Growing the Body of Christ – Micah’s Ministry Newsletter #61

Dear friends,

The transition from the holiday season into a new year of work is both exciting and a little overwhelming! In this past month, I’ve been catching up on all the work that got set aside over the holidays, tackling a new home renovation project, and working with local leaders to launch our small groups into our first cycle of 2014. I’m trying to make sure that I stay busy with the right things, in the right way. I’m want to be attentive to how I can make myself available to other people, prioritizing togetherness in a community on mission with Jesus.

My job with Friends United Meeting is going well as we seek to make more resources available to equip Friends across the world. We on the communications team are examining everything we do and asking: Does this aspect of our work energize and equip Friends to gather communities that live out the gospel? If not, what should we be doing differently?

This is a time of great hope for us as staff members. 2014 is the year that we are putting everything on the table and evaluating how we can be most faithful in supporting the Christian ministry of Friends throughout North America, the Caribbean, Palestine and East Africa. We have a real opportunity to transform the organization into a vital resource for the worldwide body of Christ in this new century.

Please pray for the staff and board of FUM:

  • That we be given wisdom and discernment to embrace creativity and adaptability in new cultural, economic and historical conditions.
  • That we be filled with courage to try new things, take risks, and be willing to fail in order to succeed.
  • That we see past all controversies and human contention, keeping our eyes on Jesus and living in the reconciliation and unity he brings.

Here in DC, the Friends of Jesus community is experiencing a similar kind of opening as we begin our first small group cycle of the new year. We are blessed with a solid core of leadership for each of our groups, and we are feeling energized as we begin to spend six weeks reading Acts 2 together. We hope that this exploration of the beginning of the Christian community will inspire us in becoming a similarly Spirit-led, loving and guided community here in our own day.

Our small groups in Maryland and DC are now meeting on different days of the week, which should allow some interchange and mutual support between them. It also lets folks to pick the day, time and location that works best for them. As our community continues to gain strength, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, we dream of becoming a multiplying fellowship of small groups that demonstrates the gospel in word and deed throughout our region.

Please pray for Friends of Jesus – DC Metro Area:

  • That God would continue to raise up leaders and core members who are inspired by the vision that God has given us.
  • That we would be equipped as a Spirit-led community that heals the sick, gives sight to the blind, announces freedom to the captive, and shares good news with all who are hungering for it.
  • That the living presence of Jesus would fill us with boldness and power to push beyond our comfort zone and love like he does.

The Friend of Jesus Fellowship as a whole continues to move forward. The weekend before last we had our first ever East Coast Gathering. This convergence in Philadelphia drew together folks from across the eastern seaboard – DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and the New York City region. We even had folks come out from our community in Detroit! It was a real blessing to have so many of our core members together in one place, and it was great to make new connections and hear about what’s happening in each of our local groups. We’re looking forward to the next such opportunity at our Spring Gathering, April 4-6, in Barnesville, Ohio.

Please pray for the Friends of Jesus Fellowship:

  • That God would continue to guide and nurture our new communities throughout the United States and beyond.
  • That the bonds between us would be strengthened, despite geographical distance.
  • That we would serve as a resource for one another, equipping new leaders & groups, and blessing the wider body of Christ.

As time goes on, I am becoming increasingly aware of the importance of the connection that we have to one another in prayer. Thank you for your faithfulness in the last months and years, holding me and our communities up in the light of God’s love. Please continue to pray for us, and let us know how our community can be praying for you.

In joy,

Micah Bales