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November 1

Wednesday, November 1st, 2023

I’ve toyed with something for the last few days because I didn’t know if this was the right venue to “put it out there.”Then I decided, “Why not?” So, here you go…

This past Sunday the church I pastor (OVCF) celebrated our 19th anniversary. You can hear the sermon here. If you prefer you can watch it here. Along the way I gave a mini-history of OVCF. I also showed our Mission and Vision and discussed how it motivates us. But here is where I want to take you and get your thoughts. First, the backstory: I gave a brief rundown of the Mission and Vision, but then shared a story. On Wednesday night- the 25th- I woke up from a sound close to 3 hour sleep and could not get back to sleep. The sermon for this past Sunday kept running through my head. Rather than toss and turn and wake Jo up, I went to my recliner in my ManCave. Since I could not get the upcoming sermon out of my mind, I turned the light on, grabbed my journal, prayed, and began writing. What came out was a softer, less technical version of the Mission and Vision. It was not intentional. I believe firmly in our Mission and Vision, but I have not felt totally comfortable with its seeming rigidness or strident approach. I’ve never been able to explain my thoughts clearly until that night. I invite you to to go our website and click on About. The menu will come down and you will see Our Mission and Our Vision in the menu. But that sleepless night, I was finally able to put pen to thoughts and sensed God’s “You got it” when I was done.  (Fun fact: I finished at 12:50. At 12:51 I felt like I had been hit by a ton of bricks. By 12:53 I was back in bed and slept like a rock until the alarm went off at 3:30). Anyway, here is what I came up with-a softer, less technical version:



The Gospel is Preached

Jesus is Lord

Grace is Offered

Lives are Changed

Obedience is Encouraged

I have received some very positive feedback on the “new” version. They love the WELCOME HOME. My desire is that OVCF be home. A home to all. A soft and safe place to land. No compromise (I will show that tomorrow), but a place for people to feel welcome. Not necessarily where everyone is spoken to (although that would be ideal), but a place where the warmth of God’s grace and God’s people is palpable. For those hurting from a bad church experience, may they find rest and healing.

It’s your turn now. What do you think? Positive and negative is welcome.

Side note: I’m considering trying to find a word that begins with “A” to put in place of Offered. The acrostic would then be P-L-A-C-E.  I have a word in mind “Afforded.” What do you think? Any other ideas?