Mark Your Calendars: April 22-23, 2016

I love Columbia. I’ve lived in a few cities over my lifetime, but I’ve never felt a deeper sense of place, of “this is home,” than right here in mid-Missouri. Even as a little girl growing up in St. Joseph – the city that ranks second-highest in my life in terms of years spent living – I didn’t feel a part of the community the way I do here.

Save the DateColumbia is my town. The people at my bank know me, and call me by name. The people at my pharmacy see my dog in the van as I go through their drive-thru and, more often than not, offer him a doggie treat for his patience.

Columbia is my town.

This is also where I’ve lived most of my years as a believer. I moved to Columbia in 2004 after meeting and marrying the coolest Christian guy I’d ever met (not that I knew that many). I was a new believer, and had a lot to learn about what it means to live a life of faith. I still have so much to learn, but what I have learned about applying faith to the daily struggle of life has occurred right here in Columbia – my town.

Living a life of faith entails many things, but one of the bigger calls on a Christian’s life is to love one another. Jesus, when asked which of the commandments was the greatest, said that we are to love God with everything we have (all our heart, soul, mind and strength). And then he said the second command is just like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:36-40)

I look around my city, and I see a lot of need. We live among people who need our love. Need us to consider their needs above our own. Even if just for a day.

Last spring, a group of 11 churches gathered together to provide their members an opportunity to do just that – to love their neighbors. To give of themselves, even if just for a day, in a way that focused on someone else in their own town. Last year, over 700 people participated.

This church cooperative, called “ForColumbia,” has again been scheduled in 2016. This year, more churches – God willing – and more volunteers will seek to live out God’s call on their lives to love one another. The Crossing participated last year, and is planning to join once again this year.

Personally, I’m excited to play a part in loving my city in this way, alongside hundreds of other believers. I’m confident you’ll love it, too, if you would join in. Let’s practically demonstrate the love we have for our Savior by loving our city, and the individuals within it.

Please save the dates: April 22-23. Hope to see you there!

First John 3:16-18
By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.

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