Lent has provided a moment for reflection. That has led to a growing sense of thankfulness for the opportunity to be part of Upper Room Community Church. There are many fine examples of authentic faith communities and churches; this is one. Here are a few things that have impressed me:

I now know when we gather there will be collaboration and teamwork.  

I now know when we gather to worship, there will be a spirit of leaning forward towards engagement. 

I now know there will be a spirit of gratitude and thankfulness.  

I now know there will be a spirit of generosity, even a spirit of sacrifice. 

I now know there is a willingness to be formed and shaped and changed by the gospel of Jesus. 

I now know that a church can do more than talk about praying; a church can actually pray. 

I now know when we have setbacks, rather than pointing fingers, there are plenty of people willing to rally and be part of a solution.  

I now know that churches thrive when their focus shifts from themselves to the community and world beyond themselves. 

I now know there is trust in the room and in the hearts of people in the room.

I now know there will be vulnerability, transparency and genuineness when we meet. 

This has not happened in one dramatic act or through an unexpected overnight miracle. It has been one person here, a decision there, a small moment followed by another and then another. All of these small and ordinary things have begun to add up to something big. Now it's hard not to notice. 

I do not take this for granted. I have seen the other. I also do not know what it will be like a year from now. I take no credit for the community-wide transformation as it has been a collective effort and decision. I am asking God for the grace to keep changing and be part of the transformation that is occurring. I am just enjoying this immensely, having fun and expecting every day to see more of the goodness and blessing of God to be poured out upon us.  

Well done, Upper Room Community Church! It's a high and real blessing to be part of this fellowship.