Happy 2014! I pray that each of you had a wonderful time of worship with your loved ones this Christmas. I also pray that you were able to finish 2013 strong, and that your 2014 is off to a great start! As we enter January, many of you will find yourselves beginning to prepare for the upcoming season. Whether you consider yourself still in the off-season, have transitioned to your race season, or are somewhere in between (or don't know), I wanted to encourage each of you to reflect on the Apostle Paul's words in 2 Timothy 4.
As you reflect on this charge, I invite and encourage each of you to be prepared to share the Word of God more effectively and more frequently in 2014 than you ever have before. As noted, there really is no off-season when it comes to making disciples and helping people observe all that Jesus taught (Mt. 28:19-20). Thus, today is the day to get prepared and to share!
Whether you consider yourself prepared or not, I ask for each of you to consider how you may become more prepared in 2014, and how you may create and respond to new opportunities to help others grow in their understanding and love of Jesus. This can be done in so many ways... through personal study, small groups, Sunday school, EMI, endurance Huddles, and many others. However, it won't happen by accident any more than you'll somehow accidentally become prepared to run a marathon! As you consider your 2014 endurance season, including your plans and goals, please be just as diligent in planning and pursuing both your own understanding of God's Word and how you'll help others grow in theirs. Rest assured, you are not alone, and we are here to help!
As you consider how to grow in your understanding of God's Word, we wanted to invite each of you to commit to reading the entire Bible in 2014. To help with this, we have started a new group on The Body: Bible in a Year. This group is designed to be a place of encouragement and accountability, as well as a convenient place to load relevant resources. There's still plenty of time to catch-up, and we would love to have you join us!
As we enter the new year, we are also getting closer to our annual Triathlon Camp, held Feb 21-23. For the past eight years, this camp has been a significant source of encouragement to many, including myself! For 2-1/2 days, we'll be worshipping, fellowshipping, learning, and training together in an amazing place (Tucson, AZ) - especially for those from the north! We once again have a great staff to serve our campers, including 5x Ironman Champion Heather Gollnick, XTERRA World Champion Jamie Whitmore, retired pro triathlete Brad Seng, AG Sprint National Champion Linc Murdoch, and AG multi-Kona qualifier Dan Perkins, along with a few others! The camp is also a bargain at just $225 plus meals and housing. Check out the details and get registered through our camp page.
As we transition to a new year, we also have a staff transition to announce. After serving faithfully as our Huddle Coordinator for nearly two years, Steve White has recently been called to explore other vocational options. As he transitions from his staff role, he will continue to serve as a FCA Endurance volunteer through helping lead our Savannah-area Huddle. The Lord has worked through Steve and that extraordinary group of Teammates in amazing ways for years, and I look forward to what He'll do in and among them in 2014! Thanks to Steve and Leigh for their commitment and service during his tenure as a staff member, and God's blessings to them as they begin a new chapter.
We also wanted to thank our Racine, Wisconsin Huddle and Huddle Leader Danny Moore for their efforts in hosting the 5th Annual Thanksgiving Day 5K. Despite very cold temperatures, a little over 100 athletes came together to run for a great cause! We're grateful for their ongoing ministry to the Racine community!
Quick Ministry Updates:
- 2013 End of Year Praise Slideshow: If you haven't seen it yet, you are invited to view and share our 2013 video slide show. This is just a small way to celebrate some of what God did among us this past year. Also a special thanks to Joe Dannelly for his work in putting this together for us!
- Prayer Team: We want to announce that Board Member Kirsten Melberg is our new Prayer Team Captain. As we thank her for stepping into this role, we wanted to invite each of you to join this team of athletes who are committed to praying for our ministry and are kept in the loop regarding specific prayer needs. For more information, please visit our Prayer Team Page.
- Gear Special Order Round Two: For those who missed the last round, we will be opening up our Borah Special Order opportunity once again from Feb. 1-15, with an estimated delivery time of April 1. This will be your opportunity to order special items that we do not stock. Details will be coming as we approach Feb. 1, but we wanted to give you the heads-up now so you can prepare.
To close, I wanted to offer up a special celebration. Last month, a number of Teammates faithfully responded to our invitation to invest in our ministry for the coming year via an end-of-the-year gift. Through their commitment and generosity, the Lord provided what we needed, and we have begun this year in a healthy place financially. Thanks to the Lord for His provision! And, on behalf of everyone we serve and those whom we impact, thank you to everyone who invested in our mission for 2014!
As the year progresses, we will continue to depend on ongoing support through single gifts and especially our AMP Home Team Members. If you would like to be a part of supporting what the Lord is doing among us, please visit www.fcaendurance.org/donate or contact me.
God bless you as you make disciples in 2014!
For God's Glory!