Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Video: Elevate Your Faith Campaign: Final Three Months!

By Jay Kelly

Click Here to See Video

This Thursday, June 3rd, 2010 marks the three year anniversary of our Elevate Your Faith Campaign here on the Westside of the Seattle Church of Christ. We purchased our Queen Anne church home on August 28th, 2007. Please keep us in your prayers as we take the final lap of our three-year financial campaign. Our pledge commitment deadline is only three months away. This video starts out with a few of the many locations we've rented for Sunday services. There are glimpses of our special night at the Mountaineers Club when we pledged together to give $1,430,000.00 toward a future church home.

Click Here to See Video

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Planting Seeds of Hope in the Northwest

The Bellingham Church of Christ

Prior to my conversion 17 years ago, I had plenty of dreams and goals. The problem was, none of them included ways of bringing spiritual hope to people. After becoming a Christian, that changed. I began to pray about ways to build up our local church, and as we all naturally do, I began to pray that we would find a way to plant a church in my hometown. God has powerfully answered those prayers.

This last Sunday I had the privilege of preaching at the Bellingham Church of Christ! The church was planted in the summer of 2008 by a courageous young couple from Seattle, Landon and Gina Rawson. After their conversion and training in the campus ministry, they felt called to lead a small group of Christians up north to Bellingham to begin a church. The hard work of every member in Bellingham is obvious and inspiring.

The church service was incredible. The meeting room was packed - they will soon be looking for a new facility, I'm sure. There were many visitors in attendance, including some of my relatives! Currently, there are families in the church from several surrounding communities, and God is helping them build a powerful presence at Western Washington University.

It is great to see what God has done with that small church planting. A few people, armed with seeds of hope, can make a giant difference. As we dream for God to continue to build a strong work in the Northwest, let's remember to pray for communities where we currently have no church. Let's build strong partnerships between our congregations to maximize the potential to reach our cities. Let's support our smaller churches with money, prayers and visits.

Most of all, let's never forget that God is in the business of planting seeds of hope.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Calling-Driven Life

Several years ago, a book of similar title swept the nation and propelled a California pastor into the limelight. Among other things, the book confronted the amazing fact that in modern America, we are a land full of opportunity, but lacking fulfillment; a country of ambition lacking moral position; a people who work as hard as any on earth—job, family, soccer, school, community—but occasionally and secretly wonder, “what for?”

I think this is part of what drew each of us to God and His church—an offer of spiritual purpose. Like Jesus, we wanted to find not just our own salvation, but to join his commitment to “seek and save the lost” (Luke 19:10). At times, we ran a little wild with this concept, insisting that it was our sole purpose in this life before we meet our Maker. This apocalyptic view of life—forget about daily concerns, all that matters are eternal things—was convenient in our youth. We could eschew participating in this world because participating at that age (most of us from campus ministry) meant studying (ugh) or partying (worldly). Of course I’m oversimplifying. And many of us were not converted as students.

As we got older, participation reared its ugly head—if we wanted to keep our job, let alone get promoted, we had to invest in it. If we wanted to stay married after more than 7 years (the first tension/crisis point for most marriages), we had to actually spend time with our spouse and not just with “our ministry.” If we wanted our kids to mature, we needed to attend them in exploring their world—in school, athletics, clubs, you name it, all the while praying for them to love the Lord. (Most really do).

As I near the quarter pole of turning 50 (April, sigh), I realize that how we live this short life God gave us includes the paradox of both fully participating in this world and preparing for eternal things. God wants both eternal life to come and abundant life right now for each of us. If I’m right about this, then our sense of The Great Commission shifts from “forget everything else and go make disciples,” to more “as you go in this world, make disciples of all nations.” Yes, full time ministry people will feel this differently; our “as you go,” actually is evangelism (!), as well as shepherding.

Where does that leave you (you non-full time minister!)? My answer at 50 is this: pray for, search for, and embrace your calling. Each of us has gifts from God to use in this world, first for the kingdom (Matthew 6:33), second for the planet. Stay focused on this word calling. God has precious work for you to do in this life—you are a steward of your gifts, your vocation, your money, your friends, and your family. Act like it. Ask the Lord to make clear His calling in your life and then go live it. Without a doubt, it will directly touch upon all things eternal.

—Scott Green, Elder, Senior Minister

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Worldwide Ligaments in the Body of Christ

Reagan-era House Speaker Tip O’Neil used to observe, “all politics is local”—meaning that people inevitably care more about what’s near and personally relevant than about what’s going on in the rest of the nation or the world at large. This is normal and its true in God’s church too. “Good news” from around the world is a welcome thing, but not something, as disciples of Christ, we think about all that much as we live our daily lives in Seattle, Washington.

Having said that, it’s important for us here in the hub of the universe (oh, you have a hub too? Cool!) to spend some of our time relishing the fact that we really do have a worldwide family of churches—over 500, with over 80,000 Christians. What’s happening in those places can inspire us and support us. This winter has been a wonderful and poignant reminder for me.

The day after our congregation commended the Wallaces, the Brumleys, the Tachers, and the Greens as Elders & Wives, Lynne and I took off for Hong Kong and China. We had a terrific time reconnecting with Hong Kong leaders—Steve and Jane Chin, Turner and Elizabeth Sinn, Dan and Elexa Liu and many others, then flew to Mainland China where we conducted our first-ever marriage retreat for one of our most prominent underground churches. These disciples live a most inconvenient Christian life, but their convictions call us higher. Here’s a brief clip, a hodge-podge of Hong Kong and China!

In addition, last week, Ron and Linda travelled to Miami to join the ICOC Elders Committee—a group devoted to promoting elderships around the world and to responding to shepherding needs in our churches as they arise.

This weekend, most of our staff travels to Ashland Oregon where we will convene with other Northwest church leaderships at our semi-annual summit. Please pray for us to be closer than ever as a family and for us to find ways to collaborate to speed the missions and maturity of the Northwest. Yours truly has the honor of preaching to the wonderful Rogue Valley congregation on Sunday.

In March, the Greens and Whitakers journey to Germany. There we will continue the “coaching” work the Berlin congregation has asked us to do through 2012. This means the Greens being in Berlin for at least two weekends a year, and one longer stretch of 3 weeks (this coming summer). Berlin is a church currently without full time leadership, but they are eager to learn, grow, and experiment! Say a prayer or two for us, the Kohas (from Boston) and the Herbsts (Zurich) as we collaborate to serve this exciting congregation.

As the world turns…

Scott Green, Elder & Senior Minister

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Teen Disciples and Teen Leaders Retreat - "As One"

Last weekend, over thirty of us attended a Seattle Church Teen Disciples and Teen Leaders Retreat. We had a fun and inspiring time together. Enjoy the pictures from our time together!

Darin Ford

Friday, January 1, 2010

Everything New

In Revelation 21:5, we see a vision of Him who is seated on the throne, promising to make all things new. I'd like to suggest, on this New Year's Day of a new decade, that this is an old promise, one we have heard again and again, season by season. In fact, each year the Winter comes, where all lies dead or dormant, and then this celebration we call New Years. Shortly after, the Spring sweeps onto stage, shoving every Winter backdrop off to the side.
Spring looms then. New birth. New possibilities. New growth. And we are right to be preparing for that right now.
What then are your ideas about things "new" in your life? It seems obvious to me that God wants us thinking like this, so let's do that thinking. Here's some of mine:
  1. In 2010 I'd like Lynne to have first place (after God of course) in my life. I'm not sure anything has had first place in the past few years--I've allowed so many demands and needs to take the oxygen out of the room. In 2010, I'd like it to be obvious to her that she is #1!!!
  2. I want to walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8). "Walk" is the operative word here. What does it mean for us to walk together, day by day. I want to renew my search to find out.
  3. Surrender more, do less, and be content--since "each day has enough trouble of its own"
  4. Search for daily inspiration. Is that a run? Yoga? Cheesecake? Whatever. We all have so many "shoulds" in our lives, and often these are good and appropriate. But if we don't take care, the shoulds run everything and we forget to make real choices--what do we WANT to do for God and for each other? What choices inspire us?
May God guide us with clarity as we work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (and, I pray, with joy!) in the 2010's...



Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve Highlights

From the Green fam:

Dear beloved family and friends,

Only God knows where we would be without you. Thank you for the difference you have made in our lives, (for most of you, over many good years). Blessed Christmas on this blessed eve.

Some 2009 Green Family Highlights:

  • Finished her first semester of study at Gonzaga University. Hard to believe she has left us as Empty Nesters!
  • Wants to pursue studies and skills in computer graphics, art, and gaming
  • Is a Crafter par-excellence (ISTP). Just send her the parts and she'll build you a jet.
  • Still loves chocolate as much as her Dad (thank God)
  • Almost done with his junior year at Washington University-St. Louis. Majoring in Political Science and Chinese
  • Gave up college football this year, but the legacy of "31" lives on...
  • Continues to produce rap & hip hop tracks--his stuff is terrific
  • Makes a buck or two at college ref'ing intramural basketball games--money for being an authority!
  • Continues her strategic leadership of Womens' Ministries for the Seattle church.
  • As a three-year cancer survivor, continues to servea and advocate locally, particularly with her therapy dogs at Children's Hospital
  • Serves as a board member of the international charity HOPE worldwide
  • Loves working with border collies in sheepherding
  • Has started a distance Masters program in Communication and Leadership
  • Continues to serve as Senior Minister of the Seattle church of Christ, focusing on strategic building and staff development
  • Is nearly finished with his Masters Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (June!), with an emphasis in Narrative work
  • Won an academic award for his paper "For Healing's Sake: Letters to Christian and Narrative Therapy"
  • LOVES swing dancing with his wife; we will take our second class this winter
  • Harbors a secret desire to make wine someday
Travel: We were blessed with trips this year to Hong Kong, to Geneva for the EBS, and to Berlin. We are heading to Whistler on the 26th for a snowy family vacation. Scott and Lynne are now working with Valdur & Irene Koha, and Chrisitian and Sabine Herbst in a coaching relationship with the Berlin church of Christ--so more travel is heading our way in 2010. Hope to see you all along the way!

The photo's a bit old, but remembers New Birth...