So Orillia, it’s going to be so awesome to open Connexus tomorrow for the first time. I sometimes get overwhelmed by imagining what could happen by opening relevant, irresistible environments in Orillia that will lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus. There are so many people who genuinely are interested in God — they just don’t think a church can help.
As many of you know, I first came to this area 12 years ago to begin ministry and for the first eight years, worked very closely with a guy some of you know — George Cunningham. George was a retired pastor who worked with me in my first congregations and was a driving force behind the vision for Trinity. But what you may not know is that the man had a heart for Orillia. He lived there, had served there in a church. And every week, George and his wife Ruth and number of others would gather to pray specifically for Orillia, that there would be a move of God in the city. Literally year after year, week after week, they met to pray for Orillia.
George and Ruth both passed away without ever seeing that vision fulfilled the way they had imagined it, but I think George would be thrilled to know that Connexus was going to be part of the answer to their prayer.
I love that over a decade of prayer has gone into the city of Orillia. I am so grateful that there will be many people tomorrow in Barrie and Orillia who have not been in church for a long time, or never been there. This may be church for the next generation, but it’s great to know that was very close to the heart of the last generation. This day has been prayed into for a long, long time. And as you phone someone up today to invite them, or pass a rave card (that card we handed out last weekend) to a friend, know that your invitation is backed by many, many, who are invested in your friend.
I just think tomorrow is going to be a great day in Orillia, in large measure because of the solid foundation Connexus Orillia has been built on in prayer. So many people are invested in the influence of both our campuses and our future campuses. It’s amazing that the day is finally arriving!