So while everyone else is doing the pre-game thing, I'm sitting at the gate at Pearson waiting to fly out to Atlanta. Sounds like bad news (I'd rather be watching the Superbowl), but it ain't all bad. So much to be thankful for!
Here's what's on my mind in these pre-Superbowl moments:
- Our staff did some off site planning for two days at one of our favourite camps in Muskoka. We went away to get focus for 2009, but we got more than we asked for. The staff started dreaming, asking great questions, imagining how to make things more than better. I walked out of our retreat more stoked about our future than any time since we started Connexus.
- I hope you can take some time to pray for our staff team regularly. Remember Rich Birch, Nadine Russell, Jeff Brodie, Jenn Bailey, Andy Walker, Julia Achilles, Sarah Flemming and Rose Meeder in your prayers!
- Muskoka opens soon! By now you've heard Connexus is expanding. In March, we start monthly Sunday night services in Muskoka. Next Sunday, February 8th, we're having a kick-off prayer and organizational meeting in Bracebridge. Pray…and if you can, attend and tell your Muskoka peeps about it.
- The music has been crazy good at Connexus lately. Thanks to the team that makes it happen week in and week out!
- Today was a great day. I was bagged – like I-really-can't-preach-I'm-so-tired-bagged this morning. But God has a way of showing up and more than compensating for our weakness. So grateful for the energy to do today. God is so good!
- I met a couple who completely reminded me about why we do what we do. Neither of them had gone to church since they were kids – nothing. A friend invited them about Connexus. They came in December for what would be their first experience of church and Jesus in their adult years. They loved it. Their kids love it. Both parents signed up for Personal Ministry last weekend in Barrie. So awesome!
- One little guy in Waumba Land lost it today when he heard that UpStreet was closing. We kind of meant it was closing for the day. He thought it was gone forever. He kind of imploded. Kudos to the Waumba Land team and Jenn Bailey and Sarah Flemming on our staff team who make Waumba Land the kind of irresistible environment it is. For the record, we have every intention of doing this thing every week. :0)
- I'm doing some mad writing for our Orange Families series this week. I am SO PUMPED for this series (it starts February 15th in Barrie, February 22nd in Orillia). We're going to talk about how parents can make a positive spiritual and moral impact in their children's lives. If you are a parent, had a parent, are thinking about becoming a parent, or know a parent, get IN on this series. We have some very helpful, practical stuff planned. And we have some crazy stuff planned. Really fun, crazy stuff!
- Oh yeah…if you know someone who attends Connexus for the first time during the Orange Families series, we'll send them to the movies for free. Drop by the welcome desk during the series to qualify. (No, regulars, you can't pretend it's your first Sunday. I tried it. It doesn't work.)
- There is a baby boom at Connexus. Everyone I talk to is pregnant, just had a baby or is going to have a baby. Maybe it's the water supply.
- The people who serve at Connexus make all the difference. On our welcome cards, we ask a very open ended question about what people's first impressions are about Connexus. One of the top three answers: the warm welcome and incredibly friendly people. Cool! They could have said anything, but they consistently comment about you. I love that! (Oh…the other two things people love on their first visit? The music and the free sushi. Okay, we have no free sushi. It's the message.)
My brain is almost empty, but it's full of gratitude for what God is doing! Thanks for being in on the journey!