When SonFire by the River in Pemberville reached out to families and small businesses in their community who had been impacted by the new reality of the COVID crisis, their primary goal was to bring joy to their neighbors. They couldn’t have imagined the renewal that would follow!

Using Imagining Renewal Microgrant funds, SonFire provided nominated families unconnected with the worshipping community with surprise gift packages, containing games, snacks and gift certificates to local businesses. Julie Luther coordinated the project and said that families were extremely grateful for the smiles and happiness brought on by the surprise. But the impact on SonFire was quite remarkable.
“Honestly, I felt like since COVID 19 hit, we were feeling disconnected or not as spirit led, but this project sparked that servant spirit in us again.” The community is finding themselves looking for the needs of their neighbors—”thinking outside our normal.”

What started as a focus beyond the walls of the church has strengthened a sense of mission to deepen relationships in the community. Folk at SonFire attest to the joy that has “sparked the desire to do more, imagine more, and pay attention to the Spirit a bit more.”

“The story,” says Julie, “is being dreamed and written little by little at present.”
What story may the Holy Spirit be at work writing in your community? How can you reach out to your neighbors in this moment? As we journey On the Way together, deepening relationships within our community is an important part of how we live out our faith. What story may you be called into beyond the walls of your church?
Will you join us On the Way?

Members of Synod Staff and Synod Council, rostered ministers and individuals across the synod have generously given to the On the Way year-end ask. These funds will provide us with the resources necessary to continue to equip leaders in the learning and practical experiences to reach beyond the walls of our churches and love our neighbors. We are currently at 25% of our goal of raising $52,020 by year’s end to fund the mission. Your tax-deductible gift will fund a spectrum of engaging and immersive experiences to coach lay and rostered innovators to deeply listen to the movement of the Holy Spirit in their communities, and together pursue God’s mission.