Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Jacob's Well

These are times of unparalleled opportunity: times of great unrest and great risk.
These are times of great insecurity where “love is now mingled with grief”
(Galadriel in “The Fellowship of the Ring” by Peter Jackson.)

As of yesterday, LeeElla and I were officially released from New Hope Christian Center by the board and pastoral staff. Our Goodbye service is on Sunday morning April 30th at 10AM.

The letter said:

"...we would like to release you, as of Easter Sunday, to begin your ministry."

We feel this letter is a good thing and will help both New Hope and Jacob's Well to move forward and pursue the purposes of God in this city with a focus on the future.

So with that officially said, I am free to be open and communicative about the direction and passion the Lord has laid on our hearts and the emerging church (Jacob's Well) that we are gathering in East Central Spokane.

Though there have been many elements of this transition that have been difficult, we all feel this is the Lord's direction and best for all involved. So with that, we bless the past and treasure the amazing journey and all the fruit; and with renewed vision and exciting anticipation we turn and face the opportunities that lay ahead.

We are so excited to share that the Lord has provided an amazing answer to prayer for all of us! We will be signing a lease (probably next week) on an amazing facility down in East Central for Jacob's Well to meet at as a church body and to pursue the vision of a local community art house, music venue, coffee shop, book store and practical ministry location.

The building was bought and designed to be a college age coffee house by a Christian couple that had a dream to create a place for the young adult community to gather together. Unfortunately due to some situations they were not able to proceed beyond purchasing the facility, renovating it completely with new wiring, paint, alarm system, handicap bathrooms and 4 rooms/offices as well as the main room and side music performance room. It is 2700 square feet of dream living opportunity! Located right in the heart of the poor urban community we feel called to love and serve as a church community.

Things have been moving fast but as I have said in previous posts and sermons, I have known that this was the season to "ACT PROMPTLY" (2 Samuel 5:24). We have purposed in our hearts to not “Strike the ground only three times” (2 Kings 13:18-19) but to keep moving forward in this season with courage, purpose and prayerful but bold action.

Without prayer we do not see it, and without obedience we do not seize it.

But trust me, this is not a new vision but an unfolding of years of prayer, dreaming, hard work and painful but persistent push; as well as the ministering of gospel focused destiny into the hearts and minds of core people who have become increasingly bonded together for Christ's work that is growing in and through all of us in this city and with us personally as pastors.

We can't save the city but we can love it…and with all of God's peaceful purpose we will do that with joy in the days ahead.

Thank you everyone who had endured the heat and trouble of this season. Thank you my dear friends and family that have supported us, loved us and empowered us to dream and live the dream with open eyes in the daytime.

Thanks to all the people of Jacob's Well, that are creating an atmosphere of faith, possibilities and practical action. You all amaze us. We are blessed to be among a group of believers that are dreamers and doers. I know that the purposes of God that lay within all of you are uniting together in a powerful God ordained synergy that will produce abundant fruit in our community.

Thanks to everyone at New Hope for being the fertile ground from which we were able to emerge and become all that God has called us to be. Our work will be part of your crown to the glory of God.


Anonymous said...

Amen brother. And may the Spirit of the Living God lead and guide all who are part of His church in Spokane. As Donzi said on Easter Sunday, (paraphrased) "Let Him first reign in His church that it may shine in the world."

FCB said...

Now writing as a father; whew sssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss that is my exhale from holding my breath.
Not that for a minute that I have doubted, questioned timeing, been concerned about where or any of the things that go into a move like this. I have seen God work through New Hope in dramatic and fatih-building ways. I have watched in awe as He met needs and brought people, resources and love to each year you were blessed to serve there. The strength, determination, faith and role model that Pastor Hunt and Donnella have lived out before you have been the key ingredients God used to bring you to this moment. To them I will forever be grateful. I cannot exaggerate these thoughts and loving feelings.
Now as this new chapter begins in New Hope and Jacob's well, I am eager to see The Living God unveil His plans for both. Makes my mouth water in anticipation!
Love Dad

Unknown said...

We got the Thumbs up from the city of Spokane to meet at the facility we want to lease. So far so good!

Anonymous said...

My heart has much anticipation for this new step. I wanted to take the time to thank Pasture Eric and LeeElla for always being there to support me in all of lifes circumstances, and to let you know that God has used your faithfulness to His call to radically change my life. Thank you for paving the way for me and the generation to come. I love you two so much and am thrilled to be apart of Jacobs Well. May we NOT stop striking the ground!

Matt said...

Eric, I am so excited for you. It sounds like God is unfolding your dreams in front of you. It must be intense! I can't wait to hear what God brings forth. I will pray for you. And thank you to LeeElla, thank you for being such a good wife to Eric. Us pathetic husbands need you wonderful women more than you can know. Thanita incuded! love, Matt.

Anonymous said...

The Teacher said we should plant in many fields, you never know which ones will grow. Maybe they all will!

In all the years I have been with New Hope, families have come and gone, but the harvest has been the same. This field is fertile and always will be, but it is at capacity. I only pray that the seeds taken from New Hope will spring forth such a harvest as this in your soil at the very least, but I pray further that your soil be enriched moreso for a harvest even greater. And down the road, when your field is great, maybe then more seeds will be taken for a new field. God's work never ends. A tree is both an end and a beginning, the fruition of the seed, and the birth of the seed. May your fruits exceed your seeds.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all the kind words and thoughts, everyone. We love you all - and I'm not just saying that - I mean it.
Things are falling into place and very soon, we will be living the dream. Thanks be to God alone!
Matt: your brother is amazing...and I have waited for the day when he would be re-discovered by his family for all the wonderful things he is! It makes me so happy to have you a part of our life and you have helped to bring Eric peace in an area that has carried much pain. To have relationship with you and Marc again after so many years is a blessing I think he had almost given up on. Thank you for supporting him and loving him like you do - we feel the strength of that all the way over here!! We love and miss you guys and hope it won't be too long before we can grab you up and hug your necks!!! Auntie Lee needs a squeeze! - LeeElla

Unknown said...

I second what Lee said Matt, I couldn't have said it any better.

Thanks Justin...I pray the same for you too my friend.

It is because of people like you in our lives, that never let us stop dreaming and are always speaking life to those dreams, that we are where we are today.
You are such a blessing, we love you like a daughter, a friend and now a team mate. I pray all your vision for ministry explodes in this next season. You deserve so much for all that you have given. Jacob's Well is so rich because of Jesus in you.

MaryMGlynn said...

Congrats Eric on this. The Lord will provide and will bring the right people into your house and will make a way for you to do His will. Always seeking the Lords will and making Him number one in all you do. He is faithful to us and loves you. This ministry will bless so many lives. Even more lives then you can imagine. While your touching the youth, the youth touches Nations and are our future.
Remember even during the struggles and there will be as you know satan is ready for attack when the Lords will is happening, don't lose your focus and keep prayer warriors around you. Your faith walk is your biggest testimony.
Love in Christ Mary

Unknown said...

Thank you Mary, we need all the prayer we can get!

Michael McMullen said...

Dude, this is sooo cool. I can't wait to see all the awesome things God is going to do. Because what can God do that isn't awesome?

Blessings to you and LeeElla. You are two of the most amazing people I've ever met. Christ definately shines through you.

I'm hoping someday to be a part of your team down there. In time. For now, I'm lifting you guys up in prayer.

Love you both.