Monday, September 26, 2005

Why does it make so much difference? Opening the doors at Cascade Hills

The day has finally come to officially open the doors for public worship at Cascade Hills. This Sunday, October 2nd, Cascade Hills will become in the minds of many a "real church." We've been working toward this goal for a long time now, and we are very excited to see what God is going to do.

I wonder, though, why does this Sunday seem so different than those that have preceded it? Our ministry teams have been very busy for the last 12 months doing real ministry. We have served our community, gathered for worship together, and called many others to join us as we follow Jesus. There are some who have answered that call and are taking steps of faith even in the midst of this community's God-ward journey.

We have been a church for some time now--since a church is merely a gathering of those called out to serve God, to proclaim the good news of Jesus, to embody the hands and feet of Christ in the world.

But something is different. Many have expressed interest in what we are doing, but we have heard time and again that people will "check us out when we open." Even in my own mind, I have in some ways been working toward this Sunday all this time. It has given us time to discover our unique personality as a church, to grow in our faith, and to let God form us into a people ready to be evangelistic "go-getters."

Perhaps most importantly, launch gives us a milestone, a visible threshold from which the future days of Cascade Hills will be marked. My heart races when I consider what the future of Cascade Hills might hold. Five, ten, twenty years hence, what lies beyond that threshold? What moments of joy, what tremors of fear, what glimpses of glory lie beyond those open doors? Whose lives will be transformed forever, whose despair will turn to hope, whose bondage to sin will fall before the work of God that began before us and will continue after us?

There is nothing different about this Sunday. We are already a church struggling to be faithful to God's calling to be heralds, witnesses, disciples, servants. That will never change. And yet everything is different about this Sunday. This church will stand together early this Sunday morning and pray. We will spend a long, silent moment before the threshold, looking forward to what is to come. And we will welcome God's work in our midst even as we pass that threshold to the moments of joy, tremors of fear, and glimpses of glory which lie beyond.


Gunslinger said...

I guess I will be the first to post here with a real comment, not any sucky spam.

I really want to be there Sunday, but I am called to duty this weekend, and while you guys are praying for a fantastic (which I am sure it will be) opening, I will be praying for you guys, as well as for my ability to pass my P.T. Test, which is what I will be doing during launch. Best of luck, and my prayers are with you guys.

James Wood said...

Sounds like a launch date for a church is kind of like a wedding date. My wife and I were already becoming one before we were married. Our relationship already had most of the earmarks of marriage. But there were some drastic changes that occured when we were officially married and moved into the same home. We had started toward being a married couple when we got engaged, but we will never finish the journey.

Cascade Hills started toward being a church over a year ago and after Sunday it will continue on that process for a long, long time.

May God show up.

Alien Shaman said...

Best of luck Jason, I hope you have a wonderful Sunday filled with great memories.

Lynn said...

What a lucky church have started so few and grown so much. Both in number and heart. Of course we know that God is in the midst but God sent Jason, Melissa and Katey to Cascade Hills. Smithville's loss and Oregon's gain. We are so proud to be a part of your extended church family. Congrats! May Sunday have been the first of many spiritual feasts. Love, Lynn and Gordon

Doctor Clockwork said...

May God bless your new church. I am glad for what He is doing in your community.