A Year in Review
Almost exactly one year ago I was in the office much like I am this week- alone and in a reflective mood. However, the circumstances between this year and last year are quite different. Last year, our team lost Raoul (has anyone seen that guy?) and Chris was recovering from a major surgery. Our team was…well, pretty much just me. I had no idea a year later I’d be grateful for the growth and direction that God would take us. So now, to highlight some of the goings on around these parts…I present our final post for 2015: “A YEAR IN REVIEW”.
Growth: Our team has almost doubled since last year. To invest in our work and begin to accommodate for our network’s needs- we hired Jen Browning, Dawn Stenberg and Jason Davison. Each of whom bring unique gifts to our team and have helped our work in ways we never imagined. Jen’s commitment to help the church engage in foster care and school partnerships; Dawn’s knowledge ofhomelessness issues and networking in North Seattle and Jason’s desire to see the gospel spread into the prison systems and his pastoral and networking skills in the Central District are answers to prayer. We look forward to how God will use our team to encourage, inspire and equip the Church in Greater Seattle.
Loss: We also had a couple of losses this year that were bittersweet. Our Serve Seattle Intern Austin Bowles left to adventure to Australia. Austin brought consistency to our blog last year and we were definitely bummed to see him go, but excited for what lies ahead for him. We know that he desires to carry on similar work of the LUTC network in his home state of Oklahoma (whom we still have not forgiven regarding the Sonics).
We also recently said goodbye to HopeLine. It was decided that HopeLine would be better suited under Programs at Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission. We will definitely miss having Kim on our team- her hearty laugh, love for Jesus and genuine desire to help anyone in need will leave a hole in our office. HopeLine will carry on after some transitioning and we wish Kim the best and thank her for her friendship and good work.
Events: Another area of growth for this year were events we hosted in 2015. Our team hosted a plethora…or maybe even a smattering of quality events that we hope will encourage and be valuable to YOUR work and ministry. We started off the year in January with our quarterly Light Up the City gathering and hosted an amazing Q Commons in February. Our “What Happened on Easter?” event was successful, providing senior pastors lunch and some inspiration from Luis Palau andRick McKinley. The following quarterly LUTC event was also powerful with guest speaker Romanita Hairston encouraging us to take assessment of our cities in the spirit of Nehemiah.
We also were encouraged to see five separate school partnership work day events take place this summer in West Seattle, Rainier Valley, Federal Way,Northshore and the Eastside. Finally, we held a two-day conference called the Puget Sound City Advance and had over twenty cities attend and discuss how to engage our cities.
We are thankful for God’s provision and direction and we look forward to what he has in store for 2016. We are also thankful for you and would love to include stories of how you are partnering, ministering and loving your neighbors. From all of us here at Light Up the City, we wish you and yours a very Happy New Year.
-Nathan A. Ryan