Everything You Want to Know About: Drawing Closer Seasonal Jan-Apr 2022

Our Winter "Seasonal" is here!

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.    
-  Isaiah 43:19

God is doing a new thing at Valley Chapel, but perhaps not what we anticipated. During our online-only worship service on Dec 26th, I said that if I had to pick one word to define life in our community for 2021 it would be “grief.” We had hoped it would be a year of recovery from the difficulty that was 2020, yet it was a year marked by tragic loss and almost constant suffering. Yet, the reality is that my first statement still stands loudly…


You see, in our suffering, we pursued God all the more intensely, we clung onto him in our dark valleys and we have been transformed. We are not the same congregation we were when we re-started our in-person gatherings last March and certainly not the same congregation that we were when COVID-19 struck in March 2020. We are something new. We’ve not only mourned the loss of our friends and family, but we have mourned the loss of our old identity. The Valley Chapel that existed in 2019 was a great church that I was proud to be a part of, but God seems to be doing a new thing here.

- 255 people attended worship this fall

-Only 53% of us were here in 2019.

Half of the people worshipping in our community each Sunday are new this year. God has transformed our community into a new thing; incubated in the wilderness of grief. We have witnessed firsthand that God forms our salvation in our suffering. Out of all that pain in 2021, God has drawn our community closer together and closer to himself.

So what comes next? When God heals people he doesn’t just leave them there, he puts them to work. It’s like Lauren MacConnell reminded us back in September,

“He made my mouth like a sharp sword; in the shadow of his hand he hid me; he made me a polished arrow; in his quiver he hid me away.”
- Isaiah 49:2

God will not waste what he has created in us, he will use us for furthering his kingdom in this world. You have a part in that work. Through your regular attendance, giving, and participation as you draw closer to God yourself. Thank you for being a part of this community and I am excited to see what important work God has for us in 2022. 

Ryan Rovito

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