Benediction to the Fellowship

Beloved Fellowship,

Grace and peace to you from the LORD Jesus Christ.  It is with joy and sorrow that I announce to you that we will no longer meet officially on a weekly basis.  I did not come to this decision lightly, but prayerfully and intentionally seeking your good and the glory of God. What I am saying is that 1) We will no longer meet on a weekly basis, 2) We will still be friends (this isn’t a “friends break-up”), to meet together as any other group of friends would do, hanging out, playing disc golf, watching movies, etc…  I am simply recognizing that all of our lives have changed significantly.  People are moving in different directions, both figuratively and physically.  We have definitely experienced our ups and downs, victories and sufferings, but I believe that in the middle of it all the Spirit of God has been working his goodness in our midst through the reading of His Word, through serving each other, and even working His good out of our sin and selfishness.  We are not perfect by any means.  His love is perfected through the cross, and it is to the cross that I want each of us to continually run.  I believe that not meeting weekly will open up our time and affections to pursue more involvement in our churches or to find a church, plug in, and serve.

Three years ago I started this group with the intention to be able to lead people to an understanding and passion for the Word of God.  It has been a great almost four years since the first time we met to begin reading through the Sermon on the Mount, and this group has definitely continually been shaped.  There have been so many wonderful experiences, great conversations, difficulty, and yet joy throughout our time together.  Through it all, even in the rough times, I have come to love each and every one of you.  We have seen each other at our highest and at our lowest.  I have had the joy to see people come to Jesus, come to find joy in the Word of God, seeing people come together, being entrusted with marrying some of you, and I want to let you know that I have thoroughly enjoyed the ability to be a servant leader among you for these years.  It is my heart that from this time on, we continually pursue Jesus.  Preach the gospel to yourselves each and every day.  The power of the gospel is not just the power to save, but to continually transform, giving hope and joy to all who believe.  Take joy in the gospel.  Live it, love it, be consumed by it, and don’t settle for anything less than it.  I look forward to continuing to be your friend and growing in this next season of life with you…whatever that may be.

– “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.”  Eccl. 12:13

– “I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, thatthe God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.” Eph 1:16-23

From Kim:

I think if God had told me three years ago that beginning this journey with Deo (now the Fellowship) would have been so joyful, painful, character building, tear filled, character damaging, exciting and real, I wouldn’t have believed Him. I would have jumped in heart first anyway…and so I did.  It was in this group that I met my husband, some of my best friends, and some who have hurt me deeply.  It was with this group that I found confidence in teaching and sharing God’s truth, and where God solidified my calling to minister to minsters.  I love this group of people.  I’ve poured the last three and a half years of my life into ministering with them.  I’m sad it has come to an end, but I rejoice in the fact that God has great plans for each of us.  Part of that plan involved going. Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 28:19 “Go and make disciples.”  The word “go” is a present progressive, which actually means “as you are going/go.”  What I love so much about this text is that there’s far less intentionality implied than we would think.  It’s not about going door to door, or fill in the blank, but “as you go” to work, or to the gas station, or about your daily lives…make disciples.  We won’t be meeting each week to remind each other of this fact, so I leave these thoughts with you:

1) You are capable of pointing people toward Christ or away from Christ.

2) Spend time in the Word daily…it DOES make a difference…it WILL transform your life.

3) And stand BOLDLY for the Truth.  Because Christ tells His disciples in verse 20 “I am with you always, even to the very end of the age.”

 

We love you all more than you can even imagine.  It is with love that we write these things to you for your joy and to the glory of God.  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers and sisters.

 

“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

‘So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.’”  – Numbers 6:24-27

 

– Alan and Kim

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