Today was our anniversary Sunday at Anchor, my church. It was seven years ago that about 40 of us, a core group from the suburban Emmanuel Community Church, launched a new church on the corner of Third and Schilling. A United Brethren church had existed there since the 1930s, but this was essentially a new church. A restart. We had spent the night before, Saturday, giving the place a cleaning from top to bottom. And now, Sunday morning, we prepared to get this new thing underway, and wondered if anybody would come.
About 135 people came, if I remember. Some were well-wishers from Emmanuel, coming over for moral support. But others were people from the community who received a postcard in the mail about this new church starting. It was pretty exciting. We didn’t really know what we were doing. We were bringing over some methods and ministry assumptions from Emmanuel, things which didn’t necessarily fit in our working class neighborhood. But we were smart enough to adapt as the weeks and months passed. The attendance settled in around 90-100, and we’ve grown gradually, even slowly. But we’ve grown, and we’ve produced fruit that doesn’t always show up in numbers.
Less than ten of that core group remain. Another six or so from the previous UB congregation still attend. We’ve been running around 150 regularly lately. Going to two services in mid-September was definitely a good thing. Today we had a potluck after the service. Potlucks are always good things.
I love being at Anchor. I love being vitally needed. I love having so many opportunities to serve and lead. I love reaching and interacting with the type of people who come to Anchor. I love the fact that so many of us still have burning within us a desire to really make a difference in this community. That passion hasn’t been extinguished by settling into patterns, focusing inward, and becoming content with the status quo. There are so many things about Anchor that need improved, and that can’t be fixed by throwing money at it, since we just don’t have the money. There are things that won’t happen unless God does it. I love wrestling with these things.
In a few minutes, about a dozen adults will come over for our Sunday night Bible study. They’re fun people. I didn’t know any of them seven years ago. Now most of them are friends. This is just way too cool.Leave a comment