Aug 10, 2022
DEAR MENLO CHURCH,
When the global pandemic forced us all to postpone travel plans, our family surrendered a trip to the East Coast. For many of us, this summer was the time to return to those trips. So in July, our family headed to Washington DC, followed by a few days in New York City. For our usual vacation, we tend to stay closer to home and opt for less urban settings, so we knew it was going to be a different kind of trip. We found ourselves navigating unfamiliar streets, searching for parking places, eating different kinds of food, stepping into history, seeing beautiful monuments and famous vistas, using public transportation, and constantly sweating in extreme heat and humidity. And yet, in the end, our minds and hearts were opened a little wider to new things.
The Christian life is often portrayed as a journey. Jesus called the disciples to “follow him” into a new life. They left the tried and true to go wherever Jesus would lead them. After Jesus opened their eyes, hearts, and minds to his kingdom, he gave them authority and power and sent them out.
“Jesus sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt.” - Luke 9:2-3
With nothing but what God had given them, they went into the world with a message of hope for those who would hear. The Church is a continuation of that journey. We are “sent” people.
One of the things that we face in the wake of the pandemic is a tendency to be tentative. After months filled with fear and scarcity it can be easy to pull back. We stick with what we've become used to. We become risk-averse. We stay at home. We look after ourselves.
“Faith is the heroic effort of your life. You fling yourself in reckless confidence on God. God has ventured all in Jesus Christ to save us. Now He wants us to venture our all in abandoned confidence in Him.” - Oswald Chambers
As we look toward the fall and a new ministry year, it’s time to get back to the journey. And for each of us that step out of the door may look a little different. Maybe it’s committing to new spiritual practices that will stretch and grow your faith. For some it means rolling up your sleeves and committing (or re-committing) to serve the mission of our church with your time and abilities. Maybe you need to seek authentic community through a group or spiritual friendship. It could mean increasing your financial giving as a step of faith. Maybe it is a combination or something else, but whatever it is for you don’t miss the chance to find the joy of living with “reckless confidence” in God.
Finally, always remember we are journeying together. Jesus never sends his disciples out alone. Each one of us has a role to play in the work of the Kingdom but we do it as a team. So let’s lace up our shoes and see where God will take us.
Grateful to be on the journey with all of you.
Acting Head of Staff
P.S. Our fiscal year end is August 31 and, despite careful spending, we are forecasting a budget deficit for the year (see the graph here). Please consider a fiscal year-end gift so that we can enter next year ready to move forward as God leads us. Thank You!
HELP END HUNGER GLOBALLY AND LOCALLY
Saturday, Aug. 13 | Give back to the community and battle food insecurity by building food kits as we work to provide 285,000 meals to people in Vietnam! You can also donate food items that our Bay Area partners will distribute locally. Invite friends, family, and co-workers! REGISTER
ATTEND OUR ANNUAL MEETING
Sunday, Aug. 28, 1pm | Take part in person at our Mountain View campus or watch it live online. Meet our new Elder candidates, hear updates on the Senior Pastor search, and join a community Q&A. Join us in person to connect with each other and enjoy ice cream! MORE INFO
MAKE MENLO CHURCH YOUR CHURCH
Starts the week of Sept. 11 | Take four fun weeks to find your place in the Menlo community! No matter how long you’ve been at Menlo, Starting Point will help you connect with others, find ways to get involved, and be encouraged on your faith journey. DETAILS
RETREAT TO BE TOGETHER WITH GOD
Weekend of Oct. 14-16, Mount Hermon | Hit the “refresh” button on your spiritual life! Enjoy some peaceful refuge among beautiful mountains and redwood trees at our Menlo Church Spiritual Formation Retreat. Take a weekend to connect with God and grow with your church family. REGISTER