Thank you, Lodi. What wonderful support so many thousands within our greater community have given regarding “The Story” ministry and articles that were published right here in the Religion section. The members and friends of Emanuel Lutheran, First Baptist, Ham Lane Church of Christ, Temple Baptist and Vinewood Community Church thank you and the Lodi News-Sentinel for being part of “The Story.”
So after 31 columns and 30-plus Sunday celebrations, what do we have to show for it? Well, as a whole, “The Story” increased each church’s biblical literacy. Some friends and members in the churches simply did not have a complete grasp of the biblical narrative, let alone how it all fits together. But now, so many do have a grasp of God’s Word and are equipped to share it.
For all of the churches “The Story” also brought awareness of the value of regularly reading Scripture as a spiritual discipline.
One church member, Dorothy Nitschke, highlighted during “The Story” ministries’ mid-way point that this was the most excited the congregation has been about the Bible since the Bethel Bible series. Another member, Dan Cawelti, shared that “The Story” encouraged him as the spiritual head of the household to get more focused in his walk with Jesus, so as to have a greater effect within his family.
Time and time again, as I traveled through our livable, loveable Lodi, people shared about how “The Story” provided an amazing common focus for the people of all five churches.
I want to publicly thank the leadership of “The Story” churches for coming together under the common goal of having thousands of people in the Lodi community walk closer to Jesus the Christ. Throughout “The Story” ministry, each of the five churches remained focused and gave honor to God every step of the way. May this be true in your life as you walk daily with Jesus.
Additionally, if you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you are invited to engage with any one of the thousands of people that worship at Emanuel Lutheran, First Baptist, Ham Lane Church of Christ, Temple Baptist or Vinewood Community Church and make a connection with the King of Kings. Amen!
Chris Townsend is lead pastor of Emanuel Lutheran Church in Lodi.