Dear Calvary Church,

What a joy it was to gather last Sunday with our Calvary Christian School educators and staff. It was an amazing time of worship, praying for our educators (I met a professor who was visiting Calvary for the first time, and I noticed that he stood to be prayed for too!) and a great message from Dave Ludwig (Thanks Dave!). And the CCSPA put on an amazing Family Picnic. I heard several people say that Dedication Sunday is one of the highlights of the Calvary year. Thank you to everyone who planned and served to make it such an impactful event!

We’re five weeks into our Family of God series and this Sunday Zack and Stephanie Barker will be team-teaching us about worship. I’m really looking forward to what they have to say as well as actively worshiping together. (And remember to join us for the Family Worship Night next Tuesday.) The purpose of this series is to explore four essentials and four expressions that define what it means to be a part of Calvary Church. The four essentials are the Church, the Bible, the Trinity, and the Gospel. The four expressions are Worship, Community, Formation, and Mission.

This series, coupled with navigating this transition season, reminds me of a book that came out a few years ago entitled The Trellis and the Vine, which is an allegory of the Christian life and ministry. The vine represents cultivating a gospel-centered approach to proclaiming Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit that leads to conversion and spiritual formation. The trellis represents the structure and support gospel ministry needs to flourish and thrive. The simple idea is that a growing vine needs a trellis to both support and shape the vine as it grows.

During this transition season we will want to examine and evaluate both the trellis and the vine here at Calvary. The coming diagnostic report should be a great help in determining our focus and priorities in the coming months. Once again, I would encourage you to make every effort to be in attendance on November 5 when the VitalChurch team will be onsite to share with us the online survey and input session results. The overall objective is to provide us with a mirror and a map. The mirror is not what they think about us, but what we told them in the 90 completed online surveys. The map will be some specific recommendations to assist us in navigating this transition season, with a view toward strengthening both our passion for gospel proclamation and the systems and structures that will shape and sustain our growth. I hope you are looking forward to receiving this objective input so that we can make whatever adjustments are necessary to prepare for the next season of fruitful ministry.

I look forward to seeing (and meeting more of) you on Sunday,

Pastor Gregg