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good morning friends how are you this morning let there be light this is wonderful

uh I’m pastor yvonne for those of you who don’t know me and pastor alex has scampered a way to drink his english tea with his lovely family in england and he has left the final week of back to the table up to me isn’t that exciting so I’m so glad to be with you today and just I want to give you a little bit of context for this series last summer we did a series called build a bigger table and yeah we have a table here we saw that in Jesus ministry as he goes from place to place in town to town and family to family or friend a friend we see him at all of these encounters with people around a meal we see him dining with those sinners where the religious people are saying ah why are you hanging out with those tax collectors those kind of people on the edges and those sinners we find him in a places where unexpected guests show up and he’s having to navigate people doing awkward things like washing his feet and kissing him he’s feeding hungry crowds that are hungry to hear his word and and they’re physically getting hungry and so he he demonstrates the meal among multitudes he slows down with some of his good friends like mary and martha and lazarus and encourages that encourages them to slow down to stop getting so distracted and to just come and be with him

he gets a little um it gets a little interesting when he starts to hang out with those religious leaders because he starts questioning do we wash our hands or do we not not wash our hands and and he causes some stir right we see him asking some really difficult topics and speaking really strongly to those religious leaders he also just invites himself over to somebody else’s house and says I’m gonna eat with you today and he continues by serving his guests he enlightens them with the truth and the broken bread and the road to emmaus and even after his resurrection he rises again and he eats fish with them so Jesus’s ministry from from start to finish like alex said in luke’s account of Jesus’s life it seems like Jesus is always going to a meal he’s at a meal or he’s leaving a meal and as luke continues his story luke the same author takes us into acts which is another book written by the same author and he says that when pentecost day came they were all in one place again we have this place that they’re gathered all of these unique people from across the known world the parthians the medes the um I can never say this from mesopotamia judea cappadocia pontius asia all the places look at them all imagine just close your eyes for a second and on that day they’re all gathered together in such beautiful array of diversity color stories and here they are

and here they they’re declaring the wonders of God in all the different languages amazed and perplexed what does this mean out of that diversity through and filled with the holy spirit they’re doing the same thing that Jesus was doing when he was on earth they are gathering together they’re fellowshipping breaking bread together and praying and it’s everyone is filled with the awe and wonder look at this all the believers were together and had everything in common so the ministry of Jesus it was around this beautiful place where they’re breaking bread and they’re fellowshipping and the same thing is true when he leaves and the spirit comes the ministry does the same thing it takes all the diversity all those interesting people and ministers to them in the breaking of bread in their homes and sharing things together

here if we continue on that’s where they say that they broke bread in their homes and they ate together with glad and sincere hearts this beautiful array of people coming together and more being added to their number and friends don’t we look forward to one day where we can be in glory and we can see every tribe and tongue and nation and this beautiful array of colorful stories and individuals coming together to worship God forever amen so we also look forward to that one day

it said that when they were together in this place look at God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them that there were no needy persons among them the acts chapter 2 to me is so idyllic like it seems hard to believe that this could be the case that all of those amazing diverse number of people could come together be unified in spirit and share everything that there’s no need among them

it’s this mixed multitude we see in acts 2 that are prioritizing hospitality I love this word hospitality it comes from this latin word right to like entertain to like bring together but it’s also this root word of hospital a place where people are being cared for where you’re seen and you’re known and you’re loved you’re cared for there’s no need among you

but acts 2 sometimes to me feels so high above like how are we ever going to get there like actually in in acts chapter 6 when it says that there were disagreements between the hellenistic jews and the hebraic jews and they were like hey hey guys like we’re complaining because the widows are not actually getting what they need in distribution of food like chapter six feels more like reality does it feel like your reality where you feel like gosh people are not getting what they need people are not coming together in a diverse group of people and and having things in common like like where’s the connection it seems like things are disconnected

c.s lewis says that it’s our lifelong nostalgia longing to be reunited with something in the universe from which we feel cut off this is the truest index of our real situation this is what I see when I look around I see disconnection I see people that feel cut off people that feel like it’s it’s hard to find connection again and I see a lot of people alone at the table

maybe you feel this way maybe you’re in a season of life right now where it’s like on default you are alone at the table and you feel somewhat disconnected from a community of people a Jesus community or even disconnected from God

I think sometimes we can we can be here be on default you know and and I get that you know if you are in a single category or you you don’t like live with a lot of other people maybe you live alone it can feel like you’re alone at the table but sometimes I think we’re alone at the table by choice because it’s easier sometimes to be alone when we when we are with other people there’s like there’s friction right there’s like when we rub against people that are different than us there’s tension and sometimes it’s just easier to be alone and we feel like this is a place where I can care for myself I I can self-care and and I can be okay

so how do we move as a Jesus people from people that feel alone at the table to actually doing what we saw in acts 2. like is there any way lord that we can get from a place of feeling alone at the table and and seeing other people feel alone at the table to a place that looks more like sharing and caring and prioritizing hospitality I think if we’re going to get there we have to start by identifying the problem because this is a problem friends it is not the way of Jesus it is not the kingdom way and if we say on this wall that we want to live in the way of Jesus with the heart of Jesus we can’t sit alone at the table

and part of the problem in my diagnosis is that I think part of the problem is that denver is not a city of hospitality I think there’s something in this culture here that historically has been the wild west has been a place of pioneering a place of seeking out your own independent future and to create your own best life now do you agree with me do you feel that it’s hard here in denver there is a spirit of independence I can do it on my own I got this I don’t need to ask for help like I could pull up my my bootstraps it all depends my life depends on me and and really I don’t need other people to join me in this journey because I’m not actually not sure that those people are going to help me on on the thing that I am setting out to do and that brings me to the next problem I think the problem is both circumstantial environmental but I think the problem is also deep down we’re all afraid we’re afraid afraid like if I put myself out there and I say I really want to be friends with you or I really want to you know have time with you like are you going to like be committed to me or are you going to like reject me like are you really going to sometimes it’s selfish right like are you going to serve me on this journey and and make my life better and richer and fuller and you know there’s just fear in all of us and honestly it’s it’s a bigger problem than that even I think the problem’s circumstantial and the problem is internal but the problem is spiritual friends there’s an enemy we have an enemy right the the battle is not against flesh and blood the battle is against rulers and powers and authority of this dark world and his goal is to separate God’s goal is to bring people together like we saw in acts 2. his goal is to is Jesus’s goal was to come to us to bring people to us to say come to me all who are weary and heavy laden come to me come and see he came to this world to be with us to connect with us and he even wanted so much to leave so that his spirit could get even more intimate with us that he would be with us that we would be so inner connected and the beautiful thing about the spirit is that we get to connect with the spirit among us as a people so if we have an enemy that is trying to get in between and to like push us apart sometimes I feel that here in denver like like there’s like a opposite magnetic force that’s like moving me away and I just think gosh it’s just more comfortable to be alone like like this feels hard it feels hard to move toward connection so how in the world are we as a community of faith who say we want to live in the way of Jesus with the heart of Jesus how do we become this peep this Jesus people and create counter culture of hospitality that’s the big question we talked about it last summer we’re bringing it back this summer because we are convinced that we need to be a people who prioritizes hospitality if we want to see if we want to move opposite of the enemy and we want to move with God’s spirit and I realized that today if I’m going to do that for you and I’m going to I’m going to encourage you to do that I couldn’t do that alone and so I’m actually going to bring some friends to join me at the table and we’re going to have a discussion about community and some of the challenges that we feel here in denver so come on up bring your trees here

and we got to do it first service and this is a new service so we’re in a new moment so you don’t have to answer any of your questions the same way

all right so I asked all of them to bring something to share and so we’re going to be munching on that hopefully making you like a little bit jealous and wanting to do this after the service okay um and but also there’s something really sweet about when you come to a table um I I lived in austria and and worked at an international christian school and we had over 40 different nations represented during that season of my life and we would have these international meals where everyone would bring like their their thing to the table and it was a part of them a part of their culture a part of who they are and so I’m going to ask uh each of us to go around and share what we’ve brought to share and sort of about ourselves and and why that’s important for us to share I love that I can see you guys we were all in the dark last time

okay maya would you share with us first hello everyone my name is maia I’m a grateful believer in Jesus christ I bring pizza because pizza is just a big part of my life when I was a kid at home my adopted mom my mother she would have me have personal pizzas I could cook them I could eat them save them share them with my dolls but we would go to a pizzaria place me and my father my mother it was l at edgewater inn and I would drink shirley temples and eat pizza and it’s just it’s a big part of my life and at my house that I live in we we eat pizza we cook meals for each other and we just try to get along communicate I love it I love it thank you for bringing your pizza

unhealthy yeah okay hello can you hear me yeah okay hello my name is annette callahan and I moved here to colorado last year with two of my five children and I I moved to denver seminary I actually live on campus and today I brought with me um it’s probably not what you were thinking I was going to have in this bucket I don’t have fried chicken macaroni and cheese and collard greens

all good food but but I bought something a snack that means a lot to my family and it’s rice crispy treats yay all right I didn’t get one of those first service so we gotta we gotta share these things they have a little bit of peanut butter inside all right

so okay so if you guys don’t know me I’m darwin I also happen to be uh the facility manager here at south uh me and my wife moved here over six years ago coming up on october uh we’ve been here I have my beautiful daughter eliana which is five which is a joy uh we love a lot of food in our and our family it’s always a joke I’m always talking about food and she’s a foodie too so I love food so if you know anything about me I love food I actually brought some breakfast burritos the other thing that I was going to bring since we ran out of power it was going to be tamales so I owe you that iran yes but guatemala and tamales that’s what I was going to bring but we had power this morning so I kind of ran in like oh but anyways but yeah so we love food in our house we’re always talking about food either I’m talking about food or I’m going to go eat food so you’re just like Jesus I I I really do love like the aspect like like what you were talking about I think like I really love his model that he always was going to eat food coming from somewhere or just going to somewhere else so I mean amen to Jesus on that I love it I love it well I brought this beautiful colorful fruit sprinkles called hegel um my mom immigrated from the netherlands um to the states when she was 10 and that was over 60 years ago now but um so there were little things that we always had in our house that are kind of unusual to other families I’m sure I don’t know how many of you put sprinkles on bread but this is what we do so this did you want to try one yeah that’s really one yeah it’s really good I love it

it’s really tasty I like your sprinkles did you like it yes yeah like it’s a cream cheese sprinkly bread I’m loving it

yeah so so I want to ask you friends when when is an example of like when you have really felt like connected to the Jesus community and and what has that meant

okay so um there is of course when I’m here present when I’m coming to the business meetings when I’m coming and I’m being involved but when I was lost and broken out on the streets I was capable of going to venues I called them venues venues would be for other people would be like down at city park where all the lunch trucks come and you buy your own food well for me it was going to um a meal that was served by volunteers at the catholicism church cathodeless church and just that hardiness of the food the meats the potatoes the the sometimes the desserts afterwards but just that certain person that for that broken soul I was without the love of Jesus christ not being in them I wouldn’t have experienced to get me to this point and being at this point I can be that love for someone else and being here at this table means that

you know our lives are not the devourer of God our lives are christ Jesus I feel so close to people but I have so much stuff that separates me but that makes me an individual makes everyone an individual so I’m just kind of like now and since it’s been in the past and hopefully what’s coming in the future yeah yeah I love that they met you in a meal yeah you didn’t have to answer it that way but you did I know I didn’t know what to say I said it because I’m first I love it I love it and that how about you how have you felt connected to the Jesus community what’s that meant to you oh thank you that’s a great question and I want to just pause and say thank you pastor yvonne for inviting me to this table today thank you like I’ve said I moved here from last year but I didn’t say where from I moved here from wisconsin with two of my five children I am a denver seminary student and um I got a sense of community right there on campus when we moved there two weeks when we moved there we only had a few items in our in our in our car and it took two weeks for the pie to bring out the rest of our items so when they the delivery well the movers came they didn’t want to wear a mask they didn’t want to wear gloves like we had discussed and and that was a issue for us and so there was some tension there and to my surprise the community came alongside of me to help me through that difficult time and these are young white kids who show Jesus love to me and my children I didn’t expect it I knew I needed help and God knew he had prepared the way for me my family and I to be there in a christian community and those students there they showed christ love and intact and the way they resolved the situation the way they rallied behind me and my family and they volunteered to move our items from the pod into our apartment and that was huge for me that was healing to me because I didn’t I didn’t want to move all those items and I had my two of my five children with me and I didn’t have to ask they met a need they saw me they met at me the only thing I was instructed to do was to direct them as to where to put the boxes but because I tried to be organized I labeled all the boxes mom stuff you know my daughter stuff my son items and everybody came together and with less than an hour and a half all our things were moved from the pod into our apartment and there and I tried to feed these kids I tried let me give you let me order some pizza let me get something to drink and their instructions to me was no miss annette just let us help you and that meant a lot I mean I was taken by surprise I was speechless I had to walk away I had to pray get myself together and I had to be vulnerable I was vulnerable I had to be willing to receive help from people that don’t look like me who didn’t really know me but they know Jesus and they saw the Jesus and me and that their love and kindness the way they handle um each box each item just sit healing to my my body my spirit and to my children as well so that was my first experience living in a christian a Jesus community in years and I didn’t know that that was a void in my life until then wow yeah it’s like they just treated you like family I love that I love it how about for you darwin well um it’s been for me it’s been pretty unique I guess uh my entire life I always found a place uh to belong like like I said in the first service it was um uh I didn’t have my parents growing up so I was very hurt so I didn’t know where to belong as a kid I always had a sense there was something greater than God but I didn’t know what that was and I would go to the catholic church in the sense of that but I didn’t know any of that there was nobody to instruct me my parents left me when I was young and out of that derived a lot of her a lot of things that I went to different places trying to find a place to belong and that was very hard so I went down the path of drinking smoking partying I also went to sherp clubs I went to I did a lot of things that I should have done and that I wish I would have been exposed to but the beautiful thing about that what came out of that my mom started going to actually spanish church and uh they started loving me and even God was given an insight about me I’m like how do they know that I’m like nobody told them that because I used to steal from a job that I used to work when I was a teenager and uh and the guy’s like God told me that you’re stealing and I was like you just blew me away I knew God was real God was calling I didn’t understand it because all my life always been told I don’t belong or like I’m not worth it um you know I’m like I’m nothing but one of the things that gave me a sense of community was the people in God’s kingdom and also you know you know as I’ve gotten older too you know when we moved from indiana here having the the staff and I remember when we first met ryan post and I didn’t say this in the first service but he was like man I told him like you’re going to be your family and he would they were in the church here in south hassan I mean in one shape or another you guys been a sense of community you know because you go to a place where you don’t know anybody you’re starting all over and you’re like okay in a way you get lost in the sense that because we need one another and I love that you’ve been talking about this they want to just bring so much joy to hear this so but that’s that’s where I guess the community has come across the body being the body yeah I love how you’re describing you know coming into that church and how you felt so much love and acceptance but you also felt truth and and that was all that was comforting to you almost um to to feel that Jesus way I love that I love it as I was just reflecting on when hospitality has meant the most to me honestly it’s those times that are highlighted where I’m the one who’s different and I’m the one who feels welcomed to someone else’s table like there have been moments where I was in bosnia and they just we sat down on the floor and we had just a coffee table and they brought out a little bit of coffee in the middle of winter in this huge snowstorm and there was this welcoming and I didn’t even speak bosnian so I couldn’t even communicate with them but there was so much non-verbal communication and love through hospitality excuse me um and at the table like this is what that does it brings people together in a way that we all are human we all are are needing one another and just like we need the food that’s in front of us and and like the the offering of nonverbal love and and affection that’s what gets to happen around a table like this so I’m curious from you guys what like how do you pursue community here we mentioned that it’s kind of tough here I’m going to ask you about some obstacles later but how do you pursue community

all right I’ll go first so one of the things that I think I struggle with this because I was asking God like I don’t have a small group and I was put in excuses um but then God opened my eyes in the sense of like so I also like I said I’m the facility manager here so I actually started building relationships with a team that helps me here and then realizing you know that’s my sense of community like I do life with you guys and then also with the kids ministry because my wife does the kids ministry also so we started just inviting people over and just investing as much as they were on us I think they invest more on us that we got out of them but it’s just it’s just so sweet that they got out of us I mean but it’s just so sweet to see that and sometimes like um it’s hard like like you said it’s very hard like we have struggled with that here but yeah in what way have you experienced the challenge of it um I guess I thought it was just gonna be um the challenge was I thought you know people are gonna know everything about my life and people is going to be cheering me on and and that’s been a struggle sometimes it’s been lonely you feel like you’re alone and you’re like I never thought about that but thank God it’s like I did give you that team yeah so you can call them they can pray for you they can be there when you need them and when I started realizing that it made my sense of awareness different it made me not feel alone yeah because I feel like that’s the hard part sometimes I guess that we can feel alone and we feel like we’re doing this journey by ourselves but we’re not yeah amen thank you well I build community by really being my authentic self so I should and starting with my neighbors these young people all around me I’m like the oldest campus now and I had to get past that you know it’s like it’s an honor and a privilege to be there and I started just oh when I walk out of my apartment the first person I see I they greet me the little things that a good morning changes your day a smile changes changed my day and it’s still happening today I’ve been living there for a little over a year and every day I am greeted so one of the things I tried to do God just put on my heart to do and I had to step out of my comfort zone to do this is prepare a meal for a couple of students once a week and I had to be very clear about my intentions and they had to be willing to accept me um for providing this meal for them so it’s one thing for me to hear okay God said prepare a meal it’s another thing to re to to receive it to welcome that meal so I was blessed in that way and um and it brought a lot of joy to my life to just say okay once a week I’m going to cook a meal for a couple of students and yes I made rice krispies treats yes I made some chicken and uh different other staples um that we eat as a family and that’s one that was one way I was able to continue to bridge the gap between me being older me being a black woman and just nurture relationships on campus well I tell you I had not experienced this type of community in over 30 years so good I love it thank you um I’ve um I’ve started coming to watchman I’ve been going to washroom for about a year and a half maybe almost two years um we have a thread that we text message about not just on their own needs our family’s needs and other persons needs to pray for I’m on the greeting team um that’s my support being able to be at the door of God God’s house and not at the tent of the wicked that is hard for me because people have had a heart for me when I was in a halfway house when I was on the streets when I am now people here at south fellowship have really reached inside themselves and heard my testimony heard who I am and are willing to come up next to me and be supportive of me in situations I love it I love it and what challenges have you ladies faced in terms of can be finding community or pursuing community here myself yeah myself um I’m not worthy runs to my mind

you’ll never be that person that’s completely accepted um and I have to let myself know that God thinks I’m worthy and he accepts me so in exchange I should do that for myself and um being a disposition of a person of my background I have to always keep in tune with another person need what is what do I have that I can fulfill someone else’s need with my resources if I don’t have that resource can I show them that resource to go and get that for themselves you know like I’ll have like little claws that come through my not claws but um clues that will come into my mind that are about the situation that is good for the situation but of course there’s evil times when there’s like no but God is omnipotent and omnipresent and his holy spirit leads me to help other people yeah to be that person for someone else I love it first service you got to share a little bit more specifically about in the house you know some of the challenges that you have and and the way that you overcome that is like seeing the other person see like having compassion for that person and and then being able to move toward them with those resources right right which I love yeah they’re so they’re the women are coming in broken but they only have so much of a thread that they’re hanging on to yeah there’s like there’s so much diversity there’s african-american there’s I’m nigerian and and european and british and then there’s caucasian and then there’s people that are not serving God but have known God there’s people that are that are serving christ that you know I can I can only I can’t push my faith onto someone else I can also just be a light of his guiding towards every day to hopefully you know they’ll grab a hold of christ they’ll be that person yeah in in their little heart in their in their heart for their community of their life but we all live together mm-hmm I know I’m not talking like I was noticing all the

what kind of challenges for you annette I thought she was gonna go to darwin I already spun that one on him earlier okay yeah well you know I’m going to keep it 100. when you’re at a table with a diverse group of people there’s going to be comments made that are sometimes offensive so and we have to overcome that by one being authentic speaking the truth in love and giving a lot of grace and not giving up it doesn’t mean don’t you know stop meeting it means you know you talk through it you say well and you teach people about you my like I’m a black woman teach people about your black culture you know uh so that’s one of the things challenges that you know I faced a little bit on campus but because I’m older and more a little more seasoned and I I’m rooted in knowing who I am in God when those situations arise it didn’t throw me off where I’m sad mad and disgusted it threw me where I had to figure out go to God say how do I address this student in a loving way and not damage our relationship but bring a a wealth of knowledge and understanding so it took a spiritual maturity on my part and that’s what I think we need to have also when we create these spaces and it’s a good thing to bring each other together but when like pastor yvonne mentioned there’s a little bit of tension somebody says a little something that you know didn’t land right on you you know you just in love and the love of christ goes through just filter through and work out that situation does that make sense yeah okay yeah okay I mean one way that I’m pursuing community is doing this right I mean like every one of these beautiful individuals when I gave them a phone call and was like hey I’d love to invite you to the table and and to come and like be in public and all of them were like yes let’s do it like I feel like we’re hungry as people to be together and to like actually know each other’s stories not just say a friendly hi how are you you know how was your week anything new but actually like learning who you are and learning more about your heritage and and what makes you tick or what challenges are in your life that you need to overcome like like this is community that’s happening right here and it’s just this easy friends um so I’m curious as we kind of land the plane on this conversation what’s what’s your advice for people when when we think about being together at the table like what can we do what steps can we practically take as we try to become a Jesus culture really like a Jesus people changing culture I personally think being humble at heart not humble in mind but be strengthened to be upright of Jesus christ listening to someone else taking them in not taking from them but understanding who they are in their life and then just letting God thread thread his wants his needs into the conversation and then communicate if you know Jesus pray in your heart pray just that deep down pressure of God would just save them from the from from hell from from sin yeah amen that’s good well what’s coming to me is to just do it if God is putting it on your heart to invite someone over to your house to have a barbecue a picnic or what have you just do it because we know cause pastor yvonne mentioned the devil doesn’t want that he wants to keep everybody separated so God is the one who’s nudging you to say invite that person who doesn’t look like you who might speak a different language than you do over to your home and and like emilia was saying prepare the table pray about every aspect of that the dinner and then you know it takes a lot of courage but it’s a lot of fun in this too it’s a lot of fun getting to know people who who don’t look like you and have different experiences and that’s another thing the devil doesn’t want you to know the joy and fun that comes up with at the table of diversity so it’s and it’s trust trust in the God in you your motives and intentions are to bridge the gap and build a healthy Jesus community right around you and it doesn’t take a lot of money these rice crispy trees only cost about you know six dollars to make and you know uh just do it that’s what I would say just do it I love it I like I like what you said also I think it’s intentional do your friends look like you or they look different um I think I shared that earlier uh the first service I think is important because to me it challenged me like in the sense like I want like how I said I’m not racist I’m not I have my beautiful wife that she’s white and I just tell people I’m just I’m an opportunist because you know my family another sense of that and I think God loves culture in the sense of that let’s be open to that again like I just love that you you’re talking about this because I think there’s something as the church hasn’t been talked about in intentional relational [ __ ] in the sense of that and that’s what God wants intentional relationships that’s what he intended with us and and I think that’s what he wants he wants us to break us from our regular modes and just to expand us in the sense to make us break us to his likeness and that’s why I love when you were even talking about that Jesus broke bread he did all the time that’s why I love food I mean I always tell people this wasn’t built on salads you know so you know so God is good like in the sense I always say that make it intentional like for the people that you buy in your house love on them and and I love that you guys saying prepare the way that’s what john did for Jesus you know he prepared the way so let’s prepare the way for the other people they’re gonna come and just the goodness that he has done in our lives we can share that with them also amen earlier this week pastor aaron uh was also challenging me in terms of what it looks like to be alone at the table sometimes we feel alone because we’re isolated individually but sometimes we’re alone at the table because we’re around all the same kind of people and maybe the invitation is is to break out of that space breaking out of the the you know monochromatic worlds that we like to create create because it’s easier right and and then God creates or the enemy loves to create separation between monochromatic groups too and and this bringing together in in the Jesus kingdom is so much more beautiful and an array of diversity coming together so my my hope for you and for us as a community of Jesus people is that we prioritize hospitality in a city that it’s not hospitable and and that means that the ground actually there’s friction under our ground to move toward people and you all are a beautiful friendly bunch like I think colorado is actually such a beautifully friendly culture but we have to like take it a step further to actually ask those deeper questions to find out what’s really going on to be able to ask for needs or reach out or say our own needs and not be afraid um in that vulnerable space so friends it’s gonna take a fight this is gonna be more of a battle ground here and I think we have to fight for connection in the battle for separation the enemy wants to separate us but because we are a Jesus people because we’re filled with God’s spirit it brings together with with love and compassion and and purpose right the verses that I wanted to leave us with is that if you all are a new creation in christ if you’ve you’re in that that wave of the Jesus movement you’re in the wave of his holy spirit movement you all are ministers there’s not there’s not an out here friends like you it’s not just the job of the church to do this it says the old is gone and the new is here all of this is from God who reconciled us to himself he’s connected us to himself through christ and he has commissioned us he’s given all of us for it’s not just me being a pastor you you know one day being a chaplain you know like it’s not just a church body or and then like the church staff that does this you all are not off the hook we are ministers of reconciliation God was reconciling the world to himself in christ not counting people’s sins against them and he has committed to us the message of reconciliations that we would be christ’s ambassadors so let’s pray together that we would be able to fight for connection in this battle for separation father God king Jesus holy spirit I thank you so much for these beautiful friends around me at this table and the ways that this is a picture of glory you bring um people that are different and diverse and and with interesting stories and beautiful backgrounds and challenges and and unique things all together because of your spirit that day at pentecost you spoke in everyone’s unique tongue and I thank you that you didn’t speak the common language of the day to bring people to that one place but you met them all so individually and we all long to come to the table in a place where we are are uniquely ourselves but that we are welcomed with the Jesus people so I just pray lord that south fellowship church would become a church of even greater commitment and prioritizing of hospitality that you would use us to be countercultural in this place in denver where we feel the separation we feel the enemy wanting to move us apart lord bring us together by your spirit we pray in Jesus name amen amen friends you can stand with us we’re gonna pl uh aaron’s gonna play some music and if you feel like gosh I really need to take this a step toward connection I need to fight this battle we’ve got some people up front that are ready and willing to pray for you and that you can feel face to face with another human being and feel like you’re in this journey not alone but together let’s pray

come together

strangers names I’m gonna sing that verse again um I just think about this idea that we’ve heard uh growing up overseas I grew up in africa I had the opportunity to travel around the world with the mission agency and to asia and various different places and I’m convinced and I won’t give you a whole nother sermon on this but I’m convinced uh from multiple passages and from experience that God has deposited the fullness of his goodness not in one nation but among the peoples of the world and so if we want to see what the church is actually supposed to be like then we have to fight for this this kind of diverse unity because otherwise we don’t see the full picture and if it’s uncomfortable then we’re going to be super uncomfortable in heaven because it’s every tribe tongue and language will be worshipping him the throne the fullness of what the church is supposed to be so let’s sing that again people come together strangers neighbors our blood is one

children generations

of every nation of kingdom

evil remember where our our salvation forever evil fix your eyes on this one truth God is manly in love with you so take courage hold on be strong remember where our health comes from

let’s sing that first verse one more time people come together strangers

our neighbors is one

children of generations

of every nation

thank you so much for being with us um before you leave we do have one video um pastor alex is going to make a little appearance and give us an announcement so you can be seated for this

lead pastor here at south fellowship and we’ve just been talking over the last three weeks and today about community about what this new Jesus community looks like and and how it includes inviting people to the table but when we think of community one of the temptations is to think specifically about south and that part of community and yet the one Jesus seems most interested in is his bigger kingdom story and so today I have some news that is sad but also joyful because it’s a kingdom story a few months ago we took the staff out to a conference it was a conference that was about listening to the voice of the spirit it was a conference that was about how churches grow and develop but it was also a conversation about how churches start and so during that time our good friends aimee and darwin palmer heard that pull that tug to plant a church and now as they’ve processed with good friends and family over the last few months have decided this is the right time for them to step boldly into that so at the end of july they’ll be stepping down from their roles here at south and moving into the first steps towards that new so there’s a couple of things there a couple of lessons to learn maybe one never take all the staff to a conference because you never know what’s going to happen but we can pray for them we can be excited for them and we can start asking God what is next for south we have this beautiful group of kids that we want to nurture and grow and see live in the way of Jesus with the heart of Jesus we believe that while God has something new for amy and darwin in his big and good kingdom he also has that thing for us as well in several weeks we’ll have an opportunity to thank them to bless them just to celebrate all of the wonderful things God has used them to do here at south but today we just wanted to give you that information and let you begin that process of praying for them on their journey and praying for us as a community and asking what is next for south but this is a season where we just want to keep you informed with what’s going on and just some of those changes so we pray for them we’re excited for our future and we’re thankful for this big kingdom story that we get to be part of so darwin thank you so much for joining me at the table and thank you for all that you’ve done for south and we’re like alex said the kingdom is so much bigger and so we get that’s what hospitality does right we get to come together and we also get to spread out and continue to multiply his kingdom so friends today as you leave be blessed be filled with connection to the lord and to this community but also fight for connection in this world of as fighting against you for separation be blessed friends have a great week and go prioritize hospitality