Wherever You Are, Be All There

May 18, 2017 Julia Campbell Branch Notes

I’ve always loved the quote by Jim Elliot that says, “Wherever you are, be all there.” I love this not because I’m good at living it out, but because I’m not.

I’ve always struggled with discontentment. My heart and mind is always advancing to the next big thing. It’s energizing. I fantasize about what the next year or season will look like in my life. I long for change, only for the good, or when it benefits me in some way of course.

Yet the problem with this way of thinking is it causes me to live in the future not the present. I miss out on the many rich blessings and opportunities that the Lord has given me here and now. Ones that won’t be there next week, next year, or when I’m fifty. I lose sight of why God has placed me in this season of my life. I’m distracted by things I hope will happen. Things that are not promised to me. Things that may not even happen or be part of God’s plan. I don’t know about you but that scares me. I would hate to miss out on how the Lord desires to use me because I’m simply not paying attention.

Right now, I’m fighting against discontentment. There will always be a season in life when you want the next big thing to happen – whether that’s to move out of our parent’s house, graduate from college, get a new job, get married, or start a family. I’m not saying you shouldn’t plan or be excited about the future. I’m simply saying it shouldn’t consume your thoughts so much that it stops you from “being all there” here and now – where God has placed you. Be patient. Allow Him to use you. Bear much fruit in the specific season He’s placed you in.

An Invitation To Celebrate

May 12, 2017 Josh Howeth General

We live in a world that moves at break-neck speed. So, it can be a challenge to learn to stop, reflect, and a be filled with a heart of gratitude for all that God is doing and has done.

I’m so thrilled that on May 21st we get to do just that.

On Sunday, May 21st, we are going to stop and celebrate the powerful and gracious movement of God. We will be gathering and baptizing six people whose lives have been radically changed by the love of God for us in Jesus. Nights like this are so important for us as a church, because God invites us to celebrate and listen to the stories of how Jesus has rescued people and is continuing to rescue people in this world.

Following our time of witnessing these testimonies of God’s grace, we will be sharing a meal together and celebrating new life. And so I pray you will make it a priority to join us that Sunday and be infused with encouragement as we get to see in a very practical way that God is not silent and inactive, but is very much on the move in this world.

Stumpies

May 4, 2017 Stephen Brucker General

I love going overseas. There is something about the smells, the new sounds, and the new culture that make everything exciting. A few years ago, I was in Turkey and I remember how refreshing it was to try new food and get addicted to chai tea as we looked out at the Aegean sea and took in all the sights.

But more than that, going overseas does something to my soul. It makes me yearn to see the gospel advance. It creates in me a great sense of my own inadequacies and dependence on God. And it fuels my heart in desiring to see God worshipped among each and every people group in the world. I love going overseas. And each year, I love to debrief with those who go on short-term trips at the Branch and hear all that God did in and through their lives.

As such, on Friday, May 12 at 6 pm, the Branch will host its annual Stumpies. The overall purpose is to raise financial support for those going on short-term trips this summer, pray for them, while in the context of laughter and community. If you pay online its $5 or $7 at the door. There will be entertainment and dessert.

Please make it a point on coming. Not only to support 13 members who are going to East Asia and Haiti, but also to connect with one another with laughter and encouragement. There is free childcare and the event will be hosted at Grant Ave. Baptist Church. If you have any questions, please email stephen@thebranchcorvallis.org.

Do you know what your future holds?

April 28, 2017 The Branch Branch Notes

Do you know what your future holds?

God’s word gives us glimpses into our past, what is really happening in our present, and what God has in store for us in the future.

I was reminded of one of God’s promises for our future at the Bakar Batu festival our community group (and Vanny) put together up in the Portland area two weekends ago.

For those who aren’t up on Papuan cuisine, Bakar Batu is a traditional Papuan way of cooking for large groups. The participants dig a hole and start an adjacent fire to heat up rocks. You then put the hot rocks, some banana leaves (we used local ferns), whole pigs, and vegetables in the hole, cover it up, and let it cook. All working together we fed about 40 Papuan students, along with 25 Americans and a couple of Chinese students.

As we sung, danced, and ate some rockin’ pork (pun intended) verses like these came to mind:

Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (Revelation 14:6-7)

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9-10)

And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. (Matthew 5:14)

As we get a glimpse into what the future holds for us in scripture, we are constantly reminded that every nation will be together there celebrating the victory of Jesus. We are also reminded that God’s intention is to carry the good news of the victory of Jesus to every nation. There are people in every tribe and people and language whom God wants for himself; they will indeed be found with the Gospel, and they will indeed be saved.

They will be invited into God’s presence and included in this great celebration, a celebration for all who will make up God’s new kingdom here on the earth. We will be included in a great international celebration, a feast for all those who have accepted the rule, authority, and salvation of Christ and will spend the next billion years and beyond worshipping, celebrating, working, and living on this earth for our good King Jesus.

As I reflect on that moment, singing songs about Jesus (and many others I didn’t understand), dancing together, and eating together, I can’t help but praise God looking forward to and thinking of what John writes:

“And the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.” (Revelation 16:9)

We may not know a whole lot about the future, but we do know this, we are headed for a great international worship feast. With this on our hearts, how blessed we are to have such an international church! How blessed we are to have those from other cultures joining us in our worship and celebration of Jesus’ victory each Sunday!

This feast in Beaverton was a very special moment. For just a few hours, through many cultures together enjoying the day God had made, through Papuan worship songs and the smells of Bakar Batu, a handful of people in Beaverton, Oregon were teleported into a future moment that God has promised his people.

You, however, do not need to roast a pig to get this taste of the Kingdom. Every time you talk to someone from another country about Jesus, every time you work to the Glory of God with someone from another culture, every time you worship together with someone from another nation, you get a little taste of heaven, you get a small peek through a window into eternity. If you do not have an international friend in Corvallis, I highly suggest it. There are few better ways to taste the Kingdom of God than to celebrate Jesus across a culture.

Do you know what your future holds? You can know it in part. If you want to preview a component of your future, praise Jesus to someone from another nation.

The end of all history and the end of every nation is a person, and His name is Jesus. Let’s celebrate together in expectation of His great international kingdom.

Theology to Doxology

April 21, 2017 Davey Walker Branch Notes

“Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!” (Psalm 95:6) Let us worship! What does that mean? What does it look like to truly worship the LORD? Is it singing praise songs to God? Or is it more than that? Is it a personal interaction with God or something done corporately? Is it an action we do or a lifestyle we live?

Honestly, many of us have too small of a view of worship. We typically limit worship to our Sunday gatherings when we sing “worship” songs or the occasional worship night we attend. Yet, we all cognitively know that worshipping God is more than just our singing and our Sunday gatherings. Yet often, worship in our lives is limited to those experiences. Worship is a matter of our heart expressed through a lifestyle of holiness. We want to expand our understanding of worship to see that it goes far beyond lifting God up through song. Worship happens on the personal level as well as a corporate level.

For the next six weeks we are going through walk through some of the different ways in which we worship the LORD. Though it will not be an exhaustive study on worship, it will broaden your understanding of worship and grow you in your love to worship God through these various elements. Together, we will look at worship through scripture, worship through prayer, worship through song, worship through liturgy, worship through our gifting’s/work, and worship through unity/Church discipline. Each week we will spend about an hour together learning how to worship God more wholly. There will be teaching on what these different components look like individually and corporately. Worship is both individual and corporate and growing in our understanding of this will change us individually and corporately as our lifestyles of worship continue to grow. Each week entails some teaching on the topic and then implementation; we need to put into practice what we learn.

God truly is worthy of our praise and worship. He is worthy of more than the 4-5 worship songs we sing on a Sunday. He is worthy of us honoring him with extravagant love and extreme submission. Worship should be more than an action; it is a lifestyle.

We will begin Worship 101 this coming Thursday, April 27 at 12pm at Davey Walker’s house [224 NW 26th St, Corvallis, OR 97330 – Sigma Phi Epsilon]. If you have any questions, please contact me at davey@thebranchcorvallis.org.

DIVINE EULOGY | A reflection for Holy Week

April 13, 2017 Josh Howeth Branch Notes

HIS BEGINNING

Yes, He was born as an infant in Bethlehem. But unlike you and me and every person that has ever drawn a breath in their lungs, He had no beginning. He may have had a father named Joseph, but before a star was ever hung in the night sky, He existed in sweet relationship with God the Father.

What a mystery. The first words Jesus ever uttered as a toddler, weren’t in fact His first words at all. Before anything was made, He spoke and planets spun into place. He spoke and the sun rose and set. He spoke and trees grew and swayed in the breeze with perfect harmony and precise poetry.

He wasn’t merely born into this world as a boy, but was given to the world as a gift…as a substitute….as the ultimate Hero. He was given by His Father. Unlike us who are constantly ebbing and flowing, seeking to discover purpose, He was born with no identity crisis. He lived to show us what God is like. To live a life that none could live and to a die a death not brought by his own hands.

He was born that men and women would no longer die. And His life never deviated from that pre-ordained path.

HIS LIFE

Some others long ago have written about this divine Jesus saying:

“He came into the very world He created, but the world didn’t recognize Him. He came to His own people, and even they rejected Him. This Word, this Son of God, became human and made His home with us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness”

“He was the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all His creation. He made the things we see, and the things we can’t see. He existed before anything else, and He holds all creation together.”

We should never forget, especially during a week like Holy Week, that He was perfect. Always obeying His heavenly Father. He never had a hateful thought, a heart filled with lust for a moment, never tried to “get ahead” and was unceasingly serving and humble. Can you believe that? The Lord, the God, not bound by time, the Creator, considering others more important than Himself always, serving instead of seeking to be served. Always responding as a child, as a teenager, as a man, with grace and unconditional love. Although some mocked Him, He returned grace. Although they tried to kill Him, He loved them in return. He never wished the worst on His enemies, but always loved. He was always gentle at the right time. Also, strong and hard at the perfect time.

When He looked at people as He walked through His day, He always saw them as they truly were. He saw their heart, their motivations, their deepest desires, always viewing them through that lens, because His eyes were the eyes of God.

When His father asked Him to do something, He responded in joyful obedience. And the greatest test of obedience came during the final hours of this Messiah’s life. Now came the time, not for Him to have His life taken from Him, but for Him to GIVE His life. To consider others again more important than Himself. To love without strings attached. To be generous and hold nothing back. To give the world what they didn’t deserve and to give what He wasn’t obligated to give.

He was other worldly. Like no other. And rightfully so, because He was God.

HIS GARDEN

As the hand of time etched closer to the end, the Son knelt down in a garden of despair.  His face glowed as he glimpsed His Holy Hill, knowing the imminent conclusion that none could thwart.  Bursting capillaries exploded as his future unfolded, the horror of the end none has ever known. The cup of wrath He soon would drink, a nightmare that made his stomach churn.  But gladly He walked, obedient to the end, spiritually empowered for the gladness and glory of His Father.

HIS DEATH

Many people watched as the Son of God died. They saw the excruciating, physical pain and suffering He endured. If only they knew what was really happening. That the physical pain was nothing in comparison to what He was enduring beneath the surface.

Do you think the nails being driven through His hands were painful? Try having your hands and feet pierced while you carry the weight of the sins of the world on your shoulders.

He was experiencing death, not in simply a physical sense, but an eternal sense. He died the death we all had coming. And in the blink of the world’s eye, He felt brokenness. He felt separation, from the One who has been with Him since before the world was imagined. Before the first laugh. Before the first cry. What has always been normal to us, separation and brokenness with our Creator, was for the first time an experience for Jesus.

In the midst of all this internal sorrow, can you believe what He said? In the midst of Him experiencing the most sorrow and pain and anguish that any person has ever experienced in a moment’s time, He looks out and says to His Father – not “help me” – not “I change my mind” – and not “I don’t deserve this” – but, “Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing. This is what Your God said. Son of God. Fully divine. Fully man. Jesus, the Messiah endures this for you, me and peoples from every nation, tribe and tongue.

“Come and see, look on this mystery, the Lord of the universe, nailed to a tree.” – F. Ortega

 

Other News:

Join us for corporate prayer every Sunday afternoon from 3:003:30pm in the Twig’s area at Christ Church (Formerly The River Center) as we intercede for our church and the city. Come for the whole time, or just drop in for a moment.


Join us on Good Friday (April 14th) when we will be gathering together for a night of worship and reflection centered around the crucifixion of our Savior Jesus at our sister church, Hub City’s facility on 2nd and Lyons street in downtown Albany. Childcare will be provided and the service will start at 6pm.


Ladies on Saturday, April 22, we are going to take an in depth look at what it looks like to stand firm in the Lord by taking up the whole armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-20. We will meet from 9:30am-12pm at the Branch offices (760 SW Madison Ave) for an incredible time worshiping together in word and spirit! Contact Victoria Renard for more information.


On Saturday May 6th, the men at the Branch are invited to a day of rafting down the Clackamas river, followed by dinner. The cost for the event is $70, which includes rafting and all meals. This is a good event to bring your friends (christian/non-Christians) and enjoy some adventure and fun. Sign up online and if you have any questions email Stephen.


Get excited for the Branch’s 4th annual short-term missions fundraiser, Stumpies! You won’t want to miss out on this evening of fun, laughter, missions and dessert on Friday, May 12 at Grant Avenue Baptist Church (1625 NW Grant Ave.) Doors will open at 6:30pm and the event will begin at 7:00pm. We will be providing childcare for the evening and invite all of our families to bring their children!


Our Community Forum is for members of The Branch to come together, share a meal, hear about what’s going on in the life of our church and to dream and pray together about the future. Our next forum is on Sunday night, April 30th immediately following the Sunday worship gathering. Please mark your calendars for this very important night together. Every forum is important, but this forum will be extremely important as we will be sharing about various changes and sending opportunities we are going to be encountering this year. Please contact Josh with any questions you might have. (541-224-1476)


The Global Mission Pipeline is simple—it’s a training program to help equip and cement a foreign mission DNA within an individual. Within the program, you’ll read books, walk with a coach, write papers, and be exposed experientially to ministering cross-culturally. If you’d like more information please contact Stephen.


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. If you have questions or would like to talk to someone about Local Mission Grants simply fill out a connect card and drop it in the basket. If you’re interested in leading a new local missions initiative you can find the application online, fill it out and send it to Stephen Brucker.


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, April 30th at 10:30 am. If you are interested in attending please email Stephen Brucker.

Missional Living Training

April 8, 2017 Stephen Brucker Branch Notes

This week we will be canceling community groups and we will all meet at the Christ Church on Wednesday (April 12) at 6 pm. Why you might ask? To grow in our ability and effectiveness in make Christ known.

There is an old Navigator tool called the Wheel. You can google it sometime, but overall the tool depicts 4 aspects of the Christian life—Pray, Bible Reading, Community, and Evangelism. Over the years, I’ve shared this illustration for it encompasses four aspects of a healthy Christian’s life. After I finish sharing the Wheel and describe each element in detail, I inevitably ask this question; “which one of these four disciplines is most lacking in your life.” Honestly, I’ve only received one answer—evangelism.

Even the word “evangelism” is hard to say. Furthermore, if you’re anything like me, then you struggle with what I’ll call cowardly lion syndrome, fearing people to the expense of declaring the gospel to them. Which is why training like this is so important.

Though we will not discuss every element of mission during this training, there will be much talk about how to live faithfully in Corvallis, capitalizing on opportunities, and loving our neighbors with the hopes of seeing God work in their lives to the extent that we get to see them transferred from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of his beloved Son.

So please make it a priority to come on Wednesday. Childcare is provided. John Winder from the Navigators will lead us in this training, and there will also be a time for Q&A at the end. Invite your friends, or anyone who might be interested in this training. If you have any questions please let me know.

 

Other News:

Community groups will be canceled the week of April 11. As a result, we hope that you can use the time you would have spent in your community group and join us for a training on missional living and evangelism. John Winder, our friend with the Navigators, will be leading us in a time of training as we explore how our lives can more faithfully intersected with non-Christians. Invite your friends or anyone who could benefit from it. We will gather at 6 pm at Christ Church and childcare will be provided.


Now accepting applications for our Branch Internship! We at The Branch are deeply rooted in a strong desire to provide a spiritually enriching and educational environment where you can explore your call, not only into vocational ministry, but also God’s call to be ministers in all areas of life. Our 11-month internship focuses on three different areas: personal ministry, spiritual development, and Branch specific ministries. If you are interested in learning more about the internship or applying for the internship, please contact Davey. Your application is due by April 15th.


Join us for corporate prayer every Sunday afternoon from 3:003:30pm in the Twig’s area at Christ Church (Formerly The River Center) as we intercede for our church and the city. Come for the whole time, or just drop in for a moment.


Join us on Good Friday (April 14th) when we will be gathering together for a night of worship and reflection centered around the crucifixion of our Savior Jesus at our sister church, Hub City’s facility on 2nd and Lyons street in downtown Albany. Childcare will be provided and the service will start at 6pm.


Ladies on Saturday, April 22, we are going to take an in depth look at what it looks like to stand firm in the Lord by taking up the whole armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-20. We will meet from 9:30am-12pm at the Branch offices (760 SW Madison Ave) for an incredible time worshiping together in word and spirit! Contact Victoria Renard for more information.


On Saturday May 6th, the men at the Branch are invited to a day of rafting down the Clackamas river, followed by dinner. The cost for the event is $70, which includes rafting and all meals. This is a good event to bring your friends (christian/non-Christians) and enjoy some adventure and fun. Sign up online and if you have any questions email Stephen.


Our Community Forum is for members of The Branch to come together, share a meal, hear about what’s going on in the life of our church and to dream and pray together about the future. Our next forum is on Sunday night, April 30th immediately following the Sunday worship gathering. Please mark your calendars for this very important night together. Every forum is important, but this forum will be extremely important as we will be sharing about various changes and sending opportunities we are going to be encountering this year. Please contact Josh with any questions you might have. (541-224-1476)


The Global Mission Pipeline is simple—it’s a training program to help equip and cement a foreign mission DNA within an individual. Within the program, you’ll read books, walk with a coach, write papers, and be exposed experientially to ministering cross-culturally. If you’d like more information please contact Stephen.


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. If you have questions or would like to talk to someone about Local Mission Grants simply fill out a connect card and drop it in the basket. If you’re interested in leading a new local missions initiative you can find the application online, fill it out and send it to Stephen Brucker.


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, April 30th at 10:30 am. If you are interested in attending please email Stephen Brucker.

Twigs: Instilling the Family Mission

March 28, 2017 Christina Law Branch Notes, General, Twigs

March was my third month as Twigs Director at The Branch. Though this wasn’t a position I ever envisioned myself holding, I have been immensely blessed by this leadership role. I have found that I enjoy the curriculum writing and compiling, the team organization, and the teaching element of children’s ministry. By far, the best part of this role has been working with the talented and compassionate volunteer team; our teachers consistently go above and beyond what is asked of them with their creativity, initiative, and commitment to the kids of our church.

Right off the bat, one of the tasks I faced was condensing the mission of Twigs into a simple statement that could be used regularly to describe the ministry from the pulpit. Rather than referring to the kids’ gathering time as merely “childcare,” I wanted to communicate the importance of what the teachers do each week, and recognize that our children’s ministry fits in with the mission statement of The Branch: to create disciples who are in awe of the gospel, who embody the gospel, and who give their lives away because of the gospel. Fitting these ideas into a single-sentence description wasn’t difficult.

Twigs is the Sunday children’s ministry at The Branch, which is a time of teaching the gospel at a kid-level understanding.

We believe that the children who attend The Branch are a vital part of our church family. We wouldn’t be complete without them! We want our kids to be excited about and be a part of our family mission to make disciples of all nations. This begins with teaching them the basics of who God is, the story of amazing grace through Christ’s atoning sacrifice, and how we respond to the love of God.

Our prayer is that through the Twigs ministry, the kids of The Branch will come to know and love Christ at an early age, that the interactions with their teachers on Sundays illuminate the incredible story of God’s plan of salvation, and that families would be able to grow in faith together as a result of consistent exposure to the gospel.

If this vision is something that you would like to be a part of in any way, please contact me. Currently, we depend on a lot of college students as our volunteer base, and because of this our leadership is always on a high turnover rate. Please be praying for the leadership of our ministry, that the Lord will provide the right combination of passion, availability, and competency as the need for new leaders arises.

 

Other News:

Now accepting applications for our Branch Internship! We at The Branch are deeply rooted in a strong desire to provide a spiritually enriching and educational environment where you can explore your call, not only into vocational ministry, but also God’s call to be ministers in all areas of life. Our 11-month internship focuses on three different areas: personal ministry, spiritual development, and Branch specific ministries. If you are interested in learning more about the internship or applying for the internship, please contact Davey. Your application is due by April 15th.


Join us for corporate prayer every Sunday afternoon from 3:003:30pm in the Twig’s area at Christ Church (Formerly The River Center) as we intercede for our church and the city. Come for the whole time, or just drop in for a moment.


We are going to be cancelling all Community Groups the week of April 11th with the hopes of gathering together as an entire church to think more intentionally about the way we spend our time and how we can be a more faithful sharer and embodier of the gospel in our community. John Winder, our friend with the Navigators, will be leading us in this missional living training as we explore how our lives can more faithfully intersect with non-christians. We will gather together at 6pm, location is TBD, and childcare will be provided.


Join us on Good Friday when we will be gathering together for a night of worship and reflection centered around the crucifixion of our Savior Jesus at our sister church, Hub City’s facility on 2nd and Lyons street in downtown Albany. Childcare will be provided and the service will start at 6pm.


Ladies on Saturday, April 22, we are going to take an in depth look at what it looks like to stand firm in the Lord by taking up the whole armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-20. We will meet from 9:30am-12pm at the Branch offices (760 SW Madison Ave) for an incredible time worshiping together in word and spirit! Contact Victoria Renard for more information.


On Saturday May 6th, the men at the Branch are invited to a day of rafting down the Clackamas river, followed by dinner. The cost for the event is $70, which includes rafting and all meals. This is a good event to bring your friends (christian/non-Christians) and enjoy some adventure and fun. Sign up online and if you have any questions email Stephen.


Our Community Forum is for members of The Branch to come together, share a meal, hear about what’s going on in the life of our church and to dream and pray together about the future. Our next forum is on Sunday night, April 30th immediately following the Sunday worship gathering. Please mark your calendars for this very important night together. Every forum is important, but this forum will be extremely important as we will be sharing about various changes and sending opportunities we are going to be encountering this year. Please contact Josh with any questions you might have. (541-224-1476)


The Global Mission Pipeline is simple—it’s a training program to help equip and cement a foreign mission DNA within an individual. Within the program, you’ll read books, walk with a coach, write papers, and be exposed experientially to ministering cross-culturally. If you’d like more information please contact Stephen.


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. If you have questions or would like to talk to someone about Local Mission Grants simply fill out a connect card and drop it in the basket. If you’re interested in leading a new local missions initiative you can find the application online, fill it out and send it to Stephen Brucker.


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, April 30th at 10:30 am. If you are interested in attending please email Josh Howeth.

The People of the Restoration

March 24, 2017 The Branch Branch Notes

Our God is a God of Restoration.

God’s word promises God’s restoration. From one of the first promises of God after the fall – a son of woman who would crush the evil serpent, to the last sentences of John’s revelation – crying our for Jesus to return for his people, God has promised us that he is restoring this world.

Gods people are the God’s method of restoration. Consider the call of Noah to preserve a remnant of God’s people on the ark while the world was cleansed, or the call of Abraham to start a family, from which every single family on the earth would be blessed. Consider the sending of God’s Son, the one who absorbed every bit of sin and brokenness from all space and all time and secured all this restoration. Consider the sending of His Church, the called people of the restoration, the citizens of the already restored kingdom living now on this unrestored earth.

All this because Jesus took every last ounce of unrestored life in this world into himself, the moment on which the whole story of restoration pivots, to make us cleansed and restored into relationship with God.

This manifesto of restoration is and always has been the rally cry God has written for his chosen people.

This is why the Church speaks of launching into the most broken places in this world. This is why those in the Church uproot themselves and plant in places of brokenness and lostness, places where this message of restoration is not known or represented.

As a force of restoration we move into the most unrestored places in this world. We are called to be salt, drawing near to and eradicating the numerous physical, social, emotional, and spiritual diseases caused by sin. We are called to be light, preaching and living the message of a reconciled relationship with God and others and teaching others how to live a life of restoration. This is the mission of the church: to boldly step into unrestored places, ask of God what restoration with God and with Man would look like in this place, then strive to see this restoration come about. We are God’s restored people on this earth. As God’s restored people we have a purpose to be a restorative force on this earth.

Throughout the world’s history God’s people have been called to this restorative position, and each of us are to seek how we are to give our lives to partner in restoration of the world. This purpose is why our church is always moving towards God’s mission, both locally and globally.

Our local missions grants are intended to enable those in our church to step into restorative work right here in Corvallis, introducing others to Jesus and restoring our city physically, spiritually, and socially.

Our church planting efforts are in preparation to establish more of these restorative communities throughout Oregon and the world.

Our global missions pipeline can help those wanting to learn about God’s restorative purpose as it is explained through all of the Bible, to understand their own calling in God’s plan of restoration, to gain skills to explain the Gospel to others across cultures, and to find ways to be a part of a team who are also working to this same end.

Finally, our short-term trips overseas are intended to give a taste of the restorative work God is doing all over the world and give inspiration in how to be involved in this global task.

There are endless ways to be involved in God’s global task of restoration. Many of these opportunities exist right now in our church in Corvallis.

Restoration is a task which all of God’s people since the beginning of history have been called into, a task we are enabled for by the power of God’s creating and restorative spirit, and ultimately a task which God himself in Jesus gave his life for, rising again to be the firstborn of all the restored creation.

Would you pray into, consider, and let the Holy spirit reorient you toward God’s task of restoration? How does God want to move you towards preaching, sacrificing, serving, and striving for the restoration of the world?

 

Other News:

Join us for corporate prayer every Sunday afternoon from 3:003:30pm in the Twig’s area at Christ Church (Formerly The River Center) as we intercede for our church and the city. Come for the whole time, or just drop in for a moment.


We are going to be cancelling all Community Groups the week of April 11th with the hopes of gathering together as an entire church to think more intentionally about the way we spend our time and how we can be a more faithful sharer and embodier of the gospel in our community. John Winder, our friend with the Navigators, will be leading us in this missional living training as we explore how our lives can more faithfully intersect with non-christians. We will gather together at 6pm, location is TBD, and childcare will be provided.


Join us on Good Friday when we will be gathering together for a night of worship and reflection centered around the crucifixion of our Savior Jesus at our sister church, Hub City’s facility on 2nd and Lyons street in downtown Albany. Childcare will be provided and the service will start at 6pm.


Ladies on Saturday, April 22, we are going to take an in depth look at what it looks like to stand firm in the Lord by taking up the whole armor of God in Ephesians 6:10-20. We will meet from 9:30am-12pm at the Branch offices (760 SW Madison Ave) for an incredible time worshiping together in word and spirit! Contact Victoria Renard for more information.


On Saturday May 6th, the men at the Branch are invited to a day of rafting down the Clackamas river, followed by dinner. The cost for the event is $70, which includes rafting and all meals. This is a good event to bring your friends (christian/non-Christians) and enjoy some adventure and fun. Sign up online and if you have any questions email Stephen.


Our Community Forum is for members of The Branch to come together, share a meal, hear about what’s going on in the life of our church and to dream and pray together about the future. Our next forum is on Sunday night, April 30th immediately following the Sunday worship gathering. Please mark your calendars for this very important night together. Every forum is important, but this forum will be extremely important as we will be sharing about various changes and sending opportunities we are going to be encountering this year. Please contact Josh with any questions you might have. (541-224-1476)


The Global Mission Pipeline is simple—it’s a training program to help equip and cement a foreign mission DNA within an individual. Within the program, you’ll read books, walk with a coach, write papers, and be exposed experientially to ministering cross-culturally. If you’d like more information please contact Stephen.


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. If you have questions or would like to talk to someone about Local Mission Grants simply fill out a connect card and drop it in the basket. If you’re interested in leading a new local missions initiative you can find the application online, fill it out and send it to Stephen Brucker.


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, April 30th at 10:30 am. If you are interested in attending please email Josh Howeth.