One of the best signs that a church is both thriving and bonding is the presence of shared storytelling. When we start sharing our stories— rather than protecting our secrets— in order to help one another, we grow. When the church becomes a safe space for that kind of sharing, bonds are forged that can be created no other way. Little wonder that Jesus’ teaching consisted of stories and the church was founded upon a “confession.”

Confessional stories have been the substance of our MidWeek gatherings these past seven weeks. Jim Dant and an assortment of church members have led us through “the valley of the shadow of addiction” together. We have learned why the 12-steps of recovery are a source of hope for people struggling with substance use and for those of us who love them and want to help them without becoming unhealthy ourselves. It has been both powerful and tender, poignant and joyful, and the threads of our stories have woven our lives together in beautiful ways.

On Wednesday the 27th, we will conclude this series and host some special guests. Representatives from different recovery communities will be on hand to answer our questions about what makes their organization unique and what “next steps” we might take. Bring a friend who needs encouragement and get to know these folks in person!

Wednesday, March 6th, is Ash Wednesday when we celebrate the service that begins the Lenten season. Each year we hit a spiritual “reset button” and return to the dust from which we were created, inviting God to breathe new life into it. This year, we’re hosting special musical guest Bobby Jo Valentine, a California-based singer-songwriter who lost his home, sadly, in the recent California wildfires. In response to that tragedy, Bobby Jo has been playing benefit concerts across the nation to help other victims of the fire, so who better to help us find our way to that intersection of loss and hope, ash and rebirth? Don’t miss it!

— Kyle

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