“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them."  Matthew 18:20

Last night Cyndy and I went to our last Bear Creek Meet and Greet!   I have to admit that at times I’ve felt a little bit like someone running for office at these gatherings.  There is a little “salesmanship” going on and I apologize for that.  Let’s face it, I’m trying to sell you on your new pastor!  But in all honesty that wasn’t the real purpose of these gatherings.   The real purpose was that I wanted to get to know the real Bear Creek…the Bear Creek behind Sunday mornings!  But, as usual, (I don’t know why I’m so surprised by this because it happens to me all the time) something else has happened at these gatherings...God’s spirit…the Living Christ…has started to steal the show!  (Can I get an AMEN!)

Let me share with you what has been happening:

At one of the “meet and greets” someone came up to Cyndy and I said: “I don’t know how to exactly describe this, but I have started to get this feeling in my heart of hearts about Bear Creek.  It just feels like Bear Creek is this little flower just about to burst into bloom.  We’re a tiny shoot of hope that has started to grow in my heart…I just feel like something good is happening!”    

During one of our “meet and greets” a Bear Creek member shared that lately in worship he has found himself in tears.  Maybe it’s during a hymn, or at communion, or during one of the messages.  He’s found himself overwhelmed by this feeling.   He asked a friend of his who is a spiritual counselor what was happening to me and she said, “that’s God breaking into your life.  It’s a good thing!”   As he shared many followed with similar stories.

One of the most powerful portions of the “meet and greets” has been when Cyndy and I have asked you to share some of the “saints” that have gone on before us who have run the race of Bear Creek with us.  Some of the people, both living and not, who have carried the DNA of Bear Creek into the world and planted the DNA in us.   To hear folks respond in love and appreciation to that question and to feel the spirit of God move in us as we begin to name the names and the actual actions and character of those folk is truly overwhelming!  I get goose bumps even now just remembering!

Other moments have been when we’ve been honest enough with each other to acknowledge some of the pain we’ve encountered in doing ministry together at Bear Creek.   And then to feel God’s healing begin to fill the room as we honestly share about that pain.

Whatever the moment here’s one clear and amazing takeaway that both Cyndy and I hold dearly to our heart is this:  God is alive and moving in Bear Creek!  One of the challenges that I shared in many of the meet and greets is that we live in a world that doesn’t see the relevance of a relationship with Jesus Christ.   God, for many folks, just isn’t a relevant experience!  People doubt that our relationship with God really makes a difference in the way we live our lives.  

Oh how I wish those doubters and seekers could have traveled with Cyndy and I to these Bear Creek Meet and Greets!   They would be convinced of a God who is truly alive today. Thank you for sharing with us, Bear Creek, you have instilled in both of us a sense of hope and strength for the journey to come!

Your pastor, on his knees in humble adoration of our mighty, moving God, Brook    

Tim Schaaf