Evergreen Association of American Baptist Churches @2017
Of America Baptist Churches
Phone: 253/859 -
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409 Third Ave S, Suite A
Kent, WA 98032-
Rev. Douglas Avilesbernal
Executive Minister Message
The Paradox of Beginnings
Few Scripture passages illustrate the shocking hopefulness and radical change that often comes with beginnings in the way Acts 2 does. Here we see a beginning so difficult many of us at church have chosen to ignore most of it for the better part of two thousand years!
“Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language?” Acts 2:7-
What is this difficulty? One of the first things the Spirit did when it descended on that church gathering was to have them speak in the languages of those close enough to hear what was happening! The Spirit of the Lord did not make those around the church speak the language of the church, it made the church speak the language of those around it. This passage preaches! It preaches until my church is the one who needs to learn a new language. Is it giving up who we are? How will we know where to go? We’ve already worked so hard and come so far, can’t “they” come our way a little?
I have just begun my tenure as your Executive Minister. I do so with great excitement and apprehension given the responsibility I will carry as I serve in the beautiful diversity of this region. When I look at Evergreen I see a region doing its best to struggle through the many difficulties of life together in diversity. I see a group of churches and individuals determined to follow Christ and the leading of the Spirit into speaking the language of those around them. I see a community that values the importance of joining together in following Christ more than the tempting option of teaching others to live in my church. I see some excitedly saying, Yes! But how?
My hope is that I will be humble and thus open enough to follow the leading of the Spirit as Evergreen looks to speak and act as the church. I desire to do my part in helping us join the community whose call from the Spirit since the very beginning was a clear path to welcome all as equal children of God; honoring each other’s profound differences not as problems but as part of the direct blessing and gift from God. More specifically, I know it will be tempting to want to assume the way I think we should go will often be the best way to go. I know it will be tempting to ignore the good that will come from places my prejudices tell me aren’t good enough to follow. I know it will be tempting to follow what is most comfortable. Therefore, my hope is that I will indeed be open to lose, to fail, and to ask for forgiveness when the Spirit leads in a different way than my ego would have us go.
I join the Evergreen family with joy and the desire to help us do as we say and walk humbly and boldly toward Christ, led by the Spirit.
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