2 Cor 4:13-18
Jesus’ Family on Mission
Fr. Nathan Baxter
THIS WEEK CELEBRATION SUNDAY
“I will praise you, Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.” Psalm 108:3-5
My heart is full as I approach the end of four years serving at Imago Dei Anglican Church in Bangor, Maine. The last month has given me a chance to step back and see all the ways I have experienced the love, faithfulness and power of God in this place!
A deep place of joy for me is seeing the mountains the Lord has moved to establish the children’s discipleship at Imago. This year ImagoKids has grown to forty kids under twelve on Sunday mornings. Together with the kids team I have built materials for two worship spaces, one for kids 3 to 6, and the other for kids 6 to 12. As someone who likes to build things I feel much personal satisfaction in leaving two nearly complete worship and discipleship spaces, and an amazing trained and committed team to carry on the work here.
Recently as I went through baptism preparation with one of our 5 year olds who had been in ImagoKids for a while, I asked her “Why do you want to be baptized?” Her response, “I think Jesus wants everyone to know that I belong to Him.” I have learned so much about what it means to follow Jesus from these young ones who know and trust him.
If you want to experience the love and faithfulness of God, than step out and disciple someone else! I am continually challenged and blessed by the many discipling relationships Jesus has given me. In the past four years I have had the privilege to be in intentional discipling relationships with 19 women at Imago. We have seen so much answered prayer, and I have had the gift of seeing them step into new authority, receive new gifts, and experience the Holy Spirit as they grow in mission and calling. It is exciting to see these wonderful women step into new leadership roles as I leave and they take on the joyful task of discipling the new believers that Jesus has brought into the kingdom this year. Together we have begun the adventure of missional community and plan to send the summer experimenting and learning how to create a loving space for our pre-believing friends and neighbors. Please be in prayer for us, for faith, courage and creativity!
As many of you know I have spent the last year discerning a call back to New Hampshire. Jesus has been speaking, opening doors and moving in miraculous ways to prepare the ground for a new work. I can see the many ways the past four years at Imago have been preparing me for this new season as a church planting pastor in Manchester. I cannot wait to see the power of God as he establishes Incarnation Anglican Church, and we begin living out missional community in this city that has so much need!
- Please pray for the work of transition over the next two months as I preach, celebrate and work with the leaders at Imago to prepare for my leaving.
- Please pray for a good time of rest during August, as I spend time with Jesus, listening for vision for this new season, walking the beach and sleeping!
- I know Jesus has a job and place to live for me in Manchester, pray for faith and discernment for me as I wait on him to reveal each next step.
- Pray for grace in the normal stresses of moving and transition.
- Join me in thanksgiving for all that Jesus has done for me during these years in Maine!