Convocation and Synod 2021

Cultivating Space to Abide in Christ

by Rev. Kevin Whitfield on June 30, 2021

*Artwork by Julie Eastwood

“The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance."  Psalm 16:6

These words are true for Church of the Lamb. God has been staggeringly generous to this body. During COVID of all times, he blessed us with growth and opened a door for us to purchase 31 acres of beautiful land, a house, and office space, strategically located for mission and ministry.

Our vision for this property is rooted in our mission as a church: to abide as disciples of Christ: invited to rest & compelled to love.

Abide. Dwell. Rest. A place for such things is longed for and promised on many pages of Holy Scripture. Psalm 23 closes on the thought of dwelling with God: “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6).

After the Fall, humanity cast itself into a mode of wandering. The world, conceived as a space for us to dwell with God, devolved into a hostile wilderness. The promise to Israel was a haven within the restlessness of the world: “My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places (Isaiah 32:18).

Even with a promise as lovely as this, Israel was intimately aware that no physical space would be as reliable a dwelling place as God himself. God is the only safe space within the world: “Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations” (Psalm 90:1). “You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8).

At the Incarnation, God constructed a two-way street: “The Word became flesh and he dwelt among us” (John 1:14). While Christ is our vine, we likewise become his home, the dwelling place of his Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16).

As we are restored to God, the earth, too, waits to be restored, no longer a wilderness. Thorns and thistles uprooted; lush, ripe fruit grow in their place.

We wait for what was revealed: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God” (Revelation 21:3). We pray: “Your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.”

To abide in Christ is to become an embodiment of his good news. We receive rest for souls and are restored to bear fruit for the world.


The Abide Project

The Abide Project represents our vision for stewarding the gifts God entrusted to us: 31 acres of land, a parsonage, and office. We embody the Abide Project by cultivating three spaces where Christ’s deep rest and active love converge:

Parish

Adoring the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and welcoming our neighbors into the family of God.

Gardens

Offering places of delight and contemplation and inviting our community to enjoy the Creator and his creation.

Abbey

Uniting faith with work and vocation and providing a place for spiritual formation and healing.


Abide Project Phases

(2021—2023)

-Pay off most of our loan principal and establish long-term financing

-Renovate parsonage, office, and children's atrium

-Develop a master plan for land use and design the architecture of our church building

-Build a multipurpose space for worship and community use

-Begin to restore our section of the Cub Run streambed 

-Plant an orchard and native trees

-Build foot bridges

-Create spaces for prayer: walking paths with benches

-Designate a picnic and play area

-Research and develop plans for a cemetery

-Implement regenerative agricultural practices

(2024–2028)

-Establish a church building 

-Maintain garden, orchard, streambed, walking paths, and agricultural projects

-Implement cemetery plans

-Offer spiritual direction and counseling on site for church and community members

(2029—2031)

-Maintain garden, orchard, streambed, walking paths, and agricultural projects

-Commission outdoor Stations of the Cross by local artists

-Expand ministries of spiritual direction and counseling


You can learn more about the Abide Project here

Watch the video of Church of the Lamb's first service on the Abide Project property here.

Abide Project

  

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