Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Reflection on the First Anniversary of New City

Here is a prayer written by Nori Henk, one of our members at New City Church, reflecting on New City's First Anniversary:

Dear God,

Today we celebrated our first annual anniversary at New City Church. It wasn’t until later this evening that I found myself vacillating between acknowledging that this first anniversary was a big deal to this anniversary was a BIG DEAL. Perhaps it is because this year has gone by so fast. It seems like yesterday that we were just getting used to 740 and making the environment work for our needs, and now we’re in an entirely new place that we have comfortably made our home. We have seen our children and ourselves grow closer together. Our church has expanded; babies have been born and will soon be born. We have had a steady stream of new people coming every week, and by your grace and their openness many have chosen to stay. After service every Sunday, the time flies as I find myself catching up with as many people as possible before we all go off to do the work and live the life you have given us for another week. No wonder this event didn’t really sink in until much later, just how significant this moment is, because every Sunday at this church has been a moment of deep gratitude for me. This church has served as a backbone for my spiritual and interpersonal growth, and I assure you that support has not been taken for granted. Still, I think anniversaries are meant to be reflective, especially as I anticipate what the next year might hold. It is on my heart to pray for these three things:

1. God, creator of all things, may your hand be upon the downtown LA community. May we work alongside you to lovingly and thoughtfully provide for our neighbors, and with your wisdom and direction, may we understand and live out a Christ-like model of community.

2. God, omniscient and all-powerful, may you bless and make possible our vision to connect people to you, grow together, serve the city, and extend your kingdom. Challenge and empower us to consider the fullness and sheer wonder of what this vision could absolutely look like.

3. God, abba father, may your hand be upon New City. May our differences be a source inspiration and hope in a world that refuses to let go of bigotry, hatred, and violence, and may our singular focus on Christ and the sacrifice he made for us all be the courage and strength that we need to appreciate and understand every blessing you give us and every challenge you present us.

I pray these things alongside all the prayers that have been lifted on behalf of New City, and there are many, God that you would hear our prayers. In our celebration of our first anniversary, we recognize that through you we have done much here at New City, yet, we humbly and expectantly recognize that we have much to do.


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