Going the distance

 

OIP-6

NO LONGER DRIVING THE DISTANCE:  The first thing I noticed was that the contribution was an odd number. ($___.32)  Most contributions come in as whole numbers ($000.00). And then I saw a strange note attached to the record that read: “gasoline & pet care savings.” I first wondered if there was some mistake, and I had received a payment intended for another website. But then I received an email from the contributor with a clearer explanation. As it turns out, this Catch citizen had actually benefitted financially from the lifestyle changes caused by the coronavirus shutdown. In the habit of doing volunteer work regularly a number of miles from home, she was no longer driving the distance nor was she having to pay for pet sitting for her dog while she was gone. So she decided to calculate how much she would have spent on gasoline and pet care since March, and share the savings with the Catch Ministry. How about that? Who would have thought of that? But now that we all have, maybe something like that might work for you? You never know.

HOW WE CONTINUE TO THRIVE: One of our Catch citizens wrote this morning, “When I first found your daily Catch in 2011-12 when I ate lunch by myself in my classroom, I was suffering church burn out. We had just left the church we helped to start and hadn’t found a church to fit into. We’ve visited many churches since; either we didn’t fit, or the church was in decline. The Catch offered a place of refuge from the traditional church, a place where Jesus could speak to me and help me to hear Him clearer without a negative attitude around. John, thank you for being obedient to God and starting the Catch. What do you need me to do to help the Catch Ministry to continue to thrive?”

I cannot wait to discuss further with Mike how he wants to contribute his spiritual gifts to the Catch Ministry “to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up” (Ephesians 4:12). We welcome others like Mike to come along side and fill a ministry or a service role here at the Catch Ministry. 

EMBRACE THIS CYBER-CHURCH’S 4 “R’s”: A subset of the emerging church, the Catch Ministry was incorporated in 2012 by the first of several Vanguard members of the Ministry who lead the way into a new idea — a new form of worship — a cyber-church. Recognizing congregations all over the world were going to outgrow current facilities, they purchased “acreage” in cyber space. For the last eight years, we have diligently held to the early Catch Ministry Vanguards’ mandate for the cyber-church, which is to recover the original purpose of the first century church,  recapture the command to go out and make disciples, teaching them everything the Lord has taught us, to reach the world through the Internet with the Gospel of Welcome — Grace Turned Outward, and to reactivate “Christ in you, the hope of glory,” which is Jesus expressing his character through his people.

The church, as God designed it and as the Bible describes it — not the institutional church, but the Body of Christ at large all over the world — is an amazing, dynamic, world-changing force. It is, in fact, a kind of invisible government, influencing and moving the visible governments of the earth. Because of the powerful influence of the Body of Christ, the people of this planet are able to experience the benefits of social stability, law and order, justice and peace. Yes, the world is troubled and in turmoil, but we haven’t seen even a fraction of one percent of the tribulation, tyranny, anarchy, and slaughter that would take place if the Body of Christ was suddenly taken out of this world!

That’s how’s important we are! And that’s how important our gifts are in support of this Catch Ministry. We are actively relevant in the world today. We are flesh-and-blood people in a community with other flesh-and-blood people whose primary meeting place is in synthetic space.

The virtual Catch Ministry is a real community.  Christians are about people in communion with God and others rather than a building. Besides, since when does the location of a church determine the quality of its community? It’s not where we meet, but that we meet. As long as the people of God are meeting together to glorify Him, the Catch Ministry’s cyber-church is vey real indeed. 

In heaven we will all shine brightly as the Bride of Christ, but “On This Side of Eternity,” we are the ordinary fallible people in whom Christ miraculously dwells making us the very Body of Christ on earth, restoring, recapturing, reaching, and reactivating the character of Jesus.

So stand alongside the Ministry’s Vanguard and put your weight behind the Catch Ministry, its purposes, and vision. If you haven’t already, embrace the 4 “R’s” with all of your heart, and invest graciously, according to you capability. 

And know that regardless of your ability to give of yourself and/or your financial means, we are full of gratitude to you. We want all of you to always know the Lord can and will afford the gift of renewal for us all.

TO CONTRIBUTE, USE THE “CONTRIBUTE” LINK AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE

Our campaign 
“On This Side of Eternity”
has begun and we would like to especially thank the following people as our 

“First Responders.”

Lyn

Roberta, Kent, Washington

Rona, Northampton, UK

Kent, Bryan, Ohio

Matthew

Aline, Newport Beach, California

Mark, Garden City, Michigan

Lewis, Marin, California

Michael, Sacramento, California

Sandy, Florence, Mississippi

Laurie, Everett, Washington

Tom, Barefoot Bay, Florida

Cynthia, Harlingen, Texas

Lisa, Sunland, California

Laura, Campbell, California

Pat, Dundee, Michigan

Mike, Tucson, Arizona

Mike, Cambria, California

Tom, Oakland, California

Dave & Pat, Normandy Park, Washington 

Steve & Colleen, Keswick, Ontario, CANADA

Joe, Sugar Land, Texas

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