Feb 3, 2019

Dear Wellspring Family and Friends,

It’s been a little over a week since Pastor Dale, Pastor Rebecca and I attended the Evangelical Covenant Church (“ECC”) annual “Midwinter Conference” in Denver, Colorado. The five days were rich with teachings and worship, connecting, listening and finding refreshment in Christ. As a first time attendee, it humbled me, and brought out my old struggles with self worth.

There’s nothing like taking your first seminary graduate level class and being amongst 2000 ECC pastors, chaplains and others deeply involved in ministry to trigger insecurities. It was very similar to stepping into my first class in law school thirty years ago. Through the week, painful memories of being rated, ranked and ridiculed have come and gone because of my unhealthy tendency to want to measure up. Like the time a science teacher told me I should switch out of “pre-med” because I’d never make it through the rigors of advanced science courses. Or when I was in sixth grade and mispronounced the word, “militia”, and my classmate corrected me and calling me “stupid” in front of the entire class.

Interestingly, these memories stem from my younger years; a most vulnerable time in our lives. Thankfully, I am able to dismiss the lies of not being good enough, knowing my true identity and worth is in Christ, who loves and adores and claims you and me, unconditionally. The same God who says, “you belong”. Despite the warm welcomes, yearnings to belong were frequent at Midwinter as I fought my inadequacies.

I’ve so much to learn as I step out in faith to follow God’s calling for my life. Studying new academia, making new friends, and meeting new people from a bigger family circle leaves me feeling vulnerable and fearful at times. A spotlight of inadequacy shines brightly on me. Yet, I accept that I have to experience and sit in the uncomfortable to grow and be transformed to maturity. I am so thankful for YOU, my more intimate family circle at Wellspring, to remind me, lest I lose sight, that I am not solo on this journey. God is my comfort, encourager, sustainer, refuge, and strength. You too, are on this journey with me, helping me to push through vulnerabilities because of your love and support.

Since Midwinter, my head is overflowing with new information and my heart is even more full with love and appreciation at the depth of our Father’s love for us. Ask me what I learned in class, and I’ll tell you that I’m still putting all the pieces together to understand the 23 hours of Theology

class Pastor Rebecca and I sat through. What is clearer after experiencing Midwinter is the mission that God has called each one of us to as his co-workers in Christ: [37] Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. [38] This is the first and greatest commandment. [39] And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22: 37-40 (NIV). What better commandment and commission to live into all together as a church family.

Pastor Cheryl

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