Author: Victoria Renard
This week as a community we have committed to praying and fasting for revival. Community groups, families and friends have gathered together to ask our Heavenly Father to stir our affections for him above all else and for our families, friends and the nations to come to know Christ as their Lord and Savior.
As this week comes to a close we are thrilled to be hosting a day of prayer to continue our corporate declaration that The Lord is our ultimate satisfaction. On Saturday, from 9am-5pm the Branch offices will be open for us to walk through prayers of adoration, confession, thanksgiving and supplication.
We would love it if you would prayerfully consider committing to participate in this day of prayer. It is our hope to have at least 4-5 people praying at all times during the day! This is a come and go event, that can be done at your own speed. Signing up is not required to attend, but if committing to a specific time will encourage you to come you can commit here.
We can’t wait to see how hearts are changed as we come together to sit at the feet of our Heavenly Father and ask boldly for His name and power to be made known.
Our week of prayer and fasting will conclude this Sunday with Third Meal following our worship gathering. Please bring a dish featuring either a Soup, Salad, or Sandwich. This will be a great time to reflect about your week and share your prayers with each other.
Branch Brunch is a time to get to know more about our church and ask questions. This class is also a requirement to become a member. Our next Branch Brunch is scheduled for Sunday, February 26th at 10:30 am. If you are interested in attending please email Josh Howeth.
Do you want your prayer life to grow and flourish? Do you want to have a better understanding of prayer and or even how to pray? Join us Thursday mornings from 9:30-10:30 am at 224 NW 26th St, Corvallis (Sigma Phi Epsilon) as we pursue growing in our relationship with God through our prayer lives’. Together we’ll discuss the topics of adoration, petition, intercession, perseverance, listening and warfare. Each week will consist of training, discussion, and implementation. Contact Davey Walker for more information.
Register today to save your spot for the upcoming Branch’s Women’s Retreat on February 3-5. Ladies you don’t want to miss this weekend filled with worship, friendship, relaxation and fun! We only have space for 25 ladies to participate in this incredible cabin getaway. The $80 registration can be paid online, with cash, or check. Contact Victoria or Julia for more information.
There will be a meeting for all Twigs volunteers on Sunday, February 26th at 3:30 pm at The River Center. Families only need to send one representative to the meeting. Contact Christina Law for more information.
My Freshman year of college, The Lord dropped me (yes, I literally fell) into a community of students crazy for Jesus. It didn’t take long spending time with them to realize there was something radically different about their lives. One night I looked at my phone and one upper classman who had taken me under her wing texted and invited me to come pray with a group of students over the campus.
Why not? I didn’t have anything better to do for the next hour. I ran outside and met up with the group. As people started to gather I could feel the excitement building. An upper classman spoke up to address the group and said, “Thank you for joining us for a night of prayer! We can’t wait to see what The Lord will do in in the next 12 hours of prayer…” Everything was a blur after that as my mind started to go in circles. How in the world can we pray for 12 hours? I was lucky to sit and pray for 10-15 minutes before running out of things to say, and honestly it wasn’t very exciting. But I was already there, in the middle of a packed room, leaving now really wasn’t an option.
As I begrudgingly sat and listened to others pray outloud I was amazed. There was something different about the way they spoke. It was as if they were speaking to someone they knew deeply, someone they loved and cherished. Their words were oozing with life, passion and expectancy of the Holy Spirit moving mightily. Their passionate prayers and lives starkly contrasted to my dull times of prayer. As the night progressed I was convicted that I had let prayer become a duty rather than a delight. Instead of coming to talk to my Heavenly Father, I had let the time I spent with Him simply become something to check of the list. My spiritual life was dead, because I had let my communication with God be lifeless.
That night I silently repented and prayed, “God I want to know you like this.”
If we are all honest about the number of times we have approached prayer and our time in The Word as an opportunity to encounter the living God, I’d reckon it is a lot less than we’d like to admit. Prayer is hard! One of my favorite theologians, Sam Storms always says, “The easiest thing about praying is quitting!” First of all, and most obviously, we are talking to someone we can’t see. On top of that we encounter so many distractions and have way too many things on our schedule that it seems impossible to fit everything into the time you have already. Also I’d be naive to leave out that many of us have been disappointed and hurt by circumstances in the past when we felt our prayers weren’t answered.
Whether you feel like you have a rocking prayer life, or feel like you are in a dry season, I’d like to invite you to take another step in deepening your relationship with our Heavenly Father through prayer. Every Thursday, beginning January 19, we will be gathering weekly to learn about prayer by diving into The Word, and talking to God together!
I cannot wait to see how our lives, and the lives of those around us are transformed as we sit at the feet of our living God to listen, share and learn to love!
Please join us January 22-29 as we spend a week in prayer and fasting as a community. Elements of Prayer and Fasting Week include a fasting booklet, Wednesday night prayer and worship at Odd Fellows Hall (223 SW 2nd St, Corvallis OR, 97333) with Doxology at 6 pm (childcare provided) and a drop-in prayer time at the auditorium in our office building (760 SW Madison, Corvallis OR 97333) from 9am-5 pm on Saturday 28th.
Our week of prayer and fasting will conclude with 3rd Meal following the service Jan. 29. Please bring a dish featuring either a Soup, Salad, or Sandwich. This will be a great time to reflect about your week and share your prayers with each other.
Do you want your prayer life to grow and flourish? Do you want to have a better understanding of prayer and or even how to pray? Join us Thursday mornings as we pursue growing in our relationship with God through our prayer lives’. We will spend 8 weeks together discussing the topics of adoration, petition, intercession, perseverance, listening and warfare. Each week will consist of training, discussion, and implementation. We will begin meeting Thursday, January 19th at 9:30am at 224 NW 26th St, Corvallis (Sigma Phi Epsilon). The trainings will be around one-hour long. Contact Davey Walker for more information.
Register today to save your spot for the upcoming Branch’s Women’s Retreat on February 3-5. Ladies you don’t want to miss this weekend filled with worship, friendship, relaxation and fun! We only have space for 26 ladies to participate in this incredible cabin getaway. The $80 registration can be paid online, with cash, or check. For those of you that have already tried to RSVP online for the retreat but were told that it is full, we have fixed the website error.
Branch Brunch is a great place to ask questions and hear about the purpose and values of our faith community. Our next Branch Brunch will be held on Sunday, January 22nd at 10:30 am. This Brunch is necessary if you are interested in becoming a member. If you are interested in attending contact Josh Howeth to RSVP.
This year we are asking members of the Branch to apply for Local Mission Grants, which seek to come alongside member’s ministry ideas/endeavors with financial support. The purpose of Local Mission Grants is to seek and mobilize people at the Branch toward a unified local mission project and goal. Applications can be found online. If you’re interested in leading a new local missions initiative, please read application, fill it out and send to Stephen@thebranchcorvallis.org.
A little over a month ago I took a road trip to Washington Family Ranch for a Young Life Leader’s retreat. If you have heard anything about the Ranch you’ll probably know that the gravel road to camp is slightly crazy, and has potholes galore. In light of the roads the family I rode with had borrowed a truck to make the trek. As we left camp the tire pressure warning signal lit up. Much to our dismay we watched the air pressure go from 50 to 20 in the span of just a few minutes. As we pulled over and looked at the flat tire we all tried to remain calm. None of us had ever changed the tire on a truck before, and it certainly didn’t help that this wasn’t our vehicle! To top it off there wasn’t any cell phone service.
Immediately we grabbed the driver’s manual and started looking for the tools needed to replace the flat tire. 20-30 minutes later After attempting to lower the tire from underneath the truck bed we accidently broke the tool needed to lower the tire! In that moment of uncertainty (and frustration) we began to pray. As soon as we said, “Amen,” a man with a truck similar to ours stopped, helped us change the tire with his truck’s tools and sent us on our merry way. The appearance of the truck driver, and changing of the tire all happened so quickly that we didn’t realize that help had arrived almost immediately after we had prayed until we were well into our drive back to Corvallis. This answer to prayer came in the form of a pickup truck.
I wish I could say that this isn’t the only time I haven’t immediately turned to God in prayer, but unfortunately this happens frequently. When I lose my keys (for the millionth time), am asked to do project at work, or help plan an event I often jump into action without thinking twice about praying. I would love to say that I am fully dependent on God, but my lack of communication with Him would beg to differ.
It blows my mind that God, the all-knowing creator of the universe, doesn’t just tolerate communicating with us, he delights in it! He wants us to talk to him about the things we are excited and happy about, as well as the things we struggle and are frustrated with. He invites us to ask him for things and to simply be with him. It’s incredible!
Just imagine what our lives would look like if we were people whose initial reactions to the ups, downs and inbetweens of life were to turn to God in prayer both individually and corporately. If we were a community acutely aware of how much we desperately need God that we can’t help, but be in constant communication with him. Would it energize us to pray more fervently for each other, for our city, the nations and in turn share the gospel with others?
May we be a family that delights in talking with our Heavenly Father and waits in expectancy of Him moving mightily!
The Members’ Forum on November 20th from 6:30-7:30 pm is for members of the Branch to come together and hear about where we’ve been and where we are headed, make decisions as a church, welcome new members, and share a meal together. This month we will be receiving elder recommendations from you, talking about church planting, local missions and Advent. Childcare is also provided for our families. If you are a member, this is a very important time for us to spend together, we hope you will make being there a priority.
Ladies, join us on Saturday, December 3rd from 2-4pm at the Branch office (760 SW Madison Ave, Suite 11) for an afternoon of Tea & Treats. This will be a great opportunity to relax, meet other women in all stages of life at The Branch and lift each other up in prayer. Contact Victoria Renard if you plan to attend, or if you have any questions.
This summer we’ll be sending two mission teams overseas (East Asia & Haiti) You can find an application online or grab an one at the Connect Table on Sunday. The cost will be around $3,000 and the deadline to apply is December 19th. Contact Stephen for more information.
In addition to our Sunday offering baskets, The Branch offers safe and secure online giving. Use this tool to give to international missions, support one of our interns, give your one-time tithe or even set-up a recurring tithe. Use our website or download our App on iTunes or Google Play.
Don’t forget! All of our sermons are available right here on the blog and on iTunes.