Our family sends out a newsletter every month or two, to update people with our ministry here in LA. We just sent out our latest one, but I thought I would post it here also, in case you are not on our email list. (If you would like to be added to the email list, simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be glad to add you.)
A personal note from Greg….
Our country is still in shock after the horrific tragedy out of Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia — regarding the worst shooting rampage in U.S. history. Our hearts grieve with the families who are reeling from the senseless loss of their loved ones in this terrible tragedy.
hitting close to home…
This horrific tragedy, has hit extremely close to home for our small community of faith here at Kairos, Los Angeles. The reason being is that a number of people who have moved out to LA to be a part of this church plant – actually went to school at Virginia Tech, and still have good friends on that campus.
Those who moved out here from Virginia Tech, were involved with a church in Blacksburg, VA called New Life Christian Fellowship (NLCF). This church is a sister church of ours through Great Commission Ministries (GCM). As a missions organization, GCM has planted many churches around the US, and around the globe. NLCF is one of our largest ministries in the GCM network with 1,000+ students involved in that church.
Also, the pastor and good friend that I am leading the Kairos Hollywood church with, actually helped to plant this campus church at Virginia Tech, many years ago. This GCM sister church (NLCF) will have an unbelievable burden during the coming weeks, caring for the students that attend the church, and reaching out to the campus community as a whole. Pray for God to comfort and encourage NLCF, and to use them to reach the campus with the message of God’s grace, love and new Kingdom through Christ — in the midst of the pain and wreckage of this world.
Pray also for our fellowship here at Kairos. We had a prayer meeting just last night, to pray for all of those touched by this tragedy. It also was a time where those who came from Virginia Tech & moved out here could process their thoughts and emotions around others in our church. It was an emotional, healing time.
something to think about
One of the things that came to mind as I heard about all of this, was the juxtaposition of this tragedy to our Easter celebration we had just a couple of weeks ago. And here at Kairos, it really was a celebration! A celebration of Christ’s victory at the cross.
A pastor (Andy McQuitty) whom I have great respect for – just sent this out via email, and I would like to share it with you.
“…and all of this right on the heels of Easter. It’s one thing to celebrate Christ’s resurrection with triumphant music and hopeful sermons in upbeat Easter services. It’s quite another to embrace Christ’s resurrection with faithful hearts and deep conviction when tears and tragedies are falling like rain around us. We must not succumb to the temptation to resent these tragedies even more because they destroy the joy of the season. Rather, we must be grateful that joy of the season and the truth it represents is exactly what we need to see us through life’s darkest passages.
Easter is not nullified by tragic death. That’s the point. Ultimately, tragic death is nullified by Easter. This does not mean we do not grieve. It does mean we do not grieve as those who are without hope.
I leave you with a piece written yesterday by my friend Meredith Wheeler, a pastor and a poet (http://www.earthlytents.com/drupal/):
“Deep sadness for all those impacted by the shooting rampage on Virginia Tech campus today.
senseless violence . . .
erupting rage . . .
futile cries for mercy
the darkness of sin . . .
laughter from the pit of hell . . .
tears of grief and loss . . .
where do we turn when life just “don’t make sense?”
no easy answers in this life . . .
no trite explanations . . .
questions for the Holy One . ..
regarding justice and mercy . . .
pounding fists on heaven’s door . . .
faith is hard to bear . . .
and yet my finitude i see
and so in the end on bended knee
i bow to God above . . .
and abandon my demands to know and understand . . .
and will to rest in sovereign grace . . .
borne by the One beyond my comprehension . . .
who is grieved by the brokenness in the
world he made
who in himself took on pain, sadness and evil like this . .
and one day make all accounts right . . .
and in that day all things will be the way He designed them to be . . .
depravity, violence, and grief put in their place . .
and we embrace the eternal sunshine of his face.”
So Grateful Still for the Empty Tomb…