Dear Fremont Family:

This week it feels important to say, “little things add up,” and then just like that (with a snap of the fingers!), little things become big things. Does that ring true for you? What makes me think of this “truism” today is not just the pile of coats, blankets, hats and gloves pictured above, but also our extraordinary launch to our organizing season last Saturday, and our unanimous vote to shift our governance at our specially called Charge Conference on Sunday. Taken separately these things in the life of our church might not seem that significant, and yet, collectively, they herald big movement and change.

First, the coats and blankets. The NE Youth Collective meets the first Sunday of every month, and Fremont has been participating in the Collective for 2 years now. This year, the Collective (made up of 4 neighborhood churches) moved to a youth-led model where a Core Team of teenagers representing the churches would decide the activities and the direction of the Collective. When we met for the first time, the Core Team crafted a vision statement almost effortlessly: “The NE Youth Collective is a strong community of youth working together to make the world better.” To live into their vision, they decided that the first thing they would do would be to collect winter clothing for the unhoused.

This coming Sunday, 2/4, each of the churches will bring their collection of goods to our Collective meeting, and representatives of “Do Good Multnomah” will be there to collect them and teach us more about how they support the unhoused. Pictured above is Fremont’s contribution. Our Confirmation Class last Sunday did an inventory of what you all have donated. Here is what we will contribute: 7 sweatshirts, 14 blankets, 15 hats, 1 scarf, 7 pairs of gloves, 15 pairs of socks, 5 pieces of thermal wear, 20 hand/foot warmers, and 20 coats. That’s 103 items. Now, add these items to what the other churches will have collected. Conceivably, we could contribute 400+ items of warm weather clothing for people negotiating cold winter weather. Little things can really add up!

The same is true for our organizing process. 12 people met last Saturday to learn the power of a season of listening, discerning, acting and reflecting. Each of us on the team will endeavor to listen to 5-7 people before March. That’s potentially as many as 85 conversations! Of course, what comes out of that listening, we don’t yet know, but that is kind of the point, isn’t it? Let the process begin small and grow in us.

Finally, the shift to a Single Board governance model at Fremont. The vote we took last Sunday was the culmination of countless conversations among the leadership over the course of the past 2 years. In the end, the unanimous vote was almost anti-climactic. Yet, how this change will change us is certain to be remarkable. I actually look forward to this time next year when we will be able to see where this change has taken us.

In other words, keep showing up! Keep doing the work, no matter how small! Keep taking the next right step, and then, expect the Holy Spirit to increase our efforts beyond our wildest imagination. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Grace and peace,