From our family's point of view, we could not have been more excited about 2.13.11. Ben and I share with the boys often that our purpose in moving to San Francisco is to start a church and enjoy life together along the way. We had a precious prayer time together on Saturday night. To hear the boys pray for their daddy and connect to the heart of God is a testimony of His grace in all of our lives.
We meet at the W Hotel on 3rd and Howard and have so since our first preview service on 10.10.10.
In addition to two mission teams and two partnering churches in the Bay Area, we had most of our launch team present to set up, run tech, greet, and work with Epic Kids. It was an awesome experience to join hands and pray for God's presence and His work. With tears streaming down my face, Linda Bergquist, church planting strategist, joined hands with me, as Ben prayed. Ben reminded us of the thousands of people across the country that had already prayed collectively and individually for this day. 4 of my prayer warriors in another state wrote early that morning to tell me they were meeting bright and early to intercede. We were not doing this alone on Sunday.
Meet some of my friends. Kaci (L)has been with Epic from the start as her husband and son moved to SF before we did for a job. Anna (R) joined our launch team after attending a preview service. She received an invite/granola bar that was handed to her by one of our mission teams. She had been looking for a church in the city. Herself, along with her son and husband, were a part of this big day. Both volunteer at Epic Kids!
Stacie Wood, church planter's wife and friend, honored us by attending our Grand Opening. Her and Andy have walked through this journey with us for over 2 years. Though we are celebrating Epic's birth, their church, South Bay, celebrated 2 years!
Brad and the band led a room full into worship. 196 San Franciscans. 40 plus mission team/partnering church volunteers. 65 first time guests. 7 indicated that they want to become followers of Christ. Ben's powerful message can be found at www.epicsf.com.
Andy Wood prayed a prayer of blessing over Epic Church.
Meagan and Leslie, two sweet girls that joined our launch team, worked with Epic Kids on Grand Opening. These two bring smiles and charisma to our community. Leslie even brings her Georgia roots!
A treat on Sunday was having our Hannah from Alabama here. Though she's here job searching for a nursing position, she planned her trip well! She even brought me fresh flowers from a street vendor that morning. I'd always wanted some!
Sunday evening we began an Epic tradition. Our staff ate at a local restaurant for the birthday party. Being from the south, we chose BBQ! It was a celebratory time.
I am blessed beyond words to have these three girls in this with us. Lindsey, Kristin, and Mary are not just staff or staff wives. They are fully invested in Epic's vision and sharpen me in my faith. They spur me on. We are hand in hand in this!
What a team! We asked ourselves over ribs and baked beans how 2.13.12 will look and feel! Ben verbally thanked each one for their commitment and partnership. We love this family. We've got much ahead of us as this is just the beginning, but we couldn't imagine doing it with anyone else!
Happy Birthday, Epic Church.
And thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
2 Corinthians 9.15