A member of our church (Jeff Lieb) told me about a mythical creature: the Sankofa bird.
The Sankofa bird flies forward, but also looks backward. The concept of Sankofa comes from a king in West Africa. Sankofa literally translated means ‘it is not taboo to go back and fetch what you forgot.’ It is the idea that sometimes we must go back to our roots in order to move forward. We go back and gather the best of what our past has to teach us so we can achieve our full potential as we move forward. The egg in the bird’s mouth symbolizes the future.
We are in a Sankofa season right now at Whitewater! We are moving into the future while viewing, valuing, and building on the past. We truly are enjoying 101 years of history helping people find hope in Jesus and a home in His church. We saw God work so powerfully last year when we opened Phase 2 – now we turn our gaze to focus on what’s next. And what is next? Ripple. Please familiarize yourself with what Ripple is all about, for this is where we are flying as a church. It is our destiny and our destination. Note especially the Ministry Bridge and Solve 7 FAQ elements of Ripple.
The Ripple and Solve 7 initiatives provide the vehicle for our 3-5 year strategic plan and fit perfectly with the stated mission of our church to help people find hope in Jesus. The goals of Solve 7 are to Help People, Give Hope and Find Jesus. When we partner together to Find the Forgotten, Feed the Hungry, Clothe the Poor, House the Homeless, Teach the Uneducated, Rescue the Slaves and Heal the Sick, we are seeing the church at its best! Solve 7 will be the emerging face of how and where we do outreach going forward.
For various reasons this year (financial and philosophical) we have reduced the number of large-scale attractional events like Trunk or Treat and Jingle Jam. Because of that, some may assume that we are not doing outreach anymore – not true. Many of us are investing and inviting like never before! Hundreds are inviting to Sunday services, events, and smaller group opportunities that provide space for personal relationships to be built with people. Recent things like Picnics in the Parking Lot, Meetup – Eatup – Readup, Movie Night at Miamitown Elementary, and Family Fest have enabled us to connect with others outside the church. You will continue to hear amazing stories of how this is happening! Through Solve 7, we will hear even more stories of life change as all of us engage on a level never seen before at Whitewater, tackling the 7 biggest problems in our community, country and world – it’s like the Dollar Difference on steroids! Our mission (the ‘what’) will never change, but our strategy (the ‘how’) must constantly evolve to be effective. We look back, but we also look forward. Sankofa.
This is why you must attend one of the upcoming Ripple Town Hall Gatherings. In a church this size, it is way too easy to not know what is going on and just watch things happen. This is your golden opportunity to hear more and help make some waves yourself! There are three of these meetings: October 3, 5, and 11 (please RSVP if you need childcare at one of the evening sessions). You may even get a call from a Ripple volunteer this week or next inviting you to one of these meetings. If so, be nice and say ‘yes!’
See you this Sunday as we continue our Virtue vs. Vice series. (How is the gluttony factor this week for you?!) We will talk about the next deadly sin – Greed.
P.S. Did you hear The Landing is open now on Wednesday nights? From 5-7pm, The Landing serves all your favorite drinks. Come enjoy a beverage, free wifi, meet some new people, or just get some work done. Who knows – you may even see a Sankofa bird!