This last January, the elders presented their vision for the next season of community together at Evergreen. As we’re now halfway through the year and heading fast towards Fall, we wanted to circle back and re-emphasize what we’re thinking will be important in and to our community over the coming months.
All of this comes in the overall context of our Mission together as a church:
The mission of the Evergreen Community is to make disciples of Jesus as we invite others to join us in the life of the Kingdom. We do this through intentional communal practices of worship, listening to God, attentiveness to His word and through loving and serving one another, the neighborhoods in which we live, the City of Portland and the world.
For more than 12 years we have been a community without a home. Though this nomadic existence has allowed us to prioritize people over buildings/property, and to become a widely dispersed community with Evergreeners coming from all four quadrants of the city and many of the suburbs beyond, it has also led to a feeling of rootlessness, tiredness from constantly setting up and tearing down, and an inability to focus mission geographically. As we have grown and matured as a community, we have felt for some time the desire for a more permanent home in which to worship and out of which our missional efforts can flow. For a number of years now we have sought that more permanent home. Now that we have found what looks like a long-term solution for our community in the PCL building, we want to intentionally choose to look ahead. No living thing, including communities of faith, can remain the same for long- we are either maturing and growing or we are stagnant and in the process of dying
To that end, we, the elders, see the priorities for our community in the next season as being:
- Spiritual Growth (Read previous installment here)
- Hospitality/Invitation Culture Growth–(Read last week’s installment here)
- Financial Growth– As we have matured as a community, so have our needs. Where once we had a patch of carpet in the back of the room with space for two or three babies to play on, now we have a burgeoning children’s ministry that serves nearly 70 children. For the first time, we have the need to develop a middle school ministry and as our middle schoolers grow, a full fledged youth ministry. We are moving from once-a-week space to 24-7 space. All of this will require increased funding. And again, while generosity, giving, and supporting the faith community to which you belong are rightly seen as pieces of spiritual growth, we feel as though it’s important enough to highlight at this time.
What this means for you:
To be blunt, we need everyone who considers Evergreen their church community to be help bearing the financial burden of the community. As we often say, church is free, but it’s not cheap. We know that different individuals and families are at different places financially- our desire is simply that everyone contribute according to their ability. We also know that Evergreen people support a variety of ministries and causes around the world, and we absolutely encourage that- we just want to make sure your local community is a priority in your giving, not an afterthought. In this next season, we’d love to see our participation in giving rise as close to 100% as we can. This would enable us to meet our budget needs AND grow our benevolence/mission budget. It’s always been a dream of ours to give away an ever-growing percentage of what comes in. We hope you’ll join us in that dream and in working towards making it a reality.