As you have noticed, this note to you all is later than normal. Things are moving fast here in Ventura! We are so excited for what Jesus is doing, and we are thankful for your prayers and support during this phase of our journey.
We have been journeying through Ephesians 2 as a launch team, and Ephesians 2:4-5 is on my mind as I write to you:
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved (Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV)
This is such a rich text! Paul's encouragement to the church in Ephesus is such a good reminder to us, as a growing team planting a church in Ventura, that we were too once dead in our trespasses, but because of God's mercy and love, he made alive with Christ!
As we look to bring the hope of Jesus to this broken city, our hope is that we would share our alive-ness with our community and that they too would be transformed! Pray for us in this journey.
Two launch team meetings down...
We've now had two launch team meetings - a time to bring together those wanting to help us get this new church off the ground, and are looking to our third this next week!
These have been great times of encouragement, worship, prayer, unity and dreaming. As we start to take those dreams, and make them a reality, we are desperate for Jesus to lead us and guide us, as he is the one who builds his church.
Parties are the front door to our church.
One of the things that was important to us, as a new church, is that we have a space where people can get to know us. A non-threatening, hospitable, fun place to get to know us a community. We have found that parties are the greatest front door to our church - birthday parties, house warming parties, parties for no reason at all! - all epic times for people to come together, and to ask the question: so why are you guys hanging out?
That's one of my favorite questions to answer. I love getting to tell people that the only way people from all different kinds of backgrounds, socio-economic make ups, ethnicities and ages can all come together is because of Jesus.
Parties are the front door to our church, and we want to ne known for throwing great ones.
WHAT'S COMING UP
Weekly Prayer For Ventura - Every Wednesday 6:30-7:30AM
We gather regularly to pray for Ventura, other churches, believers, and the lost. We also gather to pray for Anthem Ventura, its team, mission and formation.
Launch Team Meetings
This is a great space for our forming team to gather, pray, worship and strategize around this new church. This is also a great space for those interested in our journey and wanting to learn more.
Our upcoming launch team meetings:
+ June 25 @ 630PM - 1954 Goodyear Ave. Ventura, CA 93003 (more info + RSVP)
+ July 9 @ 630PM - More info to come!
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 have seen Jesus work in crazy ways over the last month - in part because of your prayers! Please continue to pray for us, our new forming team and the mission Jesus has us on. Also be praying for other churches and believers in the city.
2. Join Our Launch Team
We are currently building a launch team to help us launch Anthem Ventura, if you live in Ventura county and would like to learn a little more, firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have a goal to raise $25,000 by the end of this summer and we';re making great progress! If you would like to contribute toward the starting of this new church, click here to give online.
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.
Please contact email@example.com if you have any questions about donating to Anthem Ventura.
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. Even if you aren't able to join us, if you know people in Ventura, please pass along some information and make an introduction for us!
Thank you so much for praying for us, supporting us and sharing our story with others! This means more to us than you know!
Bert, Sherry & Calvin