FOUNDRY UMC - Always Learning
By: Val Sachs
In the sixth chapter of Paul’s letter to the Hebrews, he discusses moving on from the “elementary” teachings of our faith and “pressing on to maturity.” As FOUNDRY nears its one year anniversary in November, we are seeing this scripture lived out in our daily activities. We are holding fast to the basic truths of our faith and time-tested strategies for church building – as we take steps to strengthen and broaden the church’s impact in our community.
From our first introduction to East Chula Vista, FOUNDRY leaders have prioritized meeting and ministering to new families in our community. Again, this summer, monthly family movie nights were one way we were able to interact with more than 600 people. Our guests at Montevalle Recreation Center were treated to a family movie, free food and drinks and radical hospitality that included an invitation to explore their faith at FOUNDRY. New to us this summer, were our monthly picnics in the park where our movie friends or others who might not be ready to attend a church service yet, could get to know us in an informal setting. Water balloons, relay races and root beer floats can be great ice-breakers! We know this was effective, because our August picnic served as the official launch for FOUNDRY’s first youth group.
As those “elementary” activities continue to draw new people to FOUNDRY, we are mindful that we too need to keep growing and learning -- pressing on to maturity. Pastor Christian and FOUNDRY members Jerry and Angie Marcu traveled to Denver in August for the School of Congregational Development’s “Encountering God at the Edge” conference. Here leaders were reminded of the importance of their own growth and intimacy with God as they seek to draw others to the body of Christ. Later this month, Valerie Sachs and FOUNDRY member Melissa Spence will be attending the annual Leadership Institute sponsored by The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. Topics for discussion include creating a culture of invitation, God’s creative and delightful spirit and conquering your giants. In May, Pastor Christian and others from our church attended a three day seminar in San Diego given by Jim Griffith that focused on turning spectators into servant leaders.
So, while a lot of the basics of a new church start are still being attended to at FOUNDRY – like carpeting in the sanctuary and doors on the pastor’s office – spiritual growth continues. We are called to minister to our own FOUNDRY family members; keep our hands outstretched to new people in our community; and draw from what God has yet to teach us! Starting this new church can feel a lot like an athletic endeavor at times. Again, Paul’s words feel especially fitting, “I press onward toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”