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Dear Friends,

Revelation 7:15 pictures heaven as the place where God shelters his people with his presence. Jesus wept when the Jewish leaders refused His shelter (Matthew 23:37). Think about the different shelters you depend on from day to day. House, car, hats, buildings of various types. Our church does pretty well at providing shelter, space and place to many groups in our community. Occasionally a church is asked, “If your congregation were to disappear tomorrow, would anyone in the community notice?” The answer for Apostles is a definite, Yes!

You may not realize all the contacts we have in the community and the role we play for many. You probably know that we provide space and place for AA groups but also for many others. In addition to the midday AA group that meets Monday through Saturday, we also provide space and place for a Monday night Grateful 8 group, and a Sunday night group. There are Al-Anon meetings on Tuesday Morning and Thursday evening. Wednesday and Friday nights bring a Christian wrestling group to our campus which teaches important lessons of trying, winning, losing and trying again. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays a Girls Basketball team is here. Tuesdays and Thursdays find the Songs of the Southwest Singers rehearsing their musical skills and offerings. Every other Wednesday morning the Grandparents Raising Grandkids support group, provided by Benevilla, Also, through the month we host the United States Navy Sea Cadets as well as the Beta Sigma Pi Sorority. About twice a year a Fillipino Cultural group rents our facilities. All of this is in addition to our own church activities and the 19 families we serve through our Preschool. All of these groups are very grateful for the space, place and shelter we provide them. All of them provide some sort of rent payment to cover costs, but the relationship goes beyond a simple contract. The use of our facilities is a true service we provide for others in our community. Many of the people who come to these different groups find valuable support, companionship and help when they come to our campus.

In 2022 its time to move to the next phase. We provide shelter, space and place for many groups in our community, and its time we are more intentional about providing people shelter, space and place in God’s gracious kingdom! After the last two years, many people are looking for more stability and security. God’s kingdom is solid and eternal. To be part of any kingdom you just have to trust in and follow the King. In the coming year we will become more intentional about sharing the wonderful Gospel message we have so that others will trust in and follow King Jesus.

As a congregation we will start by altogether reading and discussing the book, “Faith that Engages the Culture” by Rev. Alphonso Espinoza. It is published by Concordia Publishing House in 2021. It can be bought directly from CPH (start at www.CPH.org, or call them at (800) 325-3040. I would like each member and friend of Apostles to get a copy and start reading it. We will begin the congregation wide discussion in late January or early February. More details will be coming. The shelter, space and place we provide to our campus these days is important, but ultimately only temporary. A place in God’s gracious kingdom is forever!

Blessings,
Pastor Andrew