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April 30, 2020

Still Quarantined, Still Interconnected and Still Flourishing!

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The day the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic and California went into social distancing, I was heading back from ECO ‘s office in Goleta where I had taped a video. The theme was one of our core values “Our Mutual Spurring”, focusing on our interconnectedness. This is the belief that we challenge each other continuously into a deeper walk with Jesus as flourishing disciples who are making flourishing disciples. This core value has at its heart Hebrews 10:23 “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds!” The following verse commands us “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”

With social distancing and whole new ways of “meeting together” we have been reminded that we are not merely called to go to church but to be the church. In new ways we have come to appreciate how important the body is and how we are better together then we are apart. I have been encouraged with the faithfulness of our churches and their willingness to “think outside of the box” in this unique time in church history. 

Right before this pandemic hit, I felt like my goals and objectives with ECO were really coming together and I had my calendar solidly set through the Fall! What do they say, if you want to make God laugh tell Him your plans! Well, like you, my plans have been upended, but God’s have not. I am seeking The LORD as I reorganize the best ways to help our movement flourish and thrive as obedient followers and ambassadors for Christ. I have never been more convinced that God has called us to a covenant community, a mutual spurring that will help us witness “love and good deeds” to a hurting, scared world. So in the days ahead let us be creative about our Pastor Covenant Groups, our Mission Affinity Groups, our Flourishing Next Steps and all the ways God has uniquely positioned ECO to build flourishing churches that make disciples of Jesus Christ!

I love this quote from Lord of The Rings:

Frodo: I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.

Gandalf: So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world Frodo, besides the will of evil. Bilbo was meant to find the Ring. In which case, you were also meant to have it. And that is an encouraging thought.

A pastor friend reminded me that God was not surprised by this pandemic. Our God is on the throne and His ways and His purposes will not be thwarted. While this truth does not mean any of us will have an easy time of it, I continue to be amazed that God prepared our movement as He led us to focus on our Interconnectedness at the National Gathering and throughout this year. 

Sola gratia,

Andrea Messinger

National Flourishing Liaison

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