Several years ago, we decided to sell the FBC Nevada Avenue property and move to a different location. We have been praying, planning, working and waiting together for some time now. We will be moving from a place but not from God’s mission! It has been our united prayer to stay aligned with what God has called us to as we represent him in our city.
It seems the Lord has had more than one lesson in faith for us so far on this journey. Events of the last two years beyond our control have given us the opportunity to trust God even as the timing we expected did not happen. Even now, recent changes in timing can be challenging for planning. They can also be frustrating for those of us who find change stressful. However, we still see each deviation from our human plans as another call to trust God for his plan. That is the plan we want to follow!
I announced Sunday (11-21-21), that we are in the process of arranging to meet on Sundays at the charter school called Coperni 3. Coperni 3 is not a “Christian” school but the leaders there have engaged with us as we made clear our desire to show the love of Jesus Christ to the diverse community they serve and those living nearby. We are grateful for the opportunity that is before us with Coperni 3 and we pray that it works for us to meet there on Sundays.
The school is located on the top floor of what used to be Macy’s at the Citadel Mall (at N. Academy Blvd. between Galley Rd. and E. Platte Ave.). They have renovated the space in creative and beautiful ways that make it comfortable and inviting. I think we would enjoy meeting there to worship the Lord together. We will let you know as soon as we finalize details for using their space.
As an additional blessing, Coperni 3 has also agreed to let us use some of their yet-to-be developed space for the storage we need. Again, we are grateful for their generosity in helping us on the mission. Please pray for this relationship to grow if it is God’s will and God’s place for us in this transition.
Our plan was to leave our current facility at the end of November. Some time ago, we asked the buyers if their deadline of November 30 remained firm. Just last week, they told us we could continue to meet in 5590 N. Nevada Ave. for the month of December. The plan now is to be moved from 5590 no later than the 2nd week of January 2022.
This will allow Sunday AM classes to meet through the month of December. It will also allow midweek meetings to continue for the month in the building. Happily, we will also be able to celebrate “God with Us” together in a Christmas Eve service. I expect we will see the beautiful Christmas decorations we are used to enjoying as well.
I want us to, as I said, “keep our foot on the accelerator.” We should not breathe a sigh of relief and procrastinate on the work to move. Let’s keep up the good work you have been doing. Let’s not open what we have packed so far (except maybe some Christmas decorations). This means there will be some limitations on available equipment in the classrooms and the kitchen but we can certainly work around those little problems.
Next Sunday, 11/28/21, we will have a “Thanksgiving Celebration” together in the auditorium at 10 AM (NOT 10:30 AM). Classes will not meet. Instead, we will enjoy “Thanksgiving Leftovers” together. We are asking everyone to bring a dish to share—Thanksgiving leftovers or not—breakfast lunch or dinner favorites. Then we will have a worship time focused on praising God for his gracious provision for FBC over the years. This includes, of course, the wonderful facility we will be leaving.
As I said, we will celebrate on 12/24/21, Christmas Eve, with a time of singing and praising God focused on the birth of Jesus the Messiah.
We will not have a Sunday of “The Church Has Left the Building” on the first Sunday of the 2022. This is because the church will have left the building just one week later!
Please listen and watch for announcements about future “Packing Days” where you can join others in helping pack things we will move and store.
Please also listen and watch for the announcement of Give Away Days. There are many still useful items that we will not move and you or someone you know might want to give them a new life by taking them with you. As I announced, this will be a “hoarders dream!”
Finally, we continue to look at a wide variety of potential facilities for the mission God has for us. Please continue to pray for us to see what God sees and respond with wisdom. There are some exciting possibilities for the mission we have already seen.
My brothers and sisters, please keep praying for unity in our body as we are faithful to a calling that not every church would accept. We want to be one church not two—as in “the Tale of Two Churches” that we have talked about over the years. We don’t GO to church because we ARE the church together with Jesus Christ as our HEAD. Therefore, we are not looking for a place to “GO to church,” but rather a place that will facilitate us in “BEING the church” as the Imago Dei where God places us together. The enemy has attacked as we have been on this part of the journey. Prayers in faith are the major resource for fighting this spiritual battle.
Looking forward to the continuing missional journey with you,
RALEIGH and all the other FBC elders