News in the arc

Here's the latest in the life of the Alliance of Renewal Churches

  • A Leader's Testimony about the arc

    Dear fellow leaders,

     

    The Alliance of Renewal Churches (ARC) is a small network of leaders and churches. In July we gathered in San Diego to celebrate physical presence together around the spoken Word and the Bread and Cup.

     

    Is such a small meeting at a Lutheran Church in California with an un-spellable (Penasquitos) name worth attending? Why not hang out at Elevation out on the East Coast or up at Bethel?  Nothing wrong with big and flashy gatherings. But sometimes attending them can increase our sense of isolation; and make us think that we have to increase who we are so we can match the scope of what we experience up there on the stage. And that can be depressing.

     

    At an ARC gathering, people recognize you (and if it’s your first time, they’ll ask to get to know you) as a part of something larger than your home congregation. The Vine and the Branches (John 15) are lived out in true community. Ironically, going to a large conference can make you feel smaller and more isolated, and attending something like an ARC gathering can open your eyes to see that you are a part of something much larger. 

     

    And because we cultivate a direct engagement with the Lord through his Holy Spirit when we gather, we are reminded, in a way that can hit pretty hard, that we are directly tapping into the True Vine himself and our purpose is rooted in the very eternal purpose of Creation itself.

     

    At this summer’s gathering, main speaker Cheryl Sacks opened my eyes to this in a new and fresh way by raising my expectations about what prayer can do. While she was talking the “True Vine” was also talking to me. I have always been pretty heavily involved in the ProLife movement. Sometimes I get frustrated by the politics of the issue and get over-focused on the Supreme Court, etc. The Lord spoke to me (during Cheryl’s talk): "I don’t need Caesar’s approval to end abortion. You can end it by changing hearts and minds thru prayer. Ink on paper (a law) will never end abortion, but you and others can thru prayer and focusing on the hearts and minds of the nation.” And because of the relational nature of our network, I got personal prayer from the speaker herself on this issue (Try that with Rick Warren!). She confirmed and upgraded what I was sensing. 

     

    The other main speaker, Graeme Sellers, shared deeply from his personal story in ways we can be vulnerable with each other at the ARC gatherings. Then he came to our congregation on Sunday and immediately was received as though he was born and raised in our church. He shared some of the best of his current thinking and teaching in ways a stranger never could have. 

     

    Commit to the ARC; to physical presence among us. It’s your gateway to the expanded life (John 10:10), which the Lord offers to all the branches of the vine. For it’s in ongoing and abiding connection to each other that we sense the Big Connection to the Paramount Spirit present in every square inch of his Creation and working his work through each and every one of us. Don’t compare yourself to other churches. Cultivate the connection to the Greater Church with those who know you by name.



  • evangelism event at ARC church in Cuba!

    Pastor Richard Diaz sends the following report from Cuba on an evangelism event held at Gate of Heaven Church, a member congregation of the ARC.


    "Dear Michael, we want to let you know we had a wonderful time recently in the evangelism meeting I told you about. We had forty people listening to the Gospel of Jesus there in Caonao (an area located in Cienfuegos, Cuba), and many of them accepted to begin a relationship with God through Jesus. At the end we prayed for them and the Holy Spirit manifested His power, touching people with deliverance. It was an open door service. We are planning to keep working in that community since we have seen the grace of God in a special way in that area of Cienfuegos. Next week we are going to meet with those who desire to advance to the next steps in their relation with Jesus. Thanks for your prayers. God bless you my friend. Richard."


    Way to go Gate of Heaven members and Pastor Richard! We celebrate with you and pray that what God is doing with you, He will also do with us so that we in turn will have some evangelism reports to share with you from your sister ARC churches here in the United States.


  • light of Christ church joins the arc

    We are excited to welcome Light of Christ Church in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin into membership in the ARC. Light of Christ began in June of 2014 as a mission church in Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ. As the church progressed the leadership wanted their congregation not only to be biblically-based and missionally-minded, but also to be a church that embraced being led by Holy Spirit. To be better grounded in that area, the leadership of Light of Christ felt the need to be associate with other leaders and churches who share the same vision. Lead pastor Thomas Graves is looking forward to developing relationships with other ARC leaders in order to build kingdom friendships, develop strategic alliances, and grow in the capacity for effective leadership and management of ministry.