Merry Christmas, Imago Dei Community! What a joy it was to kick off the Advent season together last week! In the midst of an already exciting time, I want to let you know about a few new and important things happening at Imago Dei:
Over the last few years, we as a community have been wrestling with a big question: What does it mean to be the people of God now? In September, we launched “Belonging to the People of God,” a preaching series and curriculum aimed at answering that question. Using the theme of exile, we discovered that being the people of God in all times and at all places in history has been a marginalizing experience. In our polarized culture, it is often difficult to know how to practice our faith in Jesus. Yet now more than ever, the world needs us to be the faithful presence of Christ. The encouraging thing we learn is that God's people have always imagined a way to be a faithful presence AND a prophetic witness of His mercy and justice. They found a way to bless and resist the culture around them.
Now it’s time to find our way to be faithful. This fall, we imagined how Imago Dei could confess and practice our faith in a way that will change us, bless our city and resist the assimilating powers of our culture. We’ve called it “Covenant Community,” a way to express our commitment to be faithful by confessing our belief in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as given to us in the Scriptures and summarized in the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds. In addition, we commit to living by five biblical practices: hospitality, generosity, vocation, worship, sabbath (celebration) and the centering practice of hearing and obeying the Word and Spirit of God.
We cannot confess and practice our faith alone; we need each other as we walk this journey. We invite you to enter into Covenant Community with us 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 $498,000 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.
December 16th - Advent Conspiracy Offering (during Sunday services)
December 24th - Christmas Eve services at 3pm & 5pm
January 13th - Covenant Gathering at 4pm
I pray that you and your family 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.