In this 2017 Year in Review, we share highlights of how Jesus built and guided our church.
On Sundays, we gathered to experience Jesus together, to learn from Him, and to respond in prayer and worship. Through our four sermon series, we learned: how God is crafting us to be the fullness of Christ in SF (Made & Crafted); the heart and ways of being in Christ’s Kingdom (Summer on the Mount); the reality of spiritual warfare and how we as followers of Jesus can prepare ourselves and actively respond (The Good Fight); and what it means for us to be like Jesus in this world (Becoming Like Jesus). In a year with many local, national, and global tragedies, we also began practicing the Prayers of the People, a call-and-response liturgy that provides structure to communally share requests and lamentations with God. 2017 was our 5th year at Everett Middle School, 2nd year at Dolores Park Church, and 5th consecutive year to celebrate Easter at the SF Opera House, where we’ll be returning in 2018!
Easter at the SF Opera House: 3,683
Average Summer Attendance: 1,633*
Christmas Eve at Sherith Israel: 585
New Year's Eve: 983
Across 20 neighborhoods in SF, our Community Groups sought to know God and one another while practicing the way of Jesus together. As a church that values hospitality, we joyfully welcomed 596 new people into CGs through our quarterly Intro to Community Group Dinners, where our CG Team laid out the hopes, expectations, and commitments of being in community at Reality SF. Additionally, we had the privilege of training and equipping 89 new leaders to facilitate and care for people in community.
In baptism, we offer our whole selves to identify with Christ in His death and resurrection. Prior to our Spring and Fall Baptisms, we found a special way for the whole church to reflect on their own baptisms. At the communion tables on those Sundays, we offered bowls with water from the baptismals where congregants could dip their fingers and touch the water to their foreheads in prayerful remembrance. This prepared our hearts to welcome 31 brothers and sisters into the family of God as they were baptized.
Jesus said, “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). Among our 11 teams of Sunday volunteers, we are cultivating a culture of servanthood by creating an experience and preparing a space for others to feel, see, and meet Jesus. And as much as we heed the call to serve, we also value Christ’s call to rest. 2017 was our third year focused on leading our Sunday volunteer teams through various periods of rest while building new opportunities and creative ways for our teams to serve.
One of our dreams has alway been to build a church with a generational legacy. This has led to a mission in our Marriage & Family Ministry of serving and equipping families all the way from wedding engagement to raising passionate followers of Jesus. By God's grace, we have continued to see growth in our premarital, nursery, Pre-K, Elementary, Junior High, and High School ministries.
In our early years, we resolved to first focus mission efforts on our local context of San Francisco. Over the years, those seeds of local mission have sprouted up into abundant fruit that is remaining and bearing more fruit! It is an honor to support our local partner organizations and missionaries, as well as our global partners. As we’ve established methods of supporting local mission, we’re excited to expand our view to global needs. Our foundation and springboard for future global mission is the Perspectives Course, which our own members now facilitate.
We trust that the needs of our community will be met through the church. And over the years, we’ve been amazed at how you, church, have given so faithfully and sacrificially! Thank you. We believe that as our generosity grows, our capacity to pour out into our city and church will also grow.
Our current net income provides us with opportunities to prayerfully consider initiatives which God may call us to pursue in the years to come.
* Initiatives: funds spent on previous initiatives of Center for Faith & Work, Ministry Center Campaign, Year of Biblical Literacy, and Grafted, our church-planting incubator.
At Annual Vision & Prayer, Dave Lomas shared about what we learned in 2017 and our renewed vision and mission for 2018 and beyond.
Your Kingdom come, your will be done, in San Francisco as it is in heaven. May you use us, your church, to be salt and light in this community and thus show what you are like to the world. To the praise and glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you, and the Holy Spirit, One God, forever and ever. Amen.