SOMBER SATURDAY

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I am sure that if we could experience this somber Saturday without the hope of Resurrection Sunday that we would sincerely be able to resonant with the followers of Christ in that day. We would be able to experience the doubts that they went through, the depression, and feeling of being wrong. 

But I would also like to point you to Luke 22:46, as J.D. Greear helped me see, that Jesus knew that his disciples would experience the temptation to disbelieve that even the cross of Christ took place and especially the resurrection. It is what we still experience today when people deny the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ.

Today represents a day where we feel lonely, our skeptics appear right, everything we put our hope in appears to be maybe wrong... we have doubt as the disciples had doubts.

But the difficulty of this scenario is that we, as the disciples, know that Sunday exists and is coming. Everything changes tomorrow, whether I have doubt of it or not, it all changes.

Christ told his followers that the grave would not hold him in that he would raise again to life. It is the most important miracle that ever took place, which has huge implications for everyone everywhere in all of human history.

So continue to reflect and be somber today, but at the same time get ready for a celebration is coming tomorrow! Please celebrate with your local community of faith and create a space for those outside the church to hear the message of the gospel this Easter!

Cross - Jesus Dies

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Today being Good Friday we wanted to share a summary of why the focus on the death of Christ.

"God shows his love for us in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

First, in essence, Jesus came into the world to die and cover sin.

How did Jesus die?

  • On a cross through crucifixion.

  • Crucifixion is the most excruciating form of death.

  • It was designed for the worst of criminals in society.

  • Jesus was crucified in order to bear our griefs and carry our sorrows (Isa. 53:3-4).

Second, Jesus death on the cross finished his purpose for coming.

  • Jesus himself declared "It is Finished," referring to taking on the sin of the world (John 19:30).

  • Jesus came as our atonement (Rom. 4:25).

  • Jesus came and died in our place:

    • Living the life we were meant to live.

    • Dying the death we deserved to die.

    • Ultimately rising from the dead as a way to prove he conquered sin, death, and the grave.

How does the cross satisfy the wrath of God?

  • The result of sin is death so in order for the wrath of God to be appeased someone has to die.

  • In the Old Testament the wrath of God was appeased through an animal blood sacrifice.

  • In the New Testament we see the ultimate and final blood sacrificed required in Jesus.

  • Jesus, dying in our place, died the death that God revealed we deserved.

    • Hebrews 9:22

    • 1 Peter 1:18-19

  • Jesus ended the need for a blood sacrifice.

How does the death of Christ justify us before God?

  • God deserves justice and will get justice.

  • Because we are not righteous we cannot justify God.

  • Jesus alone, being the perfect man, could justify us before God (Rom. 1:37; 5:16-17).

How does God redeem us through the cross?

  • Before the cross we were enslaved in our sin with no hope.

  • Through Jesus alone we have been offered a way out to be redeemed.

    • Justified by his grace (Romans 3:24).

    • Jesus gave himself for us (Titus 2:13-14).

    • Christ became cursed for us (Galatians 3:13-14).

    • Redemption through the blood (Ephesians 1:7).

So whom did Jesus come to die for?

  • Sinners, which includes all of us (1 Tim. 2:6).

  • He came to be the Savior of all people, but only in a saving way for those that believe/are elect in him (1 Tim. 4:10).

How is God triumphant through the cross of Christ?

  • Forgives us of all sin.

  • Expiation

    • Our sin is taken away from us and we are made clean through Jesus.

  • Our sin is taken away and put on Jesus.

At the cross of Christ we see the ultimate love sacrifice of God for us, which makes a way for reconciliation with God.

Good Friday is today, the day that we remember the reason that Jesus came to earth to die a bloody gruesome death on the cross in our place. At first look it appears that Christ death was nothing more than death in itself, appearing to some skeptics as proof against the claims of Jesus. But it is only friday, as we will see on Sunday, the resurrection comes and Jesus is Alive!

EASTER at SOJOURN

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APRIL 20 @ 10:00AM: NEIGHBORHOOD EGG HUNT

WE'D LIKE TO INVITE THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY TO THE CONCORDIA NEIGHBORHOOD EGG HUNT! ALL CHILDREN ARE WELCOME WITH THEIR FAMILIES AND THERE WILL BE SEPARATE EGG HUNTS SET UP FOR DIFFERENT AGE GROUPS. WE ARE SERVING ALONGSIDE OTHER COMMUNITY MEMBERS TO PROVIDE FACE PAINTING AND OTHER FUN KID ACTIVITIES AT FERNHILL PARK.

Feel free to invite any families in the neighborhood to attend... the more the merrier! 

  • Pack a lunch if you'd like to spend the afternoon at the park directly following the egg hunt! We'd love to hang out with you.

  • If you want to help with the egg hunt, please show up at 8am to help set up and hide 10k+ eggs.

  • Any questions can be sent to info@sojournpdx.org.

APRIL 21: SOJOURN EASTER GATHERING

WE WILL GATHER DURING OUR NORMAL WORSHIP GATHERING AT 5PM. AFTER THE GATHERING WE WILL HAVE A NEIGHBORHOOD COOKOUT, KIDS EGG HUNT, AND CELEBRATE WITH OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY.

WHY GOSPEL COMMUNITIES?

WHY GOSPEL COMMUNITIES?

We’ve found that if we’re going to faithfully live out our values together, Sunday gatherings aren’t enough. Following Jesus, living as family, and being intentional in our city is a 24/7, 365 journey. Gospel Communities are the primary way this happens. They help us live out what we declare on Sunday. In other words, Gospel Communities at Sojourn create a space for people to….

  • Know Jesus

  • Be Family

  • Live on Mission

WHAT ARE GOSPEL COMMUNITIES?

Gospel Communities are a space where we gather around tables to live out our core values. We typically share a meal together, celebrate stories, bear one another's burdens, pray for one another, and serve our city together. In essence, this is what Gospel Communities at Sojourn are all about.

HOW DO GOSPEL COMMUNITIES WORK?

Each Gospel Community practices four rhythms together:

We gather as a Community weekly in members homes to live out our core values.

We study Jesus at our Tables — Tables are a place to deepen our understanding of Jesus, remind each other of our identity, connect as friends, and pray together. These are smaller Groups of 3-4 people of the same gender who meet regularly throughout the region. Their purpose is to grow deeper in relationship with God and one another.

We host Dinner Parties with our friends and family  — Dinner Parties are a place to spend time together making memories and building relationships. Dinner Parties can look many different ways, but always involve good food and drink. If you have non-believing friends, this is a great place to invite them to explore Christian community.

We live on purpose For our City — For our City is a rhythm intended to help us commit to some form of mission together. The mission of God is to reunite all things that have been broken because of sin. Jesus is in the business of making all things new through his life, death, and resurrection. We join him in this reconciling work as his ambassadors of hope. This too can look a myriad of ways — adopting an under-resourced school, serving at a non-profit, throwing a neighborhood block party etc.

We are relaunching our Gospel Community in the heart of Concordia Neighborhood and Alberta Arts District tonight and want to invite you to join us! For more information and location please send an email to info@sojournpdx.org.

More Bible in 2019

More Bible in 2019

We love the Bible at Sojourn and we want to help you grow in your love for it as well. We understand it can be an intimidating book, and it's often difficult to know where to start when it comes to learning more about it. Thankfully the New Year provides a fresh opportunity to learn more about the Scriptures.

I’ve tried to make it a practice over the last couple of years to read through the entire Bible. Many people at Sojourn will be reading through the entire Old Testament, New Testament, and the entire Bible in 2019 and we want you to join us. Here are a couple of plans to help you in your journey:

1. The One Year Classic plan takes you through the entire Bible in a year, with readings in the Old and New Testament each day. If you haven't read through the entire Bible before, this is the best plan for you.

2. The One-Year Chronological plan takes you through the entire Bible in a year in chronological order. It gives you an interesting look at the events of the Bible in the historical sequence in which they occurred.

3. The 88-Day plan takes you through the Bible in three months. It takes about 30 minutes a day. It’s a full-on immersion experience into God’s Word. This is an intense reading plan, one that will require you to put down your phone and turn off Netflix.

3. If none of these plans appeal to you, here are some more options for you.

We wish you a Happy New Year and hope these plans help you grow in your knowledge and love of God's Word in 2019!

Life on Mission: GenSend 2019

What would it look like for a generation of collegiate Christians to live their lives on mission? What would happen if this generation leveraged their careers, their majors and the places they live for the sake of the gospel and for the needs of their neighbors?

These are the years when students can see how their gifts and passions intersect with needs in North America. We can help students find opportunities in the urban core and connect them to needs in Portland. Ultimately, it is all about being the hands and feet of Christ and taking the gospel to those who need to hear the good news of a great Savior. If you know a college student that you think would be interested in working alongside of us in Summer 2019 please have them email our team at info@sojournpdx.org.

5 Ways to Be Present This Fall

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Summer has drawn to a close and school is back in session. Some of us hate the heat of summer and excitedly embrace the new season. Others love the summer freedom and are sad to see it go. Either way it is happening, and while summer brings a unique opportunity to engage in mission so does Fall.

Fall is my personal favorite season as I love the crisper weather, colorful foliage, and I'm a sucker for anything pumpkin flavored. The opportunities to engage with your community are bountiful during the Fall. Life is busy enough and I'm not one to embrace a list of activities to add to my schedule to be a missionary in my culture, but I'll gladly embrace opportunities with things I'm naturally doing anyway.

These opportunities look different for everyone, but here are some ways that my family and our church are planning on engaging our city as missionaries during the Fall season:

1. FOOTBALL

This is arguably America's biggest and most popular sport. Hosting football watching parties for those in your community are a great way to engage with people in an activity they are likely already participating. It doesn't take much to pull this off other than a tv, some good food, and drinks. I'd encourage you to do this with some people from your church family as a way to be on mission together.

2. FESTIVALS

Every city has a number of festivals in the Fall that usually include games for children, pumpkins, and candy. Instead of only attending the festivals why not volunteer? You could volunteer to fill a need or you could set up a pop-up tent and host an art or activity as part of the overall festival. This is a great way to both love and serve the community. 

3. FARMS 

In Portland we have apple picking and pumpkin patches during the Fall. This is a fun activity to do with your family, your church or gospel community, and a great activity to invite others to do with you. 

4. SPORTS

Aside from the previously mentioned football, childrens soccer is a big Fall sport. My oldest son is currently playing soccer so I volunteered to coach a dozen 7 year olds. Our church family is also getting involved as we are planning an end of the season cookout at our house.

5. HOLIDAYS 

Fall kicks off the start of holiday season. Halloween, whether you hate it or love it is one of the easiest times to engage with neighbors in the entire year. It is the one day in the year all of your neighbors with children show up at your door. Be present, give out the best candy, and learn some neighbors names while you are at it. We typically add a fire pit and a hot chocolate station so people will stay and hang a while.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday in the year, but many people spend Thanksgiving lonely or hungry. Invite someone over from work or your street who you know is without family or host a neighborhood potluck for Thanksgiving to engage with those that may normally feel excluded. 

These may not all fit your context like they do mine, but figure out as any good missionary would what does fit your context. Every neighborhood, community, and city has new opportunities with each season where you can join in with ways to love and serve them without really adding anything to your already likely busy schedule. 

WHY DO WE BELIEVE IN SIMPLICITY?

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At the core of disciple-making movements seen throughout time we do not find specific programs for ministry, but rather we see a collection of beliefs and behaviors that shaped these movements of Jesus. We find ourselves today in the West with some startling stats in front of us:

  • There are 200 million people who aren’t connected to a Church family.

  • 43,000 people leave the church weekly.

  • 35% of those ages 15 to 30 years old want nothing to with any form of spirituality.

  • Upwards of 70% of those outside the Church aren’t interested in attending a Church service or gathering of any kind (this includes smalls group and missional communities).[1]

As we began to look at these statistics more and more, we knew that in order to see a true movement in the West, we could not continue doing what we have been doing for so long. The status quo in the ministry world would no longer suffice, as if it ever truly did.

These stats and numbers were headed in this direction for years, but I left the U.S. at the end of 2011 where I stepped out of a season of ministry that looked like me primarily inviting my friends, neighbors, and coworkers to come hear the professionals at my church on the weekend … and for the most part very few every actually showed up. I would spend the next two years of my life equipping everyday people to go and make disciples and see church families form along the way in South Asia.

My team placed our primary focus on everyday people, uneducated in many cases, but with a heart for their community to experience the freedom and family found only in Jesus. Essentially we “broke” many of the rules as the leaders we worked with were not trained in Bible College or Seminary, were not ordained, and many of them had just recently started following Jesus themselves.

The rules we broke were rules that have been placed by man and carried throughout centuries of the church losing its value in the world. We returned to a biblical approach and based everything off of it being simple and reproducible.

If you have studied the life of Jesus and the movement he started, he was not sitting around waiting for people to come to him, but he actively went to them. Jesus went to people who saw their need for him and in turn, the message of the gospel spread through these people. Perhaps what is remarkable is that Jesus started the movement, but designed it in such a way that it would get beyond his control and would leave it in the hands of everyday people.

It’s worth noting that perhaps the most obvious difference between the modern missions and church planting of today and that of Jesus is that there was no central organization in Jesus day, but only Jesus and his teaching. Jesus showed that everyday people were the key players in his movement, professionals need not apply.

In his book, What Jesus Started, Steve Addison points out that the purpose of a missionary movement is that people accept the message, begin to follow Jesus, share him with others, and form new communities of faith that become partners in the spread of the gospel. This is the story we long to see unfold throughout the city of Portland and all over the country.

The movements we’ve seen in other countries such as India, China, and what we are now seeing in Cuba through the hands of everyday people are what in many ways we desire to see. This is the reason we believe in simplicity.

A former professor of mine, Dave Black, said it perhaps best when he said, “Once the idea that every Christian is a full-time missionary is accepted, the work of missions will advance with much less hierarchy -- and much less wasted money. In time, I think we will see a new equilibrium emerge in which professionally-trained missionaries will work side-by-side with an army of volunteers in a low-friction environment that enhances cooperation.”

We intentionally keep our approach simple because the stats I cited at the beginning of this post are not going to change if we continue to make it about a certain type of leader, shuffling already followers from one new church to the next, or about how big you can launch a service to hit that magic moment of momentum to break the 200 barrier (because that is somehow how we have come to define movement now).

In a day where the gospel is not news for many and most have zero interest in attending a church service, we are reclaiming the simplicity of New Testament practices as the central focus of God’s family life. It’s an ancient, minimalist approach to forming and multiplying church families unique to each context. 


--------------

 

1. The numbers are based on information compiled from The Permanent Revolution (Hirsh & Catchim); Exponential (Ferguson & Ferguson); and Pew Research: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/05/12/millennials-increasingly- are-driving-growth-of-nones/

July 2018 Happenings

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Summer time typically brings a change of rhythms as kids are out of school, the warmer and longer days, and neighbors are actually outside! As a church family we have a number of exciting things happening in July that we wanted to share with everyone!

1. Concordia Neighborhood Concerts in the Park - Every Friday night in the month of July there will be a neighborhood concert in Fern Hill Park. These are an annual tradition and a family friendly environment that is great to interact with others in our neighborhood. Sojourn is proud to be a sponsor of this years concerts and will have a booth set up at three of the concerts with games, face painting, and free bottles of water.

2. Outdoor Movie - We are throwing our first outdoor movie party on Saturday, July 7, at 7pm. We will be showing Kung Fu Panda 3 on the fields behind Alliance Meek, 4039 NE Alberta Ct. Bring your own blankets & chairs. We will provide games prior to the movie and popcorn during the movie.

3. Community BBQ - We are having a free Texas style bbq for the community on Sunday, July 15, at 5pm. We will serve Texas style bbq, sides, and drinks until we run out. We will be in Wilshire Park, NE 33rd Avenue.

4. Kids Camp - We are hosting our first ever Kids Camp July 23-27! The camp will consist of a variety of activities for kids to have fun and interact with others in the community. There will be sports, group games, and crafts. The camp is for ages 5+ and costs $25 for the first child; and $10 per additional child. All of the proceeds will go to benefit our neighborhood school, Vernon. To register click here.

5. Join Us - Starting in July we will gather weekly on Sundays at 5pm at 4828 NE 33rd Ave. Our church family gatherings are on Sunday evenings and consist of fellowship, prayer, worship, and teaching. We also gather weekly around tables to live out our core values. We typically share a meal together, celebrate stories, bear one another's burdens, pray for one another, and serve our city together. Our current Table meets on Thursday nights at 6:30pm near Alberta Arts District. For more information email info@sojournpdx.org.

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ARE YOU A MISSIONARY OR AN IMPOSTER?

Lately I have been reading about disciple making movements that changed the world and have found some ideas very interesting. For example, in 1850 the Methodists had 4,000 itinerant preachers, 8,000 local preachers, and more than one million members, which made them the largest religious body in the nation and second largest national institution behind the government.

Steve Addison, on this movement, said, "This achievement would have been impossible without the mobilization of ordinary people-white and black, young and old, men and women-and the removal of artificial barriers to their engagement in significant leadership as class leaders, local workers, and itinerant preachers."

Addison is getting at something here that I don't want our church to miss. In many churches and denominations, it has become all about the "professional" Christian doing the work of ministry. Even in many of our local churches we will hear the pastors say, "You guys need to be involved with this, do ministry, etc." Then what is communicated through their actions is the attitude of, "I am the seminary trained one here, so allow me to be the face of everything in regards to ministry." It is also communicated through who serves the family meal (communion) and who baptizes, which neither has to be "professional ministers."

This kind of attitude communicated to the church is what has often stifled its growth at many times and in many ways. During the surge of growth in the Methodist denomination they had no college-educated people in ministry, sounds slightly similar to Jesus day to me. The decline of the Methodists church came during the time when the amateur people in ministry were replaced with the seminary educated professionals.

Now, let me clarify that I am not against seminary if you take that route as part of your equipping and I am seminary trained. However, I do believe that there has been too much emphasis put on seminary education and not enough on the local church equipping and training its members to go out to be ministers in their everyday lives. Until we as a church (universal) get back to the place where the Methodist were in 1850, we in many ways are the cause of stifling a movement that could change the world by not equipping every follower of Christ to take the message of freedom and family to those around them.

I leave you with this, as the planting pastor of Sojourn, I want to always be mindful that you are being equipped and mobilized to go out as missionaries in your everyday life. We are a church made up of ordinary people, my question is how are you intentionally being a missionary and making disciples in your everyday life? In the words of Charles Spurgeon, “Every Christian is either a missionary or an imposter.” Which one are you?

Viewing Every Aspect of Life As Ministry

The act of disciple-making is the calling of every follower of Jesus. So do not make the mistake of thinking that if you are seminary trained or a leader in the church that you are serving God more faithfully than the stay at home mom, barista, bartender, or salesperson from your church. Each of us in Christ is called to live a life on mission that is about the business of disciple-making.   Jeff Vanderstelt summed this up to the church he pastors by telling everyone at his church that they are paid full-time by their company in order to be a full-time minister at their job. By returning to this New Testament practice the people that make up the church will stop seeing the Sunday gathering as the primary connecting point for those outside the church, but as a way to connect with people in their rhythm of life. This allows one to naturally build community with the insiders of the culture, allowing them to express freedom (gospel) in a contextually appropriate manner.   We look around and wonder with all of the church planting efforts available today, why 250 million people are still not connected to a church family, 43,000 leave weekly, and 35% of those 15-30 years old have no interest in any form of spirituality at all. A large reason for this is the divide between the professional/laity Christian. If we take a look back at early Christianity, we are reminded that they experienced explosive growth in large part by means of informal missionaries engaging the culture. Think early church. Think America in the 1700’s. Think of most of the church planting movements we are seeing globally today.   There are numerous examples of seeing people embrace their everyday life as ministry seeing themselves as missionaries, but a couple of examples come to mind. In 1 Thessalonians 1 we see that the Thessalonians had so implemented gospel sharing and disciple-making into their everyday life that the Scriptures record it had gone forth everywhere around them and that there was no need for the Apostle Paul to go back behind them to these places.  In Acts 11:19-30 we see that it was unnamed believers who the took gospel to Antioch. These believers were simply living out their faith in midst of their daily existence. I love that Scripture includes pieces of information like that for us and I encourage you to start viewing every aspect of your life as ministry, as the mission field where God has placed you to proclaim his glory. 

The act of disciple-making is the calling of every follower of Jesus. So do not make the mistake of thinking that if you are seminary trained or a leader in the church that you are serving God more faithfully than the stay at home mom, barista, bartender, or salesperson from your church. Each of us in Christ is called to live a life on mission that is about the business of disciple-making. 

Jeff Vanderstelt summed this up to the church he pastors by telling everyone at his church that they are paid full-time by their company in order to be a full-time minister at their job. By returning to this New Testament practice the people that make up the church will stop seeing the Sunday gathering as the primary connecting point for those outside the church, but as a way to connect with people in their rhythm of life. This allows one to naturally build community with the insiders of the culture, allowing them to express freedom (gospel) in a contextually appropriate manner. 

We look around and wonder with all of the church planting efforts available today, why 250 million people are still not connected to a church family, 43,000 leave weekly, and 35% of those 15-30 years old have no interest in any form of spirituality at all. A large reason for this is the divide between the professional/laity Christian. If we take a look back at early Christianity, we are reminded that they experienced explosive growth in large part by means of informal missionaries engaging the culture. Think early church. Think America in the 1700’s. Think of most of the church planting movements we are seeing globally today. 

There are numerous examples of seeing people embrace their everyday life as ministry seeing themselves as missionaries, but a couple of examples come to mind. In 1 Thessalonians 1 we see that the Thessalonians had so implemented gospel sharing and disciple-making into their everyday life that the Scriptures record it had gone forth everywhere around them and that there was no need for the Apostle Paul to go back behind them to these places.

In Acts 11:19-30 we see that it was unnamed believers who the took gospel to Antioch. These believers were simply living out their faith in midst of their daily existence. I love that Scripture includes pieces of information like that for us and I encourage you to start viewing every aspect of your life as ministry, as the mission field where God has placed you to proclaim his glory. 

5 Simple Opportunities For Mission This Fall

5 Simple Opportunities For Mission This Fall

Summer is quickly drawing to a close as school started back nation wide over the last couple of weeks. Some of us hate the heat of summer and are excitedly embracing this new season. Others of us love the summer freedom and are sad to see it go. Either way it is happening, and while summer brings a unique opportunity to engage in mission so does Fall.

Fall is my personal favorite season as I love the crisper weather, colorful foliage, and I'm a sucker for anything pumpkin flavored. The opportunities to engage with your community are bountiful during the Fall. Life is busy enough and I'm not one to embrace a list of activities to add to my schedule to be a missionary in my culture, but I'll gladly embrace opportunities with things I'm naturally doing anyway.

These opportunities look different for everyone, but here are some ways that my family and our church are planning on engaging our city as missionaries during the Fall season:

1. FOOTBALL

This is arguably America's biggest and most popular sport. Hosting football watching parties for those inyour community are a great way to engage with people in an activity they are likely already participating. It doesn't take much to pull this off other than a tv, some good food, and drinks. I'd encourage you to do this with some people from your church family as a way to be on mission together.

2. FESTIVALS

Every city has a number of festivals in the Fall that usually include games for children, pumpkins, and candy. Instead of only attending the festivals why not volunteer? You could volunteer to fill a need or you could set up a pop-up tent and host an art or activity as part of the overall festival. This is a great way to both love and serve the community. 

3. FARMS 

In Portland we have apple picking and pumpkin patches during the Fall. This is a fun activity to do with your family, your church or missional community, and a great activity to invite others to do with you. 

4. SPORTS

Aside from the previously mentioned football, childrens soccer is a big Fall sport. My oldest son is currently playing soccer so I volunteered to be the assistant coach for his team. Our church family hosted a cookout for the kick-off of the season and we are planning a couple more events throughout the season.

5. HOLIDAYS

Fall kicks off the start of holiday season. Halloween, whether you hate it or love it is one of the easiest times to engage with neighbors in the entire year. It is the one day in the year all of your neighbors with children show up at your door. Be present, give out the best candy, and learn some neighbors names while you are at it.

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday in the year, but many people spend Thanksgiving lonely or hungry. Invite someone over from work or your street who you know is without family or host a neighborhood potluck for Thanksgiving to engage with those that may normally feel excluded. 

These may not all fit your context like they do mine, but figure out as any good missionary would what does fit your context. Every neighborhood, community, and city has new opportunities with each season where you can join in with ways to love and serve them without really adding anything to your already likely busy schedule. 

A Response to Hurricane Harvey

Hello Sojourners,

During our gathering this past weekend we spent some time praying for the city of Houston, the surrounding areas, and all of those affected by Hurricane Harvey. It is still baffling to consider that we had one of the rainiest winters on record in Portland this year and we received less rain than Houston did in one weekend. 

We specifically prayed for a good friend of mine, Josh Trevino, who is one of the pastors of a Ecclesia in Houston. Ecclesia sent out a letter to pastors that Josh sent me so we could know how to pray and to share their needs. I've been in communication with Josh throughout the past few days to help assess how a church all the way in Portland can tangibly help most. 

From Josh:

Please pray for God's provision and peace in the lives of the people here. Many people have lost much if not everything they owned, including homes. There are so many broken people wondering around the city right now. The best way you guys can help out would be with supplies that people need. 

To help meet these practical needs we are including a link to a clean-up supply list that Ecclesia provided. If you would like to donate financially to their efforts then you can do so here. We are also thankful for our ongoing partnership with SendRelief. Through this organization you will find both opportunities to volunteer and give financially.

If you are a regular tither to the ministries at Sojourn then you are also helping as we are giving 4% of our internal giving this month directly to relief efforts in Houston. If you have any questions please email info@sojournpdx.org.