(Written on All Saints’ Day, 2023)
Dear Missional Partners—
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,
let us also lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes upon
Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith.” (Hebrews 12:1, 2)
Grace and peace to you on this blessed All Saints’ Day, a time set aside to honor those Christ-centered ‘saints’, both known and unknown, who sacrificed much and sought to live righteous and holy lives. Through such a commemoration, we are invited to call to heart and mind those who have gone before us (and, I believe, those presently with whom we share a Holy Communion). In doing so, it’s almost as if we can hear this great cloud of witnesses cheering us on to stay the course and run with perseverance the race that is set before us, regardless of what lies ahead! We are bound up in Christ as One Body: “There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus … there is nothing in all creation that will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:1, 39) What amazingly Good and Hope-filled News!
Along with bringing you encouragement to persevere for the last quarter of 2023, the primary purpose of this letter is to invite you to prayerfully consider partnering with us in a special way, specifically in terms of financial resources. In a nutshell, we need to secure $30,000.00 within 30 days. Over the course of the past six months, we’ve had a team (thank you Tom Stone, Tim Kyle, and Dan Rodriguez) working on installing permanent electric (design-engineering-initial installation) for the landbase. (Please note that ‘installation of electric’ is part of Phase II of our 3-phase plan mentioned below.) As you might imagine, it’s been quite a process working through BGE and Baltimore County, etc. Early on, the calculated cost was $5-10K. By early October, we were shocked to find out that it more than tripled but we were so far ‘down the road’ that we, as leadership, determined that it would be best to proceed.
So, here we are. With the leadership’s blessing, yesterday I signed (with a whole bunch of faith, but resting solely on His Grace, Rom. 4:16!) the official documents to move forward; by December 1st, BGE will need full payment. But already, as of yesterday, someone has stepped forward with a gift of $10,000.00, which leaves us with a balance of $20K. So, we are encouraged. Once we have electric at our landbase (and no longer need to “borrow” the electrical connection from our generous neighbors!) we will be much more able to develop it as a Missional Life Center, which is designed to be used by the whole Body of Christ for a multitude of activities. This will include City Mission, Music-Mission Fest, retreating, worship gatherings, First Communion preparation, leadership training, youth gatherings, and so much more—Again, we are building it out to be used by the broader Church to more effectively and faithfully equip His People to be about His Kingdom work, for such a time as this!
As you might remember from our in-person gatherings (at least since our 2021 Music-Mission Fest), we presented a very brief three-phase plan in terms of developing the ministry into a Missional Life Center on our 14-acre landbase. Simply stated, the plan looks like this: Phase I (now complete)—Assessment of options to create ingress (entrance) and egress (exit), building the new 1600 ft. entrance through the ‘existing farm lane’, building a small storage shed, and initial landscaping/planting of new trees; Phase II (proposed)—Completion of a small storage shed, further landscaping/planting of trees, and installation of electric; and, Phase III (proposed)—Retrofitting of existing small cabin, further landscaping, etc., and design-build of a large gathering pavilion.
Thank you for reading this letter and prayerfully considering giving an extra gift above and beyond your regular offering. This will be a monumental step in helping REM establish a Missional Life Center for this region. If you have any questions for clarification, please feel free to call me at 240-315-7997. Stay the course!
In Christ’s love, Pastor Craig (and River’s Edge Ministries)
Ways to give:
Online via our website
or mail checks to:
River’s Edge Ministries
PO Box 1074
Mt. Airy, MD 21771
As a Kingdom of God movement, we are captivated by a vision to call the Church to be His Church … while it is still day.