I am sitting in my living room surrounded by my family (Grace, Cora, and Iver), much like year’s past, on this frigidly cold New Year’s Eve in Georgetown; Washington, DC. We are bringing in the New Year in style by watching The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe on DVD (because our cable is out), and waiting impatiently for our Uber Eats order of pizza (for the kids) and Thai Food (for the grown ups).
All of that is still strange to type. Our life is so different now from when we lived in the south, as we just finished 17-months in Washington, DC as a family. In fact, we just finished our first full year here in the city. And as hard as it is to sum up 12-months in a blog post, I’m going to try my best. Let’s start with the family:
- Greg served under Pastor Eric Saunders as a church planting resident with McLean Bible Church Arlington Campus.
- Our family became a hospitality machine, averaging almost 40-people in our home every month this year. Grace really flourished here as she developed such a Grand Canyon-sized gift for hospitality.
- Greg went to Israel in March. It was the trip of a lifetime.
- Greg finished his classroom work for his Doctorate Degree in Leadership.
- We went to Disney World in July as a family after saving for a longtime to do so!
- We moved into a row-home in Georgetown (our target area) in April. It was a nice change from a 2-bedroom apartment in Arlington, to say the least.
- Cora started Kindergarten at Stoddert Elementary School (a DC public school in Ward 2) where she is thriving both socially and academically.
- Grace and Iver were able to spend some amazing one-on-one time this year while Cora started Kindergarten.
- Grace became a room parent for Cora’ classroom and has built some really great relationships with teachers and other parents.
- Cora did basketball (Greg coached), ballet, hip-hop, gymnastics, and soccer this year—we know, it was probably too much. She excelled at all of them, but ran circles around all of the boys on the soccer field. I think we see a possible future here.
- Iver did Gymnastics and is excited to sign up for basketball this coming spring.
- And so much more…
Veritas City Church Highlights:
- We started with a Core Team of 15-people in January meeting for a weekly bible study. That team has grown to 60+ people.
- We baptized 3-people.
- We saw 7-people trust in Christ.
- We constituted together with 17 covenant members in April.
- We hired Jordan Thigpen and Caitlin Johnston as staff this past August.
- Joey Corkey joined our team as our Veritas Worship Leader.
- We signed a LOI on a building in Georgetown and have been working with our building team to finalize the lease.
- We hosted 12 mission teams from our partner churches.
- We taught through Philippians and the Gospel of Mark this year.
- We launched a City Group in Georgetown with a handful and saw it grow to 25-people.
- We had 60+ people at our First Annual Thanksgiving Dinner.
- And so much more…
I know that I am missing and forgetting so much, but 2017 has been both one of the best and one of the hardest years of our lives. Through it all—the ups and downs—our eyes were fixed on a King whose throne and reign is good, and we know that His plan is good and His love for us unbreakable. Paul reminds us of this eternal truth in Romans 8:35-39:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written,
“For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We go into 2018 expectant of more of His goodness, and as we lean into his goodness, we expect great growth—both personally, in our family, and in the life of Veritas City Church.
Thanks for praying for us as we seek to make much of Jesus in a city that largely laughs and mocks Him.
Charging the Hill from Washington DC,
—Pastor Greg (with Grace, Cora, and Iver)