In Matthew 5 Jesus called his people to be the light of the world. To be a place of hope and joy in a world desperate to get a glimpse of something good and kind. Missio is a church that believes we are called to be a people sent into the story of humanity carrying the light of Jesus into the places most in need of an encounter with him. If the only ‘Missio’ that people see is what happens on Sunday, then we are missing the point of what Jesus called us to when he said ‘you are the light of the world.’ So much of who we are as a church is outside the walls of Sunday morning worship gatherings. Of course gathering to worship is a core part of who we are. However, two-thirds of who we are as a church exists outside the boundaries of a traditional Sunday worship gathering.
Last month our blogs focused on the people of Missio and creating a culture of Invitation in our lives so that people begin to experience the love and presence of Christ through us. During the month of March we are shifting the focus to look at the places we as a church are most engaged in. And how these places help us better envision the full picture of Missio Church.
When Laura and I first arrived in Seattle we had no idea where we would live or what schools our kids would attend. We knew some of the neighborhoods closer to downtown like Freemont, Wallingford, UDistrict, and others. But we had never heard of Northgate, and certainly not Haller Lake, where we ended up living for the first 2 years of our time here. Sydney started school at Northgate Elementary which is one of the most diverse schools in the city. 30 different languages are spoken, each one bringing the beauty of culture to this little pocket of life in North Seattle. I started volunteering in Sydney’s classroom, going on field trips, and helping out around the school in whatever way I could and quickly fell in love with this school and all the beautiful chaotic comings and goings at Northgate Elementary.
One of the cherished friendships that has come out of Northgate Elementary is Guillermo, who is the Family Support Worker, and very much the schools father-figure. What is most incredible about Guillermo is the amount of love he pours out on the children who attend there. It would be hard to find someone who cares more about the children and their families than he does. But he also loves and cares for the people who love and care for his school kids and invites us to participate in making Northgate Elementary the best possible school for the countless children often overlooked in our school systems today.
As we have been starting Missio Church over the last couple years, one of our dreams has been to take ownership of Northgate Elementary and cover it, the families, the staff and teachers, with endless amounts of love, care, kindness, and participation. We have helped volunteer with the Harvest Festivals, PTO events, cleaned classrooms, painted walls and the nurses station, helped with Multicultural night, and more. We have partnered with Epic Life Church to repair doors and sinks, help pick weeds and spread mulch. We have participated in countless events and spent many hours circling the school in prayer. We genuinely love Northgate Elementary and will continue to participate in the life of the families there.
On July 28th, Missio will be leading the City Serve Day with Northgate Elementary. Partnering with us to complete four major projects are Epic Life Church and North Seattle Church. Together we will be painting a mural, scraping and painting the portable, adding shelving and organizing the supply closet in the lunch room and weeding and gardening as much of the grounds as possible. This is a the third year Missio will be participating in the annual City Serve Day organized by the school district and the Seattle Union Gospel Mission. But this will be the first year Missio is leading the City Serve Day. We are excited about this opportunity to lead and look forward to blessing Northgate Elementary.
The places we choose to engage and participate in define so much of who we are. As a church we are choosing to participate in places near and dear to our hearts. Northgate Elementary will forever be at the heart of Missio Church.