You know that Sunday feeling, right?

We leave church inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement on Sundays … and somewhere along the course of the week, pieces of the message tend to fade and we often lose that Sunday feeling.

The Monday After {the Sunday Sermon} carries the Sunday message into Monday mornings by sharing how what we’ve heard on Sunday morning is making a difference in our Mondays, our weeks, our lives. Because of your generosity to Accelerate, we are able to share these stories! Thank you!

The Monday After Sunday, August 25, 2013: Annual Celebration Sunday

By Anita Everly

Remember the old childhood song with hand gestures that goes:  here is the church, here is the steeple, open it up and here are all the people?  That comes to mind after a Sunday like yesterday.
It’s true that the people are the church but the building is the church, too.  It’s a home, school, respite and hub of where the activity of our people radiates out into our community, work places, and families.  Immanuel Church is a gathering place where imperfect people come to seek what Christ has to offer.  Were it not for the Spirit moving people into this building, many would never have received that Hope.  And we give thanks for the sacrifice and generosity of the many who enable our church to function.
Sunday’s Annual Celebration was just that—a celebration of what we as the people of church have been able to do through the opportunities given through stepping through the doors of Immanuel Church.
It is a place where a man named Terry can be led by the Holy Spirit and find steady growth in who he is in God’s eyes.  Where he can be pushed out of his comfort zone and used in ministries for God’s glory and proclaim, “God’s outrageous grace is for me, too.”  It’s a place where he can confront the lies of satan and be assured of the truth that he is a new creation in Christ.
It’s a place where a guy named Javier is sought out to be part of a new men’s ministry and is challenged to obey the promptings of the Lord.  It’s where he finds a mentor, another man of God, who invests personally in his life.   In turn, Javier is able to pour into the lives of men playing basketball each Monday night.
It’s a place where a broken and disillusioned woman named Christy comes and is healed and stretched in her giftedness beyond what she could ever imagine.  So much so that she is able to equip others in spreading God’s word and leave them strong in their leadership while she goes on to pursue the next chapter of God’s plan for her life.
And it’s a place where hundreds have been touched by the ministries, come to salvation in Christ and serve to help others in specific ways that the Lord has placed on their hearts.
Truly, we all have a story to tell or one that is currently being written.
What all of these celebration stories from yesterday all have in common is that the individuals have all had an encounter with Christ and with His people who meet at this common ground on Dilley’s Road.
As I reflected on these stories, I was keenly aware of the many people at church who have spurred me on, challenged me and been people who speak life and truth to me.  And though I can be fiercely independent and introverted, I was challenged by these testimonies to be open to more community and to invest more in others, realizing again that we were made for community and God always shows up when we risk opening ourselves up to more than just Christ, but to His people, too.
Yes, we are Christians, but we are still human; the community of church will still be messy and hurt and disappoint, but this church is also where we can be authentic and honest about all that.  Where we can forgive and be forgiven and love and be loved, again and again.
It’s a place where we can be home, with brothers and sisters in Christ.
Thank you, Lord, for the place and people of Immanuel Church.

Anita Everly is the wife of David and mom to their three sons.  She can be found watching the lives of her men unfold, creating a home, and encouraging other women in life and motherhood.  She is striving to live life on purpose because she is crazy in love with the One who is crazy in love with her.

How is God leading you to continue the good work He started in you? Is He asking you to invest yourself into something new? Giving of your time? Your love? Your friendship? Your resources? Your talent? It’s all His, and He’s graciously given it to us. How can we give back? If you’d like to get plugged in somewhere to serve, please email DianeV@immanuelhome.org

2 thoughts on “The Monday After: Annual Celebration Sunday {Anita}

  1. Anita, such a beautiful recap of yesterday’s celebration! I love seeing how God is working in other people’s lives and feel encouraged to continue being the church to others who I come into contact with both inside and outside of our building! Thank you for sharing!

  2. I love your summary of the morning. It takes what could have appeared as disjointed and gives symmetry to it. Thanks for writing, Anita.

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