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Church is online this Sunday!


Church is online this Sunday!

Church is online this Sunday! In adherence to Washington State’s “Stay home, Stay healthy” protection order, Evergreen Church will not be gathering in person, but will stream services online. Our Sunday morning service will stream at 10 A.M. on both YouTube and Facebook. Our Wednesday evening service will stream at 7 P.M. on both YouTube and Facebook.

In the meantime, we encourage you to remain engaged with us and connected with each other through social media, email, phone, etc. Reach out to those you know and love and let them know how much they mean to you. Continue to pray for the protection and provision of both our church family and your own individual community.

Along with that, I want to thank our church body for your continued, faithful giving over these weeks. This means a lot to us. Some of you may be up against your own financial strains with much uncertainty for how the days ahead will unfold. Please know that we are incredibly grateful for you and your family, and your continued support of Evergreen Church.

Lastly, receive God’s grace this week. If you are anxious or irritable or intolerable, or something even worse, understand that this doesn’t disqualify you from receiving God’s grace. You don’t stand because you’re perfect. You stand because Christ is perfect. And he is able and willing to be the strength you need.

Pastor Dan Behrens, Friday, March 27th, 2020

All Previously-Scheduled Small Group Gatherings Canceled.

UPDATE!  All Sunday Morning Services and Previously-Scheduled Small Group Gatherings Canceled.

Evergreen Church Family

Due to Governor Inslee’s March 15th declaration to further expand restrictions and protections against COVID-19 coronavirus, (specifically, prohibiting all gatherings over 50 participants and all gatherings under 50 participants unless previously announced criteria for public health and social distancing are met), Evergreen Church will be canceling Sunday morning services and all previously scheduled small group gatherings posted up on SignUpGenius until March 31st at the earliest. Again, we will continue to communicate with the church all that we know when we know.

Pastor Dan Behrens, Monday, March 16th, 2020


We want to be clear. We will NOT be meeting for our regular morning service this Sunday, March 15th, or even for the rest of the month of March. Instead, Pastor Doug will live stream a short message this Sunday at 10 A.M. on our Evergreen Foursquare Church facebook page. As schools, businesses, and government agencies are canceling their regular gatherings, we too want to be in line with every precaution being taken by our government officials and our surrounding community. We will continue to communicate to the church all that we know as we move forward. A more detailed letter for these decisions is included here (Church Letter – Coronavirus)

Other Opportunities to Connect

Though we are not meeting for regular service(s) during the month of March, both Pastor Doug and myself do want to facilitate opportunity to connect with the church in simple yet meaningful ways at different times throughout the coming week(s). These event opportunities are setup through the event-scheduling website “SignUpGenius“. Please click on the link below to see a list of events and their details, and the ability for you to RSVP.

Alternative Gatherings — SignUpGenius

Pastor Dan Behrens, Sunday March 15th, 2020

When things around us seem unsettled

Dan Behrens, Co Pastor, EFC

The following passage from Isaiah (Isaiah 62) has been a significant source of inspiration and courage for me these last few months. To begin, the whole passage is strikingly resilient in contrast to so much garbage we consume these days. It is hardly enough to say this passage comes alive off the page; the very words are life-giving and joy-producing. Everything else is outmatched.

To set things up, Isaiah is a prophet of God ministering to the people of Israel at a time when Israel is not at her best. She has slipped into spiritual apostasy and exhausted her witness among the nations of the world. This can not last forever. Isaiah himself is near the end of his prophetic ministry and is, at least this point, declaring the promise of God to redeem His people. Here Isaiah is speaking ahead of himself into a time when Israel would be divided, defeated, and exiled—the inevitable consequence of pushing God off the map. It is this particular passage where we see Isaiah taking up an incredibly risky position: a tenacious advocate on behalf of his own people for the promises of God as well as an ambassador on the side of God that He might act the part. Isaiah contends for God to move mightily while concurrently announcing the glorious might of God to rescue a floundering nation. Such prophetic declarations are the love story of the scriptures. Read for yourself… 

ISAIAH 62:1-12 CSB

1.I will not keep silent because of Zion; I will not keep still because of Jerusalem, until her righteousness shines like a bright light and her salvation, like a flaming torch.  2.Nations will see your righteousness, and all kings, your glory. You will be given a new name that the LORD’s mouth will announce.  3.You will be a glorious crown in the LORD’s hand, a royal diadem in the palm of God’s hand.  4.You will no longer be called ‘Deserted’, and your land will not be called ‘Desolate’; instead, you will be called ‘My Delight Is in Her’, and your land ‘Married’; for the LORD delights in you, and your land will be married.  5.For as a young man marries a young woman, so your sons will marry you; and as a groom rejoices over his bride, so your God will rejoice over you.  6.Jerusalem, I have appointed watchmen on your walls; they will never be silent, day or night. There is no rest for you, who remind the LORD.  7.Do not give Him rest until He establishes and makes Jerusalem the praise of the earth.  8.The LORD has sworn with his right hand and his strong arm: I will no longer give your grain to your enemies for food, and foreigners will not drink the new wine for which you have labored.  9.For those who gather grain will eat it and praise the LORD, and those who harvest grapes will drink the wine in my holy courts.  10.Now, go out, go out through the city gates; prepare a way for the people! Build it up, build up the highway; clear away the stones! Raise a banner for the people.  11.Look, the LORD has proclaimed to the ends of the earth, “Say to Daughter Zion: Look, your salvation is coming, his wages are with him, and his reward accompanies him.”  12.And they will be called a ‘Holy People’, ‘the LORD’s Redeemed’; and you will be called ‘Cared For, A City Not Deserted’.

As I said, this text has been a tremendous source of inspiration and courage for me, a vital comfort and encouragement when I myself have not been at my best. With so much in our lives and in the surrounding culture seemingly unsettled, I am wakened by the words of the prophet. Relationships are often divided and difficult to engage. Fruitful direction in life can seem uncertain and scary. Even our own identity among family, friends, work and calling frequently feels exiled. So where am I? Who am I? What do I believe? What do I know to be true about God in my own life? What do I know to be true about myself as a child of God?

These last two questions I brought before our church this last week—What do I know to be true about God? and what do I know to be true about myself as a child of God? I presented these considerations as a reasonable overflow of the strength and hope I found in Isaiah. The text doesn’t address these considerations specifically, but the Spirit of God does. I’m now listening.

When things around us seem unsettled, what do we believe to be true about us as a church? When things around us seem unsettled, what do we believe to be true about us as members of the body of Christ? (*the following is certainly not an exclusive nor exhaustive list, and they’re in no particular order.)

  1. First, the conviction that God’s presence is real and alive and with me is huge. And as a church, we consistently acknowledge the Spirit of God in us and in our midst. We celebrate the Spirit’s comfort and affirmation. We intentionally make room for the Spirit’s leading in our life.
  2. Second, no less huge is the conviction that God’s enduring provision is also real and available to me through His presence. As a church, we believe in the promise of God’s provision for the restoration of broken promises, for the redemption of forgotten dreams, for the rescue of lost relationships (loved ones).
  3. We now run up against some difficulty—God’s healing. There are all sorts of beliefs and positions and convictions regarding the miraculous healing of God, a great deal of which are born out of past experience (good or bad). For me, it’s important to be open and in some sense unsettled, to err on the side of welcoming that which is outside our personal experience. That said, our church believes for and welcomes miraculous healing. We faithfully pray for and celebrate healing in all forms, for all things, in all seasons.
  4. Of course, all this must align with God’s Word. The scriptures, like the passage above, are the only enduring foundation we can stand on. The material world is falling apart. The testimony of God and His people does not fall apart. We are a church who believes in the power of God’s word—the enduring testimony of the scriptures inspired by the Holy Spirit for all generations.
  5. It’s the enduring testimony of the scriptures that reveal the enduring miracle of God’s grace. We stand on the foundation of God’s word, yet we stand in the provision of God’s daily grace. Consequently, we as the church believe in the miracle of God’s present grace—His enduring mercy new every morning.
  6. The grace in which we stand is our most effective witness in the world. What I know to be true of myself is that I am completely lost outside of the grace of God. My testimony as witness of God’s grace is that I am justified before God through Jesus Christ. I can say to the world “I have experienced the goodness of God, and I freely offer what I have experienced to anyone who is willing.”  Beyond me, I believe this should be the witness of the church at large, the body of Christ who believes in and contends for the witness of Christ in every relationship, every interaction, every season of life.

Now (and perhaps more importantly), what I also believe to be true is that there are those who are dear to you who are up against things not one of us could imagine. They may not need your advice as much as they need your compassion. Give them your compassion. The places where you have found strength and comfort, inspiration and courage, take them to these places and offer them what you have found there. Offer them the way of hope that ignites the church of God.

Bethlehem

Dan Behrens, Co Pastor, EFC

Poem I wrote over a year ago. Still tinkering with it, playing around with different ideas and images, inspired by different things I’m interacting with. Even what little the prophet Isaiah speaks of Bethlehem specifically, there is within him something deeper, something beyond Zion of Jerusalem. In fact, all of our old testament seems to love a thing that is initially unlovable. Seems oddly Christ-like to me. The Christ life is to love a thing before and until itself becomes more and more lovely and lovable than anyone could ever imagine. It is a tremendous fight. And not that I have attained this, but here I place the roots of it in Bethlehem.

Bethlehem

Bethlehem

City of David

Ephrath of old

Village among the cliffs

Your lamp has not gone out.

Bethlehem

You keep the bones of Rachel

You birth the sons of Jesse

You feed the lambs of sinners

Your carved crags shelter shepherds.

Bethlehem

Oh house of bread

Seal up your earthen doors

Herod’s horses  Herod’s swords

Hide your infants in dank dark caves.

Oh Bethlehem Bethlehem

Your lamp has not gone out

Feed us all the prophet’s song—

“unto you is born this day”

Feed us all the prophet’s song.

Bethlehem

Wherein the road does end

Herein your womb is moved

Your fields have all laid down

Your shepherds bring us in.

Oh Bethlehem

The angels softly sing

A lamb is born in Bethlehem

What hope is raised in Bethlehem

Village among the cliffs.

 

 

A Message for the Church — Fairly Spiritual

Dr Doug Bursch, pastor of Evergreen Foursquare Church in Auburn Washington, shares a deeply powerful and intimate message with the church he pastors. “I shared this message with my church last week, and I’d like to share it with everyone else here. This is my heart concerning ministry.”  Read more here… You can find out more about Dr Doug Bursch or listen to one of his recent podcasts at fairlyspiritual.org.


A Message for the Church — Fairly Spiritual

Message from Pastor Doug Bursch for Evergreen Church, February 2020

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