This past weekend Sanctuary celebrated the beginning of its church planting journey in Providence.
On Saturday there was a mix of anticipation and humility in the air as we gathered together to eat, play, and pray together at Prospect Park. For those who are unfamiliar, this park looks out over Downcity, West End, and South Providence. Needless to say it was a beautiful and fitting setting. It was here that we played baseball, threw Frisbees, ran around with the kids, and laughed with food in our mouths, and as I stepped back to take in the scene I thought, “We are really are doing this!”
It was a day when moments that often seem rather insignificant – like playing ball with a three year old or lying in the grass listening to people catch up – take on a profound sense of purpose. It was in these moments that I felt a peace and lucidity that can only come from God. It seemed like the only prayers I could muster were “thank you” and “please help us.” By the end of the afternoon, over 30 folks from our launch team had come out to celebrate.
The following day we began our church planting journey with over 50 people who have, in one way or another, committed to helping us launch this church. It was a great evening.
There were so many who helped with set-up, hospitality, and food.
Adam Croft led us through a time of singing and praying for our city;
Kevin Johnson & Linnie Wray ran tech;
Millie Wignall read from scripture;
I had an opportunity to share some vision from the Word;
Pastor Rashad gave the benediction;
And Jason Condon of the Evangelical Covenant (our denomination) was there to cheer us on.
As we begin this church it is important to be reminded that this first season of our church planting journey will be focused on laying a strong foundation for the future. We will be focusing on setting healthy disciplines in place, organization, and leadership development that will help aid us in our role to make disciples of all nations. As we have said before, we are calling those with a big heart for reaching out.
Lastly, Corrie and I want to thank Jason and Howard (Evangelical Covenant), Pastor Scott (Renaissance), Pastor Brian (Riverside Covenant), Pastor Cheryl and Pastor Lyle (Christ Church), Pastor Travis (SJ), Pastor Todd (SJ), and many other leaders in the city for their prayer, support, and wisdom.
We want to thank our dynamic, diverse, broken, wise, and loving launch community for a great beginning.
Above all we thank our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for the grace to be a part of growing the Kingdom of God in this city.
Lord be our vision,