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“I learned more about Christianity from my mother than from all the theologians of England.” John Wesley
Yesterday morning Jesse Davis, pastor of Monroe Community Chapel (MCC); Nate Hettinga, pastor of Cascade Community Church; and myself were on the same platform at MCC for the Sunday services. It was a ground breaking service for our city and will undoubtedly set off a chain reaction of explosive growth for ALL local churches in Monroe.
Psalm 133 tells us there is a “Commanded Blessing” when there is unity. Pastor Jesse Davis has developed a great vision for Monroe to be the city of God and it parallels and resonates with both Nate and I.
Nate and I were interviewed on different questions including how long we’ve served in Monroe, our heart for the city, our burden, vision, what we love and would like to change about Monroe. All of us shared our thoughts and hearts for Monroe and ultimately Snohomish County as our churches influence many city’s in our region. At the end Pastor Jesse washed our feet, which could be embarrassing for a guy like me who has a toenail better known as “claw.” God was in the room and when it was over I felt a part of something special.
Why is it special? Because historically and for 100 years churches in our area have been divided, always comparing how big… Throughout my lifetime in Monroe I would hear scuttle butt, usually embellishments about our church or another church in town that broke my heart; sadly the same things pollute many good cities. The reality is that division plagued Monroe for decades, but today God began something miraculous.
Each of our churches has strong roots; today we united under the common cause of Jesus Christ and the reality that God wants us together. Sure, we have differing theologies on some stuff, different styles of expression, but we have publicly communicated our intentions to esteem one another and unite in order to win our city for God. I feel like a privileged Christ follower to know that I have friends, who are pastors, in my city. It may be surprising, but it is the first time in my life. I guess the years of embellishments, lies and criticisms of our church isolated me, but no more! It is great to know we can cross pollinate and celebrate God in each other.
I believe with all my heart that Monroe is destined for something special in the coming months and years as a result of this historic event. Today a fundamentalist, baptist and charismatic–to use some 80’s terms–all took the same stage to say, “We respect and appreciate the heritage of our churches, honor that we are each unique, but will no longer be defined by our differences. Instead, we will be defined as churches with a common vision, big dreams while flourishing in Monroe–the city of God.”
Thanks Jesse and Nate for being my friends! And to the three of our congregations, go ahead and celebrate this monumental occasion by picking up a towel to serve.
City of God? You better believe it, cause one day the world will read about it!