September 2021 Newsletter


Ever been challenged by a voice from the past, where you wish you could talk back and say, “Really? Sounds good, but…”. That’s how I responded to the great preacher Charles Spurgeon’s thoughts about the church as a community:

Some Christians try to go to heaven alone, in solitude. But believers are not compared to bears or lions or other animals that wander alone. Those who belong to Christ are sheep in this respect, that they love to get together. Sheep go in flocks, and so do God's people. - Charles Spurgeon

It’s not just that I’m an introvert by nature, honest! I’ve just never had a longtime desire to pattern myself after a sheep! An eagle, sure, or one of those lions or jaguars, even a dolphin… though, I’d be scared to think what animal my children would label me with!

I envy those of you who are in the middle of the circle, laughing and always ready to meet a new friend, who are the last to leave the party… where I’ve usually snuck away long before, book in hand. I DO love people, but best in smaller doses; some of our best memories at Menlo have been gatherings of five to eight folks over long dinners on the back patio, sharing and laughing, growing together. My life has been enriched by a new friendship with our pastor Frank Vanderzwan, and I’ll miss him fiercely. But a whole crowd? Who wants to be a sheep?

I’ve come to believe we ALL need help "belonging to Christ" as Spurgeon puts it, for all my individualistic efforts. Which is why we’re making a churchwide goal this year to be the reestablishment of Christian community, relationships that draw us closer to one another and the one who created us for the community "on earth as it is in heaven." Who’s missing? Who needs a fresh way to connect? What are the differences among us that Jesus will use to strengthen our entire community as we face a battered world? Where do you need to engage?

Let me offer you these first steps, to enter or revitalize your relationships of faith. This month each of our campuses will have at least two “Labs,” short-term group gatherings around a way to practice our faith; there are 28 of them, so certainly there’s one for you—so join one! Or, plan now to attend our Spiritual Formation retreat at Mt. Hermon the weekend of October 22-24. One of our friends says, “Change of Place, Change of Pace leads to Change of Heart” and don’t we ALL need to strengthen our hearts together?

I’ll probably never become the life of the party, and that’s okay. But just as one coal smolders by itself and goes out, we sheep need the company of the flock, to hear the lifegiving word of our Savior Shepherd. “How good it is when brothers and sisters gather together”… see you there, I pray!

John Crosby

P.S. A reminder: Our service times are changing this Sunday.


This Sunday at 1pm is our Annual Meeting! Hear about the Senior Pastor search and elect three new Elders (read their bios and watch intro videos). All church members: You received an email September 4 with a registration link. If you haven't yet, use that link to register so you can vote! Not a member? Livestream the meeting. MORE DETAILS


Starting this week! Fall Labs are fun, interactive gatherings tackling topics like parenting, finances, marriage, the Enneagram, justice, and more! With onsite and online options, most meet for six weeks, and there's something for everyone. BROWSE LABS + REGISTER


Read an update from our Senior Pastor Search Committee announcing the launch of the search for Senior Pastor candidates with AGORA Search Group. Through that link you can also see the Senior Pastor opportunity profile that has been posted.

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