On Thursday, July 28th, 2015, our team was sent off from Berkeley, a place most of us had called home for many years – some of us for our entire lives! The send-off included other church-planters going to USC and UC Santa Barbara, and as with every one that we experience, it was a time of bittersweet good-byes. We’re sad to say farewell to so many people who we have come to cherish dearly and love deeply, but there is shared excitement for what lies ahead as we go on to start a new church!
As a church, we gathered at our Harbor Bay building and sang “Our God Reigns”, declaring that we are being sent to share the message of the Gospel up in Seattle.
We were really blessed to receive the prayers of the whole church, and to know that by prayer we will be able to experience unity as God’s people even though we will be hundreds of miles away.
Following the time of singing and prayer, we participated in a long-practiced tradition at our church: the Farewell Tunnel. This is the true test of any traveler’s mettle – almost none make it through unscathed, and nearly everyone who goes in doesn’t come out the same person. Over the years, people have developed various forms and techniques of going through the gauntlet and there were some on display that day.
Suffice it to say, we didn’t lose anyone in the tunnel, and as the sobering reality that we were really leaving was setting in, we said our final good-byes…
…and we were off!
With a 14-hour drive ahead of us, we were on our way to answer a call similar to that Abram had received in Genesis 12, which we had recently studied in our Devotions:
“Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. 2 And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing.”
– Genesis 12:1-2
UW here we come!