Coming right out of the Thanksgiving weekend, there is so much to be thankful for. I’m not just thankful for all God’s been doing in Vermillion and Resilient Church; I’m in awe.
Just over a year ago, we had a Thanksgiving potluck with our fledgling church community when we were meeting at the Vermillion Public Library:
Since then, we have launched weekly worship services, a college ministry, grown to an average weekly attendance of 60, and have already seen many of our people diving deeper into their faith. Check out out this collage of photos from our Resilient gatherings just over this last month:
But this is only the beginning! Check out all the other amazing things God’s been doing that we’re so thankful for.
Raised to New Life: Celebrating Baptisms!
On November 20th, we got to baptize 5 of our people as they profess their new life in Christ and their anticipation for the future resurrection of our bodies when Jesus returns to restore all things. This was undoubtedly our most exciting Sunday to date. Check out these photos of our baptizees and their testimonies!
For the past two years Don has been on a personal journey of health encompassing mind, body, and most importantly spirit
Don was presented with an incredible opportunity to work remotely. He picked Vermillion to start his new life because it is a loving community, and his chosen family is in the area.
As part of his spiritual path, he is being baptized as a symbol of leaving the past behind to create a life that is fully expressed. This baptism is a re-birth of spiritual commitment and healing.
“I’ve decided to get baptized in order to start new in my walk with god in this next chapter of my life. I’ve just turned 21, and this is a time full of uncertainty. So I want to release all of the pessimism and fear and welcome the lord as my guide and savior in this time.”
“I was baptized as an infant, but a lot of life has happened between then and now. Through the hard times, the pain, the regrets, and even just the hustle of life, I have let my faith diminish and have grown distant from God. Today represents a request for forgiveness. It represents the start of a renewed relationship with the Lord. It represents my commitment to Him, my commitment to furthering my faith, and also a commitment to my son: to teach him God’s word, show him God’s forgiveness and help him see the power of God’s unwavering, everlasting love.”
“I’ve been taking my spiritual journey seriously for about two years. Everyday I try to grow in my faith and everyday I am reminded why God is so great. In Matthew 19:26 Jesus says “with man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” I have been able to see my life would not been as good as it is if the lord was not apart of it. All things are possible when he is in your life. Today, I take the next steps of letting the lord in and worshiping him for how great he is.”
Cooper was a walk-up baptism! We gave everyone the chance to baptized if the Holy Spirit prompted them—and Cooper responded! Cooper is a sophomore in high school, and had been contemplating getting baptized. During the baptism service, he knew this was what he needed to do. As we were getting ready to baptize him, he shared this simple testimony:
“I want this to mark the beginning of my repentance, and make a 180° turn in my life.”
Resilient Students Worship Night
We also held our second college student worship night on USD’s campus in their little prayer chapel! We had 18 in attendance, and it was another moving night of fellowship and worship.
Donation to the Vermillion Area Community Foundation
If you recall, we raised $75k in 75 days over the summer to cover our launch expenses. In that giving campaign, we promised to give 10% of whatever we raised back to our community. In September, we gave $2500 to the United Way of Vermillion, and $2500 to the new Boys & Girls Club that opened this Fall. This month, we gave our final $2500 gift to round out our 10% investment to the Vermillion Area Community Foundation.
I have the pleasure of sitting on the VACF’s board, and already it has been such a meaningful way for me to join in conversations on how we can make our community better and stronger through the advancement of our local nonprofit’s goals and projects.
Our donation goes towards their larger pool of funds to enhance the quality of life in Vermillion. Here’s a snapshot of the foundation, per their website:
The Vermillion Area Community Foundation was established in 2000 for the sole purpose of creating an endowed fund to build financial resources, that aren’t depleted each year and are forever and perpetual, to assist with capital projects that address community needs and that impact and enhance the quality of community life for residents of all ages…. The Vermillion Area Community Foundation funds projects that improve the quality of life in the Vermillion area and have a positive impact on our community. We award approximately $18,000 annually over the course of up to two grant cycles to local organizations, with grant applications due on March 15th and September 15th each year.VACF website.
$5,000 Matching Grant Opportunity & Update
As I mentioned last month, we currently have a $5,000 matching grant opportunity made available by one of our supporters. And I’m SO thrilled to say that we’re currently at $4553 raised towards the grant!
Just as a reminder, here are the conditions for the matching grant:
- All donations must occur outside of Resilient congregants’ tithes & active recurring gifts from outside supporters
- Donations under $100 are matched 100%
- Donations between $100-$1000 are matched 50% (e.g., a $300 gift is matched at $150)
- Donations over $1000 are matched 25% (e.g., a $1000 is matched at $250)
- Once match percentages add up to $5,000, our $5,000 grant is unlocked
With these conditions in mind, all we need are nine $50 donations, or four $99 donations and one $50 donation, and we’ve unlocked the $5,000 grant! For a new church plant and campus ministry, any of these extra fundraising opportunities go a long way towards extra financial stability to ensure we’re in this for the long haul.
If you feel so led to give, you can do so here!
- Be praying for our students and USD, as they enter into finals week and wrapping up final projects in the next couple of weeks.
- We’re officially in our advent series! Pray for the Lord to move powerfully through this series, and that he can bring a slew of people from our local community who want to give our church a shot this Christmas season—especially those who’ve been disenfranchised from the church or are seeking answers.
- We have a serving event on December 1st to participate in our community’s 7th annual Standstill Parade of Lights! Pray that all the details can come together, and we can have some amazing conversations with our community members.
- Our Sunday Services have been going incredibly well. But the Lord’s been stirring me up over how we can invite our people into deeper levels of intimacy with him, community with each other, and discipleship into the way of Jesus. Be praying for us as we discern how he may like us to do that beginning in the new year.
- Finally, a personal request: Our second kiddo is due this month! Pray that our baby is healthy, that we have a very smooth delivery, and that our 2-year-old daughter, Amelia, isn’t too shocked by the transition 😊
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That’s it for this month’s update! Thanks for your continued investment, advocacy, and prayers over us and for us. I say this all the time, but it remains to be true: we couldn’t do this without you!
Be blessed this holiday season!