Year-End Letter from Pastor Eric (Eastside)

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Greetings, Eastside! I want to let you know about a few new and important things happening at Imago Dei:

Covenant Community

Last night, I noticed a sign at a construction site that read “Building tomorrow, today.” I don’t know why it left such an impression on me, but as I entered into the traffic jam on I-84, I had some time to think more deeply about it. As I reflected, my thoughts moved to the work we as the church are doing at both campuses—and particularly at Eastside—around the question “what does it mean to be the people of God?”

In September, we launched a new series, Belonging to the People of God. Our aim was to look at the current Christian dilemma of being a faithful presence AND a prophetic witness of the mercy and justice of God while living into and out of Jesus and His kingdom. There is no formula for this. To ask questions seems to just create more questions rather than provide answers. Regardless, we as a leadership team have spent over a year thinking deeply about what it means to live out our faith in this current climate. How do we as believers engage the culture in a way that truly changes us, blesses the world and yet resists the cultural idols that try to amalgamate us? One of the ways I am encouraging our campus to live differently in culture is to understand that striving to live faithfully into and out of the Gospel each day is the only way we effectively bring shalom to our city’s future and ensure its ability to flourish.

Our church family has adopted several biblical rhythms or “practices,” including: hearing and obeying the Word and the Spirit, showing hospitality, integrating our vocation holistically, expressing generosity and living a life of worship and celebration (Sabbath). We are striving to be faithful in our moment by confessing our faith in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as it is given to us in the Scriptures and summed up in the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds. At Imago Dei, we’re calling this endeavor “Covenant Community.”

We invite you to enter into Covenant Community with us, as a way of joining together and agreeing to live out the practices as we contend to be a faithful presence in our city. On January 13th, we will gather to take a one-year vow, committing ourselves first to God and then to one another to confess and practice our faith as a diverse but united people of God.

Our leadership team asks you to take time between now and the new year to reflect on your faith, consider your participation in the life of Imago Dei community and prayerfully consider stepping into Covenant Community with us. To help you do this, we’ve compiled all the sermons, videos, creeds and study tools from the Belonging series, as well as the vow we’ll take in January right here.

Year-End Financial Goal

At the end of every year, we celebrate all the amazing things Jesus has done through our community. You will hear several of these stories throughout Advent—stories of clean water, refugee care, foster care and other creative ministries that reflect the love and life of Jesus to the world. It really is humbling to realize there are too many stories to share in one place! Jesus is doing so much through so many of our brothers and sisters.

To finish out the year strong, we still need $69,500 by the end of December. That number seems big, but each year we meet or come really close to meeting our goal. God is always faithful to provide. His faithfulness is seen through all of you. Please pray specifically about God’s provision for our financial need, and perhaps consider a gift above and beyond your normal offering. It takes all of us to do what God is calling us to do, and I am so grateful for this community’s generosity. As we celebrate God’s generous gift of Christ this season, we also are invited to practice generosity and trust that He will meet our needs once again.

Upcoming Events

December 16th – Advent Conspiracy Offering (during Sunday service)

December 24th – Christmas Eve Services at 3pm & 5pm at Central City Campus

January 13th – Covenant Gathering at 5pm at the Willifords’ home

I am praying that you and your family will experience the soul comforting peace and presence of Jesus this Christmas. I pray that God would bring us as a community into a fresh experience of the wonder of His gift to us in Jesus Christ.

Merry Christmas,

Pastor Eric