December 08, 2015
Two and a half years ago, I walked into the doors of Resurrection for the first time for Good Friday. Little did I know that the college friend I was meeting to sit with during service would end up being the woman I'd be marrying at the end of this year.
Besides the college we met at, Resurrection has been the most important context for our relationship. We've served here, met friends here; cried and danced many times here. But as our relationship entered a new season of preparing for marriage, we began thinking and dreaming of what would be next for our lives together. What did we, as a couple, have to offer our friends and family, the Church, and our world?
The answer came when we first learned about the new vision for Resurrection to equip everyone for transformation. I remember Grace turning to me midway through a service, excitement in her eyes as she whispered what this vision could mean for us. I agreed; there were loved family members, friends, and causes that we longed to see be transformed. This calling, to enter more deeply into the life of Jesus while simultaneously being made ready for the work of God in our lives, rang true in both of our hearts.
We are entering into a new season of life, together: a new marriage, new jobs, new roles, a new home. It's fitting that our life in Christ is entering a new season as well at Church of the Resurrection. So when the time came to commit to this new initiative, the questions wasn't "if" but "how"? I graduated from college just over a year ago, and Grace was still finishing classes and student teaching. We weren't sure what it looked like to give with such big transitions right on the horizon.
Of course, the Lord made it clear. Through discussions together and prayer with family and friends, God showed us how to live generously with our resources in this season of our lives. We are being stretched, yes, but have already seen a softening of our hearts to others and the work of God in our lives.
I still remember the feeling of walking hand in hand with Grace up to the altar on Commitment Sunday. While it felt great to have committed to something new, together, it felt even better to have committed together with hundreds of families, couples, singles, and friends to this work of transformation. We are so thankful to have been moved by Jesus into this new season together.
February 24, 2015
For 21 families in 2014, entering into a year of Sabbath included reconfiguring their financial lives through Financial Peace University (FPU). Matthew and Dawn Fairfield led two groups of families from all stages of life through the 9-week program.
Participants in the class have included students as young as 13 years old as well as grandparents. “When we recognize everything is the Lord's and that money isn't a burden but a gift for the kingdom, we make better decisions," says Dawn. In 2014, these families paid off a combined $53,000 in debt and committed $44,000 to savings.
“For me, money was security. I was always worried we would never have enough," says Amy Culhane. She and her husband, Brendon, participated in FPU in 2012 and this year led discussion groups for new participants. “Working through FPU, my husband and I were able to communicate in ways we never had before about money. We talked about our financial goals and actually sat down and did a budget. Through it all we trust God to provide and are listening to how He directs us."
Click here to find out more about the Financial Peace University course.