation made in 2008 to continue to be present in this neighborhood. When 35 families chose to tear down two structures and build a new building around our existing sanctuary, they made the choice to show up, and continue to be Christ’s church in this place.
Granted, this particular act of showing up was not that simple. In fact, it was an outlandish endeavor. You who were a part of this building project had to decide that your desire to rebuild and remain present was stronger than your reticence about the capacity to raise the money to make it happen. But you made this decision and since the dedication of the new building in 2009, the average number of people who worship at Emmanuel on Sunday has doubled.
So as you take a moment here at the end of 2017 to ponder your commitment to the life of this congregation in 2018, I want to primarily encourage you to keep on showing up. Continue your dedication to coming together in this place and being sent from this place to be a community of Hope, Refuge and Service.
As a community of Hope we gather each Sunday to be refreshed and reminded of our inheritance in Christ. As a place of Refuge we provide a space to gather to worship God and encourage one another. We also open our doors to a variety of groups who make use of this space on the other six days of the week. Our grounds are a refuge for the community as well. Our front yard is often a place where kids roll down the hill and dogs catch Frisbees. Our outdoor chapel is a place of worship for many who never come inside our sanctuary. As a people dedicated to Service we are individually sent from this place to serve others in our neighborhoods and places of work. And as a congregation we reflect Christ’s light in Neah Bay, in Wapato at Campbell Farm and in area prisons through our work with Underground Ministries.
All of this only happens because you show up and choose to share some of your time and money with this community. In 2018 we anticipate that we will need about $270,000 to continue our mission in this place. Increases in staff, the growing cost of maintaining our building, paying down our mortgage and extending ourselves in mission through our partnerships with Campbell Farm and Underground Ministries are some of the things that contribute to a greater bottom line in our budget.
Thank you for all that you have done and will continue to do to make these things happen. I am grateful for you. I love the work of being your pastor and I look forward in this coming year to listening for and responding to God’s invitations to join with him in what he is up to in our neighborhood.