Thanks so much for choosing to receive our news+updates via email. It's exciting and humbling that you’ve chosen to stay in the loop, pray for us and partner with us in some way. Sherry and I will be sending these newsletters out once per month as we gear up for our launch in the fall of 2015.
We want to share with you our vision, some highlights in our journey so far, and invite you to partner with us in a couple of different ways. But first, we want to share with you a few verses that have been stirring us lately:
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:13-15 ESV)
Oh man, the calling in this text is so clear! As we look towards the future of Anthem Ventura, our desire is to obey Jesus and step out in these callings.
Our vision is to be a family of missionary servants dispensing grace (Hebrews 12:15) in the city of Ventura. We want to join in the good work of other believers and churches in this city to demonstrate the power and grace of Jesus. As believers we are called to go, (John 20:21) and to preach the word, (Mark 16:15) and make disciples (Matthew 28:18-20) that make disciples.
When we look at scripture, we see the primary means of the mission of Jesus moving forward is through his church. In light of that big calling we are starting a church in Ventura to help people find their way back to God.
That’s what we’re about, it's who we are and who we’re becoming. That’s what we’re welcoming people into.
Over the coming months I hope to be able to share with you exciting updates, stories and highlights as evidence of God’s grace and his leading in this new church. In our very early stages we’ve already seen some incurable God moments. Here are just a few:
We had our first interest meeting. On January 28, 2015 we had our very first interest/vision meeting. This was an amazing time to unite our core team that’s been forming through our Community Group for some time now, and also put some clarity and vision together and lay out some next steps.
We started our second community group. When we started our first Ventura community group in the summer of 2014, its purpose was twofold: (1) To serve those who were commuting 30+ minutes to another community group, and (2) to see if this calling we were starting to feel had any traction. Proof that God is at work is in the starting of our second group and greater intentionality and excitement around starting our third.
We’ve seen our community groups as a place where people feel welcome, accepted and loved. There are so many stories we want to share, and may share in greater detail later, but for now we are so encouraged that we’ve met new friends, and have seen Jesus use our community groups as a place where people can encounter Jesus and his community.
WHAT’S COMING UP
There are few things to put on your radar, to pray for, or if you’re in the area, join with us!
Prayer Walk - We will be leading a prayer walk through parts of Ventura in March 18. We’re meeting at 146 S. Ash St. at 7PM.
Interest Meeting - We are having another interest meeting to share the heart, vision and next steps we are taking as a church. If you're interested in joining for this night, click here to RSVP and let us know you're coming!
Core Team Meetings - Starting in March, our core team will be meeting together for the first time in a formal fashion to pray, plan, and look toward our next steps. Anyone considering joining Anthem Ventura is welcome at these meetings, and we will post dates, times and locations for these on our website: anthemventura.org as soon as we have them. Shoot an email firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to know more.
HOW YOU CAN PARTNER WITH US
This may seems strange because some of you do not even live in Ventura County, but there are a variety of ways you can support both us and Anthem in this new gospel adventure.
1. Pray for us
We do not ask for this lightly. We so desperately need your prayers for our forming team, our mission, the city, other local churches, and for the lost in Ventura. If these emails serve no purpose other than as a reminder to pray for us, than we are stoked.
While Anthem’s generosity is evident in sending us on this journey, we’re not rolling in the dough or anything. There are real financial needs surrounding the start of a new church, and if you would like to partner with us in this way, click here to give online and select ‘Ventura’ from the dropdown. If you’d rather give via check, you can make the check payable to ‘Anthem Church’ and in the memo line be sure to put ‘Ventura.'
Mailing address: 390 Arcturus St. Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
3. Join us
If you live in the Ventura area, or would consider moving with us to help start this new church, please get in touch with me via email: email@example.com I would love to have those conversations with you!
4. Share our journey
As you see things pop up online, or stories you hear that are compelling, we ask that you help us spread the word. We’ve already gotten to meet some people via pure word of mouth, and it’s such a treat to see how God uses people to orchestrate those meetings.
Thank you again for tracking with us on this journey. We are so excited for what God has already done, and are looking forward to what he’s going to do through this new community of people in Ventura.
Bert, Sherry & Calvin