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Snowy Sunday

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Greetings on a Snowy Sunday!

This is normally when we'd post a Sermon Response, but there was no sermon today, due to snowy weather and icy roads.

However, this is a good time to reflect on Pastor Ed's Sermon last week.  He pointed out three themes that need to guide the life of our church going forward:

  1. As we grow larger, we must grow smaller.  Small Groups are part of the DNA of our church.
  2. We will be a community that gives.  That means our time and money and our facility.
  3. We will draw people in for the purpose of sending people out.  We can't just perfect our product and expect people to come to us.

And then he gave two observations:

  1. We've already done this.  This isn't new.  We need to get better at it, thinking of ourselves as a company of missionaries.
  2. We need to get ready! 

The sermon got me excited about the future of Gateway. After the service (at my small group meeting), Rob Showers pointed out that all this is in the context of Life Transformation.

Did the sermon affect my life this week?  Well, it made me think.  In what ways can I give to Gateway?  For me personally, one answer is to start giving my time to writing this blog.  One thing I like about this way of contributing is that it's suited to me, an introvert and a writer at heart.  We don't all have to give in the same ways.

This is where we're interested in comments.  Do you have some additional thoughts or responses to last week's sermon?

And I have an extra question this week:  What did you do on a snowy Sunday morning when church didn't meet?  I ended up taking a lovely long walk through the snow -- and made snow angels.  My plan was to be more spiritual and have an extra-long quiet time, but being out in God's creation all covered with loveliness definitely uplifted my spirit.

How about you?  How did you celebrate this Snowy Sunday?




Calling Gateway Writers and Photographers

Greetings, Gateway!

The Gateway Blog is "A place to read about events, hear about opportunities, and catch all the little details of what's going on at Gateway!"

However, posting has been rather sparse.  The "Year in Review" about 2014 was wonderful -- but it was posted almost three months ago.  Wouldn't it be nice to post that much about events at Gateway -- as they are happening?

This is Sondy Eklund writing, and I've been given permission to post on the Gateway blog.  Here's the background:  Last Spring, Pastor Ed asked me to act as Church Historian.  They gave me a journal to use, and I've been putting in weekly bulletins, special event flyers, and transcribing my sermon notes.

However, I've been fundamentally discontent with the results.  In the first place, writing in a journal seems like writing into a vacuum.  As long as the journal is at my house, no one else reads it.  Second, as long as the journal is at my house, no one else writes in it.  And third, it really needs photographs.

A solution to those problems?  Let's use the Gateway Blog!  I'd like it to be a way to keep a record of the life of Gateway and to connect with one another during the week.  These are some of the things I'd like to feature:

  1. Sermon Response.  This can get much more interesting than transcribing notes when it's in blog form.  What things struck you about the sermon?  How did it touch your life?  This will be all the more interesting if many in the congregation will comment.
  2. Small Group Features.  Each week, I'd like to feature a Small Group.  What are they studying?  What are some answered prayers they have seen?  How has this group touched the lives of its members?  I hope at least one member of each group would be willing to write these features.
  3. Service Team Features.  Teams run Gateway.  The Missions Team, the Equipment Team, the Prayer Team, the Worship Team.... So many others.  It would be nice to get information from team members about what each team does, what their needs are, and what it is like to serve on that team.
  4. Teacher Interviews from Kidztown and Youth Group.  What age level do they teach?  What do they enjoy about it?  How has teaching our youth touched their lives?
  5. Personal History.  How has Gateway touched your life?  This would be a little more retrospective, talking with a variety of people in the congregation about how Gateway has touched their lives over the years.
  6. Missionary Features.  It would be lovely to read profiles of the missionaries Gateway supports and get current prayer requests.
  7. Special Event Coverage.  To start, who would like to volunteer to write about the Father-Daughter Dance?

What do you think?  Do you have any other ideas of regular features we should have?

That last feature brings up my most important point:  These ideas will work out in the greatest ways if writing the blog is a Team endeavor.

We have lots of excellent writers and photographers at Gateway.  The more of you who contribute, the better the blog will serve our community.

There are different ways you could contribute.  One perfectly acceptable way would be on occasion, as you have material.  For photographers, if you get some pictures of a Gateway event, please send them to this blog.  For writers, it would be lovely to get guest posts from members of the different Small Groups and service teams.  For special events, a post will be better if the reporter is actually there.  In addition, if someone wants to post a sermon response, or do a post about an answered prayer or a way Gateway has touched your life, please also contact me.

We could also form a regular team and get on a rotation for doing these various posts.  This would be a way to be much more reliable about posting, if we spread out the load.

And photographers, get taking pictures!  Let's not wait until the end of the year to post pictures of the people of Gateway.

If any of this appeals to you, please talk with me, Sondy Eklund, as I begin forming a team!


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