2016 was a good year for Open Door. It was a pivotal year, in the literal sense, as in we’re a community who is constantly growing and shifting and changing as we listen to God’s invitation on our shared life together. So we’re pivoting from who we were in seasons past toward who we are becoming in the seasons to come.
So just as each of us looks back and then looks forward on our lives or on the lives of our families, we look back and we look forward to our life together as Open Door.
In our Gatherings on Sunday, we continued to journey through Mark, asking questions about parables and this becoming world that is unfolding around us. We stepped into the Lent Project and creatively and courageously entered into new practices with our words, clothing, possessions, and consumption of technology, media, and food.
In Spring we explored resurrection together, knowing that IF Jesus is risen and living and breathing and out ahead of us, THEN everything changes.
In Summer, because Jesus invited us to "pray like this", and not like that, we asked questions and entered into new practices of Prayer.
In fall we picked up again with Mark, looking at a Jesus who invites us out of our zones of comfort and safety and security and turns over tables of injustice and proclaims the illegitimacy of all systems and structures that are broken and hurting people.
And through Advent we quieted down. We listened. We created. We paid attention. We prayed. In the midst of a busy and noisy season, we made decisions to slow down and quiet down to be attentive to what God was saying and doing as we approached Christmas.
We prepared and entered into Circles around the Refugee Crisis, practicing the scriptures, the sermon on the mount, everyday influence, unpacking privilege, pace and rhythm of life, practicing dad, ballots & brews, celebrating our bodies as fearfully and wonderfully made, and thriving families.
We sent out members of the Open Door family - to the north, south, and east! - into their next season of life and adventure with God.
We celebrated Open Door’s 12th birthday with a hoopla, and welcomed the Woolners to join the leadership of our community.
As we move into the future, we will continue to live into our mission and identity, trusting that God has invited us to continue incarnating the vision of a family of sojourners learning to walk in the Way of Jesus for the good of the world.
We will continue to create space for the clash of culture and conversations that too often are neglected in our world.
We will continue to be disturbed and provoked by the radical goodness of God.
We will dive into questions of risk, possibility, friendship, and more.
We will experiment with the contemplative life and the activist life.
We will continue attempting to articulate the movements of God in the world in a way that makes sense to the world around us (even if it doesn’t make sense).
Let's step into 2017 together!
Because you are precious in my eyes, you are honored, and I love you.
I give people in your place, and nations in exchange for your life.
I am with you.
From the east I’ll bring your children; from the west I’ll gather you.
I’ll say to the north, “Give them back!” and to the south, “Don’t detain them.”
Bring my sons from far away
my daughters from the end of the earth,
everyone who is called by my name
and whom I created for my glory,
whom I have formed and made.
(from Isaiah 43)