2020 has been a year like no other. Yet, even in the midst of unusual and unforeseen circumstances, God has been faithful to preserve and advance his church.
In addition to the challenges that church planting leaders generally face in Year One, 2020 has presented the need for unique levels of adaptibility and endurance. Church planter Brent Bramer (SLO City) recently summarized the last year poignantly:
What a year...26 weeks in the old normal and 26 weeks in the new COVID reality. 26 weeks of meeting together, parties in the park, and worshipping together in person! And then...26 weeks of online and Zoom, discovering new ways to grow in our faith and reaching out to hurting people, navigating together the horrors of injustice and the hope found in the way of Jesus. What a year.
I keep thinking...who could have written a more gripping, beautiful, broken, and hope-filled story for our first year? This past year reflects the reality that the Church is not four walls, not haze or hype, not a program, it’s not a pastor - but a people centered on Jesus regardless of circumstance. This year we’ve seen God pull together people around Jesus, refine them through difficulty, and equip them with joy and an unshakeable hope for everyday and everyone.
There are so many lives that have been impacted by the generosity of the people in our church: rent paid, food delivered, and souls encouraged. There have been so many moments over coffee, so much life shared, so much belief discovered, and new baptisms.
Today we celebrate, we thank God for all that He’s done, we trust God, and we take the next step!
At this significant milestone, we celebrate church planting leaders' perseverance. We praise God for his good work through SLO City and Icon through all that the past year has held. And we eagerly anticipate all that he will continue to do in the year to come.
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Pray that God continues to empower Brent & Jenna Bramer (SLO City Church) and Justin & Emilie Anderson (Icon Church) to minister well and lead effectively in the contexts God has them in.
Partner with other churches to reach this milestone. Help churches in Cincinnati, Greater Miami, and Oakland reach their first anniversary, so that more people might have the opportunity to know Jesus.