We've been going through a pretty challenging time here in Tacoma. We were sad to say good-bye to Adam & Khylee Forgety, our Associate Pastor and his wife, along with their precious son Eli. They were more than staff members though, they are friends to us and literally a part of our Tacoma family. Please pray for them as they are in a time of transition right now. It's exciting but also scary as they step into a new phase of life. We already miss them a ton. The Pathway is not the same without them.
We also experienced what felt like a tsunami of difficult situations in the life of our church. People are people and wherever there are people there are tough situations, emotional pain, relational challenges, new callings, life transitions, and on and on the list could go. For a couple months I felt like I was spending all my time at coffee or on the phone with people who were sincerely wrestling with God's calling on their lives, tough situations at home, family dynamics, struggles with the church and their role in the body, and overall life challenges. This is of course normal in life and in church, but it just felt extreme.
Then came last week. Not to be too cheesy, but sometimes I think God knows his kids just need a hug. And last week God gave me a really big and extended bear hug. This is what it looked like...
We have a family in our church that we connected with this past summer through another family in our church. It's been so fun getting to know them and see God working in their lives through some incredibly challenging situations. One of the things we've been praying for with them is for a member of their family to come to faith in Christ. Well, last Sunday he indicated a desire to get baptized! Of course that begs the question: Do you believe? One of our Intentional Community Leaders was able to sit down and talk with him about it and pray with him as he professed faith in Jesus! Thanks for the hug Jesus!
Then on Thursday evening I invited myself to one of our Intentional Community gatherings because they were having a farewell "sending" party for Erin, the first international missionary to be sent out by The Pathway. It was absolutely incredible to spend time with that Intentional Community. They of course are not perfect and I'm sure do not always function easily, but it was beautiful to not just attend a Bible study (although I do of course love to study the Bible!), but to get to spend the evening with a group of people that felt more like family than church acquaintances. I was with a group of people who very obviously sharing life together. Food was brought and shared, kids were running around like crazy, stories were told and it all culminated in a sweet and powerful time of prayer over Erin. Thanks for the hug Jesus!
Later that evening I got a text from one of our newest Intentional Community Leaders. His Intentional Community was launching a new marriage study that evening and of course we were all nervous and hopeful that it would go well. His text just said, "It went well." Of course I inquired more and found out that they had a total of 4 couples in attendance... which was huge for them because to that point they had really only had 2 committed couples. Over the next couple days I had representatives from 2 of the newer families seek me out and tell me how blessed they were by the study and how excited they were to be a part of this new Intentional Community. Thanks for the hug Jesus!
And then on Saturday we launched our new men's ministry called Together:Men. We tried to start it once before and although the first gathering went well, we had some changes in the leadership and it kind of flopped after that... a seemingly missed opportunity. With that in mind, I didn't know exactly what to expect this time. We planned a work day where we travelled to our sending church in Snoqualmie and helped them work on their new (old) church building. We ended up with 12 guys in attendance! Some long-time Pathway men and some brand new! We crammed into the old church van, made the hour-long trek to Snoqualmie, and had an absolute blast serving side-by-side. I definitely think it was the start of something significant! Thanks for the hug Jesus.
And thank you all for praying for us through this time of transition. As I mentioned above, please continue to pray for the Forgety family. Please pray for God to provide us with a permanent worship leader. By God's grace alone we found a humble and passionate man of God, Jordan Brokaw, who is serving us in an interim capacity. He's been with us for 2 Sundays now and it has been an absolute joy. Please pray for Jordan as he continues to serve our church and pray for the Spirit to lead us to the man God has in mind to take us into the future!