January 16, 2016
On Sunday, November 29, 2015, Kevin Engel shared his giving testimony with Church of the Resurrection. Now a member of Resurrection's Vestry, Kevin shared his journey and hopes for this new initiative.
When we were first visiting Resurrection in 2011, Jan and I could tell that we were coming into a church that had been on a long journey; the announcements and conversations sometimes referred to the ups and downs and faith-stretching times of the past. So we weren't surprised that within a few months, the leadership started talking about a new vision for the future. It was part of a new Generosity Initiative called REACH.
In the past, I may have been less excited to come to a new church and immediately hear teaching about giving and generosity. It could be a reason to take a pass. But at Rez, there seemed to be something different happening. God was clearly at work! People had grown much through the journey of the past, and we didn't want to be left out. No, this wasn't a time for us to sit on the sidelines. Even though we were newer to the church, we wanted to know that when the generosity results were announced, that we were a part of this journey along with everyone else. So as newcomers, we made a two-year giving commitment and are so glad we did.
That two years of stretched giving turned out to be a faith-building time for us as we watched God provide in ways we never would have dreamed possible. We were honored to be a part of that church-wide spiritual journey.
So with Moved by Jesus, we took a step once again to give in stretching ways—giving not only from monthly income, but also from stored assets. It will be fun to watch God work again to both lead and provide for us!
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.