Ash Wednesday

Today is Ash Wednesday (the beginning of Lent, the 40-day journey toward Easter).

By paying attention to the burdens we carry, we enter in to prayer and spiritual practice to deepen our trust in the ongoing work of Jesus in our lives and in the world.


Throughout the day, we invite you into four calls to prayer (7AM, 10AM, 1PM, and 4PM) inviting reflection, prayer, and practice as we step into Lent. (Hover your cursor over each image to see the text of the call to prayer.)



B U R D E N

All you who are struggling hard & carrying heavy loads, I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28)

Lent is a season where we “give something up” as a sign of emptiness in our lives - a sign that the shallow things we do to occupy our time or satisfy us do not and will not ultimately bring life.

REFLECT What heavy load can I give up - a burden, a habit, an emotion - so that I might find rest in Christ?

C A P A CI T Y  As God’s choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Colossians 3:12)  While burdened by struggle, sin, and pain, we hold great capacity and are invited to “clothe ourselves in Christ” and, with our hands, feet, and lives, put on display God’s love in the world.    PRAY  God, help me put ______ on display throughout and beyond this season of Lent.

C A P A CI T Y

As God’s choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience (Colossians 3:12)

While burdened by struggle, sin, and pain, we hold great capacity and are invited to “clothe ourselves in Christ” and, with our hands, feet, and lives, put on display God’s love in the world.

PRAY God, help me put ______ on display throughout and beyond this season of Lent.

A S H ES  For dust you are and to dust you will return (Genesis 3:19)   REMEMBER   You are dust, & to dust you will return.  You bear the image of God & are being transformed into the image of Christ.   RECEIVE/MARK  An Ash Wednesday tradition is to receive ashes in the shape of a cross on your forehead. With ash or marker, make a small cross on your forehead or wrist to remember your journey to restoration through the work of Jesus.

A S H ES

For dust you are and
to dust you will return (Genesis 3:19)

REMEMBER
You are dust, & to dust you will return.
You bear the image of God & are being transformed into the image of Christ.

RECEIVE/MARK An Ash Wednesday tradition is to receive ashes in the shape of a cross on your forehead. With ash or marker, make a small cross on your forehead or wrist to remember your journey to restoration through the work of Jesus.

P R A C T IC E  God releases the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ everywhere through us (2 Corinthians 2:14)  We are not saved by our spiritual practices, but through them & the work of God’s Spirit, we are formed ever deeper into the image of Jesus. Our Lenten practices are reminders that death is not the final word: there is hope for us & the world as we journey toward Resurrection.     COMMIT  What practice will you take on this season to move more fully & fragrantly into the story of Jesus?

P R A C T IC E

God releases the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ everywhere through us (2 Corinthians 2:14)

We are not saved by our spiritual practices, but through them & the work of God’s Spirit, we are formed ever deeper into the image of Jesus. Our Lenten practices are reminders that death is not the final word: there is hope for us & the world as we journey toward Resurrection.

COMMIT What practice will you take on this season to move more fully & fragrantly into the story of Jesus?

Ending 2018, Entering 2019 (An Open Door Retrospect)

2018 was a year of discovery for Open Door. We entered into learning and practice around calling and vocation, resurrection, sabbath, justice, and the gravity and grace of Christ. We continued asking questions about immigration, peacemaking, the story of our local neighborhoods, and how we can both lament and stand in the gaps of injustice.

2018 was a year of transition for Open Door. We navigated multiple staff transitions and continued to hone in on our unique identity and calling as a collective of Jesus followers in the East Bay.

2018 was a year of celebration for Open Door. With joy, we celebrated anniversaries, mile markers, and the arrival of new friends and new babies in our community! We ended the year with the lights, balloons, and experiential invitations of our second annual Goodbye Hello retrospect popup.

2018 was a year of experimental practice for Open Door. We began the first steps of a journey inviting everyone to invest in their local schools. We reshaped many of our collective rhythms around sabbath and rest. We convened dozens of Circles inviting participants into new practices as part of our formation in the way of Jesus.

2018 was a year of growing and deepening our trust in God’s faithfulness. As we enter our fifteenth year as a community walking in the way of Jesus for the good of the world, we continue to experience and invite others into the abundant life made possible by God’s extravagant love made real in the work of Jesus. 

With the help of your prayer, commitment, gifts and investment, we ended the year on track to meet our 2018-2019 budget, with a full core reserve and great progress on our strategic reserve (a portion of our funds reserved for new initiatives and opportunities as we discern God’s invitations).

We step into 2019 with gratitude and expectation for all that’s in store for you, for Open Door, for the East Bay, and the world God so loves. 

Thank you again for your generosity, partnership, and participation in Open Door’s unfolding story!

An Invitation to Retrospect (2018-2019)

retrospect circle.jpg

Each year we spend time as a community in Retrospect.

Retrospect is not about your most popular or proud moments, or your greatest successes - but the stuff of the year that was most formative. Often the most formative experiences we have are the most difficult. 

Retrospect is not looking back for the highs but also for the lows - as we journey forward we’ll find ourselves in both peeks and valleys. Both are part of the journey, so we reflect, dig in, imagine, and look ahead to what's on the horizon.

This year's invitation and guide into the practice of Retrospect is HERE. 

At next Sunday's Gathering, we'll spend time listening, sharing, and storytelling together out of our practice of Retrospect. Join us!

The Prayer of Examen

This past Sunday, we practiced the prayer of examen together.

The examen is an ancient prayer that sparks awareness and reflection on how God is at work in your life today. 

There are five steps or movement in the prayer of examen. 

Step 1: Become Aware of God's Presence
Step 2: Review the Week with Gratitude
Step 3: Survey Your Feelings from this Week
Step 4: Go Deeper with a Few of these Feelings
Step 5: Look Toward the Week Ahead

This week, take some time to enter into the examen as an invitation to dwell with God and live into the wisdom and insight of God's spirit.

examen 5 steps.jpg

Join a Team; Lend a Hand! (Open Door volunteer opportunities)

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If you have any interest in serving, leading, or hearing more about any of the opportunities to serve and lead below, email dave@opendooreastbay.com

Open Door Kids TRU Team (4 people needed)

Serve monthly as a teacher or assistant for our Tru environment (kids age 3-6 years old). (Background check process required)

Alternative option: if you can't commit to serve monthly, join our substitute/backup list to give regular volunteers a break as needed or during the summer Sabbath volunteer rhythm. 

Sound & Tech Team (2-4 people needed)

Serve monthly running sound or media for our Open Door Gathering. No prior technical skills/knowledge is needed and training will be provided!

Gathering Hospitality (2-4 people needed)

Serve once or twice a month to help our Gathering Space feel warm, welcoming, and hospitable each week! This team may occasionally be asked to help with bigger events (concerts, potlucks, etc.)

Open Door Kids THRIVE Team (2-5 people needed)

As our kids get older, we're creating new environments for our Thrive (7+) Kids to learn and practice life in the way of Jesus. This team will balance between Sunday learning environments and mid-week/weekend evening opportunities to connect with Thrive Kids + Families. 

Prayer Team (2-4 people needed)

The prayer team serves in our Gathering and/or "on call" praying for our community's needs and requests. You can join the rotation of people who pray on Sunday evenings during our Gathering or join a team of people who receive requests throughout the week and faithfully pray for them.

School Investment Champions (1-3 people needed)

As part of our 2018 Horizon, we want to help everyone at Open Door invest and contend for local schools. A School Investment Champion will help Open Door make connections, deepen relationships, and take on ramps to investment in local schools. 

Meal Coordinators (1-2 people needed)

Open Door loves bringing meals to people! Whether in celebration, sickness, crisis, or just because, meal coordinators help provide hospitality and presence to those connected to Open Door. 

Everyday Stories Team (1-2 people needed)

We are a community of Storytellers and deeply believe in the power of shared stories—painful, joyful, questioning, pondering, tied up neatly, and messily unfinished. The Everyday Story Team collects, curates, and champions our storytelling rhythms.