Fast food is efficient, it’s reliable, it’s predictable and it’s incredibly unhealthy in large quantities. We desire to be, not fast church, but slow church because love, grace, compassion, mercy, justice and relationships take time to grow. We desire to be slow because we want to taste and see the complexity of God, not just our own salt.
Most churches aren’t yearning for a small budgets; small congregations, small spaces; but that’s the culture of Refuge. We will never have the best show. We can’t compete with U2; Hamilton; Disney World. Our weaknesses are evident as a purposely small church, and we see this as a calling and a gift from God.
This week we began a new 8-week series title Refuge.Basics. As we dig into the culture of our church, what better place to start than to explore why we call ourselves MISFITS. And as misfits, how that allows others to BELONG regardless of BEHAVIOR and BELIEF.
This Saturday (August 1st; 5:30pm) Refuge.Church will begin officially regathering onsite at our location on Brantley Road in Fort Myers. The one-hour service will include worship and teaching and will continue to be streamed on our Facebook Page.
We are taking the following precautions at this time for the onsite gathering.
We have requested all attenders wear a face mask at all times inside the building.
Seating will be spaced to meet social distancing guidelines, and there will be limited seating capacity.
There will be 6-feet between rows, and ask that you maintain social distancing in your row between those who are not a part of your “family circle”.
There will be no serving of food or beverages.
There will be hand sanitizers placed throughout the building, as well as reminders to keep with the recommended 6-feet apart social distancing guidelines.
Those who have a cough, fever or any other signs of sickness are asked to not enter the building.
It is requested that anyone who is in an “at risk” category to please continue to participate in the gatherings virtually.
On weeks when we do communion as a church, individual, sealed emblems will be provided.
Covid-19 appears to be with us for the foreseeable future. During this time, Refuge is seeking to provide options for those who would like to attend in person and for those who would like to continue to attend from the safety of their home.
We do believe, ultimately the gathering of the church should be in person, as it has been for 2000 years. We also believe that our first priority as a church is to love our neighbors, and one of the ways we can do that in 2020 is to continue to play our part in controlling the spread of Covid-19.
Refuge will follow all health and safety recommendations for our governing health authorities, and continue to be subject to the governing authorities.
Before God created the turquoise waters of the Dry Tortugas; before God created the brilliant sunsets of SWFL; before God created billions of stars and human beings, He created WISDOM.
This past Saturday night we looked at Proverbs 14:15. Only simpletons believe everything they hear, but the prudent (the WISE) carefully consider their steps. As witnesses to the Gospel, we are called to share our good news with the world, but when we believe things which aren’t true and share those things, our sharing of the Gospel looks like nothing more than click-bait.
I’m a little late getting this posted, but two weeks ago guest speaker Scott Morrison brought us God’s Word from the book of Proverbs as he spoke about the importance of being in, seeking and trusting God’s will in our lives.
4-years ago started a study through book of Acts. We’ve watched the early church grow from a small group of ragamuffins-outsider-misfits … to a larger group of ragamuffins-outsider-misfits. All propelled by the power of the Spirit and the Good News of Christ Jesus.
Tonight, we conclude our study of this book; the final chapter; the end of the story. Of course, we know it’s not the end of the story. The church didn’t end in Acts 28. Decade by decade; century by century; 2000 years later; we’re still here; and we’re still a group of ragamuffins-outsider-misfits.
This past Saturday night, we aired a recorded conversation between myself and my friend and fellow Refuge misfit Dwayne Jackson. It’s a conversation he and I have had often, and will continue to have. It’s a conversation we all need to be having. It’s a conversation that ought to be pointing us to no place but the Gospel.
On this Saturday night, Carly Leotti talked about wisdom, love, being a fool and knowing thyself. Connect Acts and the wisdom of Proverbs, this is a fantastic journey into introspection, faith and the Gospel.
Because of past trials and storms Paul knows himself very well. He’s grown; he’s matured; he’s been made new in Christ day-by-day, storm-by-storm. And so, in the midst of this current storm, he’s able to empathize with others and provide assurance. The calling of the church is not simply to tolerate one another; we’re to mourn with one another; to bear one another’s burdens; to deliberately devote ourselves to empathy.