We are getting very close to our launch, on October 11, and we could not be more excited! Sherry and I were just reflecting this last week about the journey God has had us on over the last 9 months and it's been amazing to see God grow this little group that started with 3 couples meeting to pray and study the scriptures, to a community of people gearing up to launch our Sunday Gatherings!
In these early days of Anthem Ventura, I'm thinking about the early days of the church in Acts, and how God grew his church. I love that when Luke, the author of Acts, talks about the church growing, it's always God who grows his church:
- praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved. (Acts 2:47 ESV)
- And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, (Acts 5:14 ESV)
- And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:7 ESV)
- So the church throughout all Judea and Galilee and Samaria had peace and was being built up. And walking in the fear of the Lord and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit, it multiplied. (Acts 9:31 ESV)
- And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. (Acts 11:21 ESV)
- for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. (Acts 11:24 ESV)
- So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily. (Acts 16:5 ESV)
It's Jesus who grows his church, and we have been witnesses to that here in Ventura! We love the story God is writing, and I hope this update finds you well and encourages you!
Sunday Meeting Space Update
It's official! We have a meeting space! We've been in talks with The Knights of Columbus here in Ventura, and they have been gracious to us in offering their meeting hall up to us to rent! This was a huge answer to prayer in a few ways:
- God has given us a space in downtown! We have prayed that God would plant our Sundays in downtown as many churches, over the years, have had to close down or move out. We are so excited to be reaching out and contributing to the downtown community!
- The rental rate comes in about 60% below what we budgeted for a rental!
- There is ample parking next door.
- We will have a great relationships with our landlords, and the potential for future partnership in community events.
We are so excited to start meeting here for our Sunday gatherings! Our next steps as a team is to start buying equipment and space planning for our gatherings. If you'd like to donate towards this effort, click here to give online, or you can keep up with us on our Facebook Page where we will be posting various material needs well have over the next month.
Serve Teams Taking Shape
At our last two launch meetings, we have been forming our serve teams and starting to identify who's going where and even seeing leaders emerge from these groups! It's been excited to see God stir up desires to serve in different areas from this team!
WHAT'S COMING UP
One of the things that's been massively important to us, is to establish a rooted culture in prayer. In situations like this, it's so easy to let strategy and planning meetings be the only things that bring our team together, so we have consciously carved out some formal and informal times to pray together. Here are two opportunities I want to invite you to:
- September 6 @ 10AM - 36 Figueroa St. Ventura, CA 93001 (more info + RSVP)
- September 17 @ 7PM - 36 Figueroa St. Ventura, CA 93001 (more info + RSVP)
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. As we continue to gather, we are putting together our serve teams and planning and prepping for our launch in October!
Our upcoming launch team meetings:
- September 10 @ 630PM - 1954 Goodyear Ave. Ventura, CA 93003 (more info + RSVP)
- September 24 @ 630PM - 1954 Goodyear Ave. Ventura, CA 93003 (more info + RSVP)
- October 1 @ 630PM (more info + RSVP)
As we are leading up to our public launch on October 11, we will be meeting for different prayer meetings, prep times and preview services. If you'd like to keep up with our pre-launch gatherings, head over to our Facebook Page:facebook.com/AnthemVentura.
We don't believe the church starts on this day, in fact, we've been meting in homes around Ventura for many months now as a church, but launch Sunday is a special day. It's a day where we get to invite the community of Ventura into the story that Jesus is writing with us. It's a chance for us to put on display the love and grace and hope of Jesus. This is a day we've been praying and planning for for many months and we are excited it's almost here!
I want to invite you to join us on this day to celebrate with us! If you know people in Ventura, help us spread the word and invite them to our Sunday Gatherings! Here are the details:
Sunday October 11 @ 10AM
36 Figueroa St. Ventura, CA 93001
(more info + RSVP)
If you'd like to find out how to help out with our Sunday gatherings, please email email@example.com.
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. Support Us
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about donating to Anthem Ventura.
3. 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!
4. Join us as we prepare to launch!
As we start having public gathering, we would love to see some friendly faces there! Head to our website to grab the latest events: anthemventura.org
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