“And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18).”
Dear Evergreen family,
This is a great example of a verse of scripture that we usually get completely backward. Most of the time, we assume that it means that the forces of evil will never overpower the church. If we think about it for just a minute, we realize that it’s the other way around. It really means that the church will certainly overpower the forces of evil. I mean, when was the last time you were attacked by a gate? Gates are what we break down when we overpower an opponent.
The “gates of hell” look formidable these days. The church has one hand tied behind its back. The church can’t sing, eat, hug, or open nurseries and classrooms. The rest of the world is asking us to keep a safe distance, and we are asking the same thing in return. Will the gates of hell prevail?
No! The mission of Christ keeps moving. It’s amazing that way. Here at Evergreen, we’re asking, “How can we stay on the offensive, given the very real impediments all around us?” One answer came to us last summer in response to the pandemic-related cancellation of our annual summer mission trip and outreach programs. “Make An Impact” was our local, socially distanced, partially virtual churchwide mission and outreach program. It was not just a poor substitute for the real thing. It lived up to its name.
Now, we’re taking “Make An Impact” year-round. Each month, we’re taking aim in a new direction. In January, we joined the Comfort Cases Pajama Drive. In all, Evergreen contributed 26 sets of pajamas to children and youth moving through the foster care system. In February, we held an appreciation card/gift drive for our Evergreen Christian Preschool teachers who continue to work tirelessly through virtual learning. Now in March, we’re partnering with Park View High School to help kids and their families get to work by donating Uber gift cards. Stay tuned for more details on this effort as well as on next month’s project! Together, we are “making an impact” on those gates! In fact, those gates don’t stand a chance!
Make an Impact photos---(Top row, left, from left): Brian and April Whritenaur of Living Realty join Comfort Cases founder Rob Scheer and Kristin Sawyer at the Comfort Cases headquarters in Rockville, MD, for a large drop-off of donated pajamas, including the 26 sets donated by Evergreen church members during January's Make an Impact pajama drive. (Top row, right): The cover image of Rob Scheer's memoir, A Forever Family: Fostering Change One Child at a Time. (Bottom row, left): Evergreen showered its Evergreen Christian Preschool (ECP) teachers with love and appreciation through a card and gift collection for its February Make an Impact project. (Bottom row, right): ECP teacher Karen James accepts her surprise basket of cards and treats. May God bless us all.
Your Fellow Minister in Christ,