MISSION: We affirm that our local church, as part of the universal Church, has been given the task of living out the life-giving and life-changing message of Christ’s ministry on earth: to minister to the spiritual, physical, emotional and social needs of all those we encounter. We pledge to use all our resources and lives to share in God’s Mission to the world.

In 2008, just a few short years ago, we spent the summer months focusing on a theme entitled It’s Time: The Missional Church. Some of the questions floating around the sanctuary and hallways included:

What is our role with the Coppage Family on the other side of our mission team traveling to Hungary?
How can we help to make a home for these new refugees from Burma?
How can we partner with the Hyaets Community in Charlotte?
Do we have a role in the Richmond Baptist Association?
Are we still connected with Virginia Baptists and the various national bodies we have related with over the years?
Will we find a voice in the ecumenical and interfaith communities in Richmond?
All of these questions, and so many more, centered on our willingness to move beyond ourselves and embrace our identity as a missional/cooperative church.

When I consider the significant milestones we’ve reached between the two bookends, It’s Time theme (summer 2008) and Building the Church Together theme (summer 2013), I can’t help but to be overwhelmed with gratitude. This summer we find ourselves sending well over 40+ individuals to the ends of our state, country, and world. Next week alone, we will have active members serving in:

  • Wingate, NC
  • Millboro Springs, Va.
  • New York, NY
  • Lynchburg, Va.
  • Malaysia
  • Zimbabwe
  • Poland

On Sunday we will welcome the Coppage Family back to Tabernacle and a well deserved furlough before they return to Hungary. We will have just completed a week of Vacation Bible School where the love of Christ was shared with 75+ children. The bulletin on Sunday will feature two upcoming mission trips to Metro Baptist (NY, NY) and Charlotte (NC). Our children will bring forward a special offering to help support ReEstablish Richmond,  a new non-profit created by Patrick Braford and several of our church family members. The story goes on and on……

It strikes me as significant that each one of these individuals and endeavors is deliberately connected to the larger Church family. The promise we made in 2008 to embrace our missional identity points to the call the Spirit gave us at Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21) and the faithful reality we are living into points to a church coming into it’s own. God bless each and every one of you as we live out our faith together and do so with open arms.

Hope to see you on Sunday.

Yours in Christ,

Sterling W Severns

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