Dear First Pres,

   Throughout this summer, I had the opportunity to teach Sean how to drive. Being an international student, he didn’t see the purpose of driving originally. He thought it would be a waste of time and effort to start doing it. However, COVID is extending his time in the US, so he thought, “I should learn how to drive.”

   First off, it has been one of the most fun things I have done! It is so encouraging watching Sean become more and more confident each time he is on the road. We started on side streets then main cross streets. We learned how to drive in a straight line in reverse, and how to make good turns in empty parking lots! Each time we drive we focus on one more area in which to become stronger!

    The last time we drove together, we practiced parking in an empty parking lot. Each time, it was hard to figure out where the lines were. Even as an experienced driver, I struggled to give good tips on how to park well. So, I took him to the parking lot with cars in it and had him park beside real cars. Before we went over, you can see that he wanted to do it, but there was a little hesitation in his eyes (honestly, in my eyes as well). I had him park beside a few random cars in the lot and he did great. He looked at me and said, “You’re right! It is so much easier to park when there are real cars around.”   

   Over the last few months, Pastor Jeremy has announced our Session’s adoption of this vision statement: “In Fresno as it is in Heaven.” Although we have been hoping to live this out, it has felt a lot like driving in an empty parking lot. We understand the concept and it makes a lot of sense, but we are ready to put it into action. We are ready to go where the real cars are.

   Church, where are you most hopeful about seeing Heaven in Fresno?

   Honestly, for me, there are a few places! It is watching our new CCO Fellow, Aaron Meyer, work on campus with new students. I get hopeful when I think about the dozens of Junior High and High School students going to Santa Cruz this week. It is the many new faces I see show up to FPC each week. It is so humbling to see God asking us to join in to bring Heaven to Fresno!

   So, Church, where are you going to join in? Where are you going to be the hands and feet of the Gospel? In a year, when we look back, how will our families, communities, and church look a little more like heaven because we believed God wanted it to happen that way?