So many things going on. Thought I'd jot them down as a way of celebrating!
1. Got this note Friday Night from the Family Teacher Organization at the school where our missional community serves after they had one of their largest fundraisers of the year: "Thank you Ben and C3 Church for giving us a bounce house. It was a huge success and really makes the evening so much more fun. We are so grateful to have you."
Love the school. Love the partnership that has formed there.
2. Another Missional Community that partners with A Kid Again to help families with terminally ill kids find moments of joy and normalcy in the midst of a lot of hardship had over 10 people serve 10 hours each at a big fundraising dinner and auction. They not only served but got to connect with some of the kids and families who are in the organization. One of our folks was even paired with a family where one of their kids actually attends the school that I mentioned above. Love that MC 6 is helping give illness a giant time out!
3. Yet another Missional Community spent Sunday evening prepping a meal for a group of human trafficking victims through the organization they partner with. On Tuesday, they will cook and serve a meal for a bunch of courageous women and eat with them and just be good news to them. A few of the guys from this missional community serve the meal and were told not to long ago by one of the women that these guys were changing the way she thought about men because they were serving and blessing instead of using and abusing.
4. Another cool story from missional community life is that a couple from one of the MC's has been going through a pretty tough time and their community came together and surprised them with $2000 to help them through it. I didn't have a clue it was happening until the day they gave it to the couple. More and more stories are happening that way. This is by design. I'm not the pastor. I'm a pastor. If kingdom things are only happening through those employed at the church, then we will continue down the road of consumerism and a priesthood of a few rather than the priesthood of all.
5. We had the smallest celebration gathering at C3 in at least a year! There may have even been tumbleweeds! Between students being done for the year, Ohio State's graduation and Mother's Day, it was a pretty small crew, but church happened a ton this week! (See above!) It's a paradigm shift but people chasing family on mission thrills me way more than people coming on Sunday. (Though it feels quite different to speak to 50 people vs. 150 people!)
6. Mother's Day! Such a sensitive day. Mom's who love it...Mom's who don't...People who have lost moms...People who have been wounded or abandoned by moms. Moms to be...Moms who have lost children...Women who want to be Moms but can't or haven't...so many feelings! I think there is a place to honor the role of motherhood but we have to do it with a pastoral heart that honors that this day is both sweet and bitter for many. Here's a prayer we prayed together that tried to honor people all over that spectrum:
Father, we know today is a day of mixed emotions. So for the moms and moms to be who are loving every minute of it, we pray: Christ be near.
For the moms and moms to be who are discouraged or sad or struggling, we pray. Christ be near.
For the ones who long to be moms but it has not happened to this point, we pray. Christ be near.
For those who grieve the loss of a child we pray. Christ be near.
For those who have had great moms or mother figures in their life that have helped shape and raise them, we pray. Christ be near.
For those who have been hurt or disappointed or estranged from their mom, we pray. Christ be near.
We thank you that we can know you as a Mothering God. One who nurtures and care for your children. We pray for a world that needs this nurturing and caring that we would respond to your love. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
7. The Teaching was about Physical Capital...that worry is the thief that steals our purpose...that Time and Health are two areas God wants us to stop worrying about. Don't just lose your marbles, invest them! You can listen to it on City Campus Church's Podcast on iTunes.
8. We unveiled a new approach to apprenticeship. Instead of one apprentice at a time, we're thinking 3 at a time in each missional community. This helps lessen the load for people seeking to test out leadership and it gives a little more space for freedom to fail. We are pretty confident that this will strengthen our replication muscles. Before this, we would invest in an apprentice sometimes for 12-24 months only to watch it not work out in the end and we'd have to start back over.
9. We had a couple approach us about what it would look like to be respite care for foster parents. We are awaiting our first placement of foster kids and they want to be able to support us on this journey. That's Family on Mission folks.
10. We're awaiting a call on a potential placement. We find out today. Not sure if it's likely or not, but we're holding this whole thing open handed. God wants us to let family happen. As a church. As missional communities. And as the Thompsons. Appreciate the prayers!