Portland, OR

The Portland Project – Rev. Bryan and Amanda Buck

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Give Thanks:

  • A bit uneasy, I walked through a host of motorcycles into Penguin Pub, a historic dive bar in our parish. This summer I’ve been following God into relationship with a group of guys that I play basketball with on Tuesday night. After ball about a month ago we began heading to Penguin Pub where Dee Ann, the barkeeper of 40 years, serves a “Taco Tuesday” special. God showed up powerfully that first night at Penguins. Dee Ann grew up in our neighborhood and I listened as she curated the contours of our community. A new friend Tyler began sharing his life story which included a stint in prison, his beautiful daughters and the challenges he faces with extended family. I recognized a deep longing in his soul for approval and shared how Jesus has entered into that struggle with me. At one point he declared “yeah, that’s my issue I want approval!” Before the night was over I talked with two other guys who served time in prison.(somehow this was all turning into a prison ministry of sorts). Zach who on paper is now living the good life, confessed his failing marriage and wondered about the impact it would have on his 1-year old daughter. Coming from a divorced family myself, I was able to share how God the Father has provided grounding for my identity. In reflection Zach declared “oh that would make sense that if your life was grounded in a higher power that would give you stability!” I left that evening knowing it was a familiar place to Jesus.On earth he spent his time not in the halls of power, but in the dive bars of his day where he listened, loved and introduced hope to the lonely, broken, confused and disillusioned. Perhaps as your head hits the pillow on Tuesday nights you’ll remember these stories and ask the Father to continue welcoming us at Penguins.

Trust God:

  • Our First Parish Community-This fall we’re trusting God for our first parish community. Parish communities are our extended families living out the spiritual, social and cultural renewal of the gospel. As the foundation of our church we hope to develop at least two future leadership teams from this initial community. We are trusting the Spirit to show us how exactly these communities should be shaped based on our parish context.

Prayer Requests:

  • This summer God provided some wonderful opportunities to pursue his kingdom coming alongside low-income families, the homeless and people in crisis.
  • Pray that God would continue to lead us further up and further in to his kingdom as we enter the fall.

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