Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Some things to eagerly anticipate as 2012 begins:
  • Regular 10:30am worship, New Years Sunday, January 1; ALL AGES SUNDAY (mostly music, kids stay with congregation to worship together)
  • Elders - Tuesday, January 3, 7pm Belltown
  • Crown Hill Group - New Horizons, Wednesday, January 4
  • Groundworks Sunday - January 29



Review the budget prior to Sunday's Road Crew meeting here.



Last Sunday we become Church Beyond the Building. Though not a big church, we were CHURCH BIG: 4 apartments cleaned, 8 bingo players at Simon Seniors'; 700 sorted pairs of shoes at Redeeming Soles; 75 chairs, 4 sofas cleansed, 1 huge mess sorted at New Horizons Ministries; 8+ pizzas consumed - all with only 23 people!



If you missed Cynthia's update on Asabe a few Sundays ago, here is the message Cynthia read from her brother, who recently visited Asabe in Lagos, Nigeria.

"Hi Cynthia.
Asabe is doing very well and is healthy thanks to consistently taking her medication and the fact that she is able to work less than before. She still has a part time job as a nanny for a missionary family, but not the kind of strenuous work she had in the past. Her children are doing well. Two of her daughters are married and she now has 5 grandchildren. The third daughter Naomi (Cynthia) lives in Lagos with an uncle. Her three sons all live at home with her to look after her and provide protection. Her neighborhood has been hit periodically with spurts of violence with several homes around her's burned down. The two older sons -- Iliya and Silas -- aren't married and are both partially employed. The youngest son Matthew is still in secondary school."


This Sunday we become Church Beyond the Building, as we have every "fifth Sunday" since March 2009. At Simon Senior Apartments, Kristen VanderLinden has arranged for us to host bingo and clean some neighbors' spaces. Kids are welcome to play bingo with a parent; the seniors loved it last time (as did our children). David Anema can lead three to five people (adults only) to Redeeming Soles to clean and sort gently worn shoes for homeless in Belltown. Kurt Munson will oversee further painting, and Biff will have a project at New Horizons. Linda will be bringing pizza and pop. Bring cleaning gloves if you have them; arrive prior to 10:30am. Look forward to this day; do not stay home. This is a great opportunity to continue building relationships and awareness of the gospel community in Belltown.



Does the Emmaus Road Church Council get any work done? Appearances can be misleading; the October 4 meeting in the back room at Bedlam Coffee in Belltown was productive. See meeting notes here....


One of our youths invited two friends along a few Wednesdays ago, introducing them to the work of New Horizons Ministries, as well as to the reality of homeless teens in Seattle. They had fun together while serving dinner to street-involved youth. When your small group has a turn serving dinner on the 1st Wednesday, consider inviting a friend along.


Have you wondered what leading a Big Kids Bible Workshop session would be like? As our trial program progresses, leadership roles are emerging more clearly. Find out more here...



Something new has come to the streets of Belltown: it is a program called LEAD, and it offers much hope.

In Emmaus Road's neighborhood of gathering, few topics draw as much attention or outcry as the issue of public safety. Belltown residents and business owners often show up to community forums in much greater numbers to plead their case, protest policy, or at least offer feedback to the official du jour. Media stories on Belltown are also slanted toward crime coverage. Certain themes are repeated: not enough police presence, too great a concentration of "problem" people, etc. The common culprit for Belltown's misery is often identified, not by name, but by label: "dealer." The dealer is on the corner, in the club, down the alley. The dealer is intimidating, armed and dangerous, and has no concern for neighbors. The dealer must be removed and locked up.

When we reach the point of condemning someone who belongs to a detestable group, associating them by behavior or appearance, yet know nothing more about them, much has been lost. They are a label. They are less than human. We approach them as we might a problem pest, an illness, or some other impersonal force of nature. Their story, name, background, are all set aside so we can efficiently, forcefully, and righteously respond to the problems they cause us. The dealer is causes misery; the dealer must be removed.

But the dealer does have a name and a story. The dealer, like any of us, is a person. When the dealer is arrested, do officials they encounter in courts and corrections see them as a person? Are the individual, environmental, human factors that contribute to their lifestyle of lawlessness being addressed?

A fresh attempt is being made to approach dealers differently in Belltown: the cycle of arrest, incarceration, failed rehabilitation, repeated offense and recidivism, is being challenged by a program allowing people to speak to dealers as... people. The Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) program is new, experimental, and being tested in Belltown. Details can be found here. The learning curve for LEAD will be steep; hard lessons will be learned. However difficult the journey, there is promise and hope in this direction.

For Christians, the assertion that Belltown's dealers are people, too, may remind us of the way Jesus approached the "problem people" of his time and place: "tax collectors and sinners." Jesus showed his followers how people respond differently when they are recognized as... people. Jesus called these people by name. He ate their food. He remembered they had been created in the image of God. Something - several things - had gone terribly wrong, and that image has been obscured. They had wandered into darkness. Yet Jesus never lost sight of God's image in people. He approached them with hope. In the face of his mercy, people could safely acknowledge their wrongs - this is confession. But rather than ending with despair and punishment, this encounter led to the promise of new life.

Jesus still approaches people this way. Let us follow.



Remember the Dr. TEK & the PREACH'R fundraiser in May? After that auspicious beginning, more musicians lent their hands and voices over the summer, helping Street Bean Espresso reach their goal to buy sound equipment and invite artists to their stage. Our own Mark Nelson was asked to purchase the equipment; he recently ran the first artist showcase using the new gear. It was the advent of many nights of music at the corner of 3rd and Cedar, a much needed, positive new activity in this corner of Belltown. Look for another Dr. TEK & the PREACH'R night at the Street Bean soon.



Notice anything special about the Gospel According to Matthew? Though once a tax collector and outcast, Matthew writes the story of Jesus’ ministry for a devoutly Jewish readership. He calls attention to Jesus as the promised Messiah, fulfilling the Law, bridging the era’s of what we call the “Old Testament” and “New”. Within Matthew’s narrative, Jesus’ parables have a distinctive tone: emphasis is given to the implicit warnings in the Lord’s teaching, warnings spoken specifically to the religious establishment of that time and place. Though we are not of that time, the established church from every age must listen carefully to Matthew’s message; warnings to the religious remain relevant. Even among the Gospel crowd, God's Good News can be resisted with fear and selfishness. Matthew records this conflict via an encounter between Jesus and Jerusalem’s religious elite, along with Mark and Luke, though the Parable of the Two Ironic Sons is found only here, in the second part of Matthew 21:23-32.

Jesus was frustrated: “And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.” Is it possible to see, yet not believe? Usually, it’s the other way around. Here, the tables have turned: Jesus’ enemies have seen – along with everyone else in the region - John the Baptizer’s ministry of preaching and baptism in the desert. They saw the crowds repent and respond. Though they saw, they would not believe. They resisted.

More tables are turned. Having already turned the tables of moneychangers in the temple courts, Jesus turns the tables on his questioners, meeting their question with his own. He flips expectations further, contrasting a polite son who rebels with an insolent son who changes his mind and obeys. “Which of the two did what his father wanted?” The father had wanted his sons to work the vineyard – a biblical metaphor Jesus employs from Isaiah and Jeremiah, signifying the work of God's servants among God’s beloved. Jesus’ implication is that the first son, like so many self-serving leaders of Israel over the ages, does not care for God’s people, God’s vineyard, nor God himself. Jesus again turns tables, prophesying about the kingdom; the least likely to enter lead the way; tax collectors and prostitutes go ahead of priests.
They did not like his parable, nor his prophecy. Do we? The tale of these two sons is aimed at those who say the right words, perform the proper rituals, yet avoid service and true ministry; those who supposedly love “truth,” yet scorn people. Outwardly pious, yet inwardly rebellious and apathetic to the Spirit’s leading, they are unwilling to work in the Father’s vineyard. Those who truly love God demonstrate devotion and faith through love of others, a willingness to tend to the vineyard.

Tax collector, prostitute, or priest: who needs God’s grace? All of us. At some point, the tables must turn for us to understand, to realize God’s grace is given, not earned. We must see the low lifted high, and acknowledge the humblest who lead the way. As this becomes clear, we are led to carry the message of God’s love and power to save – to tend the vineyard – beyond the confines of church ritual and congregational comfort. Evangelism happens beyond Sunday. We are led out into the wilderness where John baptized sinners, far beyond the Jerusalem Temple. We follow Jesus to the tables of tax collectors like Matthew. Good news results in good works. God’s love for us empowers our love for others.



This past Sunday, September 18, our Godly Play storyteller, Mr. Matt, resumed the weekly routine of stories and play during worship. Simultaneously, we launched a trial program for an older group of children. Angie R. led the first session of this new program Sunday with four children, telling the story of Noah, remembering Adam and Eve, and how God began to make his Covenant known to us. To view a schedule of stories and read the story Angie used this past Sunday, read more.


Jesus spoke many comforting, now popular words: “Blessed are the poor…”; “Let the little children come to me….”; “He who hath no sin, let him cast the first stone…”; “Today you will be with me in paradise…”; “Love one another…” These are words we like. They inspire and make us feel good.

How many of us like his story about the landowner,
from Matthew 20:1-16?

What is this story about? Since Jesus begins, “For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner…”, it’s safe to say this story is about the kingdom, God’s kingdom. By association, it is about the king himself, here portrayed as a landowner. Right away, this landowner stands out as peculiar: his concern for profit seems marginal. His bottom line is unconventional. He is obsessed with gathering, employing, and paying, as many workers as possible. He violates worldly wisdom regarding efficiency, merit pay, and seniority. Furthermore, he pays the workers in a backward, vexing manner. As we consider how odd this landowner is, how unrealistic his behavior, we realize there is something familiar about him. Remember the character of the master from the parable of the Unmerciful Servant? He was similarly outstanding in his extreme generosity, completely canceling a servant’s massive debt. Another example is the father in the parable of the Prodigal Son/Forgiving Father, who also behaves in an abnormally forgiving and generous manner. According to Jesus, God is extraordinarily, even scandalously, generous and forgiving.

Scandal is the appropriate term, for when God behaves this way, observe people’s response! While some are blessed, others are greatly upset. The early workers grumble about how unfairly the landowner treats them. They resent his same-wages-for-all policy. These Johnny-come-lately drifters do not deserve equal pay! While it is sometimes nice to be gracious and generous, this is insulting! We have seen this attitude elsewhere, this scorn for God’s grace. Remember the end of the story about Jonah? Jonah criticizes God for being such “a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.” This prophet did all he could to avoid preaching repentance to the wicked people of Nineveh, craving their destruction. God’s patience and generosity disappointed and angered him. Remember, also, how the father of the prodigal son is begrudged by his older, responsible son, who is resentful of the father’s unconditional love and acceptance of his screwed up younger brother.

Naturally speaking, these people of the bible should be upset with God. As an Israelite, Jonah may have feared, perhaps even suffered, at the hands of people from Nineveh. At the very least, he was likely an upstanding Jew, a careful follower of the Law, in contrast to these violent barbarians. God’s love should be reserved for people like him. In the Prodigal Son story, the older brother/son had every reason to be upset; his father had depended on him to be the responsible one after his younger brother rebelled and squandered a small fortune. Are not the responsible, righteous people of this world entitled to greater reward than lowlifes who have done nothing to earn God’s favor? God could be cast as an enabler of the weak and morally lax. By blessing both as if they are the same, he devalues the work of the faithful. What about the vineyard workers’ rights, those who bore the bulk of the burden through the heat of the day?

“Right” is an interesting word in this story. When the landowner hired his second round of workers, he said, “I will pay you whatever is right.” Later responding to the protest of an early worker, the landowner says, “I want to give the man who was hired last the same as I gave you. Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money?” In Jesus’ story, what is right is determined by the landowner, as opposed to tradition, economic convention, or anything else. Over the spiteful worker’s feelings of entitlement, the landowner reminds him that the vineyard and the opportunity to work there belong to the landowner, and he has decided to be exceptionally generous. He reminds the man that their agreement about the days wages have been honored. The man’s real problem is not that his rights have been violated; rather, he is jealous of the landowner’s generosity. Though he saw himself as first, he is paid last; though he saw himself as more, he is shown to be less. At the end of the story, Jesus’ prophetic words, "So the last will be first, and the first will be last,” reveal the reversal some will experience at the coming of God’s kingdom.

Does this story speak to us? Yes. It speaks to our confusion, when our walk with God has been supplanted by a loveless, joyless set of rituals and moral battles, bearing a burden of obedience through the “heat of the day.” Working for God is something we HAVE TO do; having worked for so long, we feel entitled to special treatment and status. Faith has been usurped by zeal for achievement in a spiritual meritocracy or search for status. We resent the church’s extension of God’s generous hospitality; we are cold to “eleventh hour” newcomers who have not proven themselves. We are jealous of God’s grace. When we no longer enjoy the Good News, that joining God’s kingdom work is something we GET TO do, because he has called, liberated, and forgiven us, this parable has a way of stirring, even stinging, us awake. If we have fully received and experienced God’s generous grace beyond measure, can we honestly be jealous to see him bestow it on others, as he sees fit? Are we the first who will be last? Let us enjoy fellowship with God, and with each other, whether early or late-comers to the vineyard.



Our final ALL AGES SUNDAY for the summer was followed by a Road Crew lunch and brief presentation by Pastor Likkel. The presentation focused on the upcoming launch of Children's Minsitry programs and some Parenting Beyond Sunday ideas. Thanks to Cynthia Tanis, who volunteered to provide our lunch!

Presentation Points:

September 18 launch of new Big Kids' Bible Workshop along with Godly Play; how we arrived at this point and where we go from here.

Two issues related to Parenting Beyond Sunday: recognizing our role as Christian parents and how our own relationship with God can become transparent to our children; two ways of addressing these issues which were offered include the sharing of stories, and learning events, such as Children in the Faith Community: Continuing the Conversation, Thursday, October 13, 11:30am - 1:30pm, Saint Paul's Episcopal Church, Seattle and Children, Youth and Family Ministry in the 21st Century, Monday, October 24 · 6:30pm - 9:00pm, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Lynwood.

Read all the Road Crew meeting minutes here...


We share praise and thanks to God with the Engel family as they welcome Teagan Grace into their lives. Congratulations to Ryan, Kristin, and big sister Brynn, as Teagan was born the morning of September 14.



Last week, an announcement was posted about a new kids program being developed for the fall. A selection of bible stories is still being chosen for September through November, but here is a sample of material that could be used for Advent:

Advent story 1:

1st part of "He's Here!" (from Luke 1-2) Credit to the Jesus Storybook Bible

"Everything was ready. The moment God had been waiting for was here at last! God was coming to help his people, just as he promised in the beginning.
But how would he come? What would he be like? What would he do?
Mountains would have bowed down. Seas would have roared. Trees would have clapped their hands. But the earth held its breath. As silent as snow falling, he came in. And when no one was looking, in the darkness, he came.

There was a young girl who was engaged to a man named Joseph. One morning, this girl was minding her own business when, suddenly, a great warrior of light appeared - right there in her bedroom. He was Gabriel and he was an angel, a special messenger from heaven. When she saw the tall shining man standing there, Mary was frightened.
'You don't need to be scared', Gabriel said. 'God is very happy with you!'
Mary looking around to see if perhaps he was talking to someone else.
'Mary,' Gabriel said, and he laughed with such gladness that Mary's eyes filled with sudden tears.
'Mary, you're going to have a baby. A little boy. You will call him Jesus. He is God's own Son. He's the One! He's the rescuer!'
The God who flung planets into space and kept them whirling around and around, the God who made the universe with just a world, the one who could do anything at all - was making himself small. And coming down...as a baby.
Wait. God was sending a baby to rescue the world?
'But it's too wonderful!' Mary said and felt her heart beating hard. 'How can it be true?'
'Is anything too wonderful for God?' Gabriel asked.
So Mary trusted God more than what her eyes could see. And she believed. 'I am God's servant,' she said. 'Whatever God says, I will do.' "

Advent story 2:

"The light of the whole world" (The story of the Shepherds from Luke 2)

Advent story 3:

"The king of all kings" (The story of the Wise Men from Matthew 2)



During the sermon and prayer parts of our worship services, typically from 11-11:30AM, our youngest kids have been invited upstairs to participate in Godly Play. This year, kids who are a little older will also have an option to participate in a new program we are creating. Our hope is to launch this new program simultaneously with Godly Play on Sunday, September 18.

Here is a little background:
  • Following a July 26 brainstorm session, a proposal was brought to the August 4 Council meeting and approved. Deacon Teresa Elenbaas and Angie R. are leading coordination and planning.
  • Rationale to add program for older kids: We love having children with us in worship; they enjoy the music, and they add to the worship experience for all of us. But lecture style sermons and extended prayer times do not always engage them. This new program, like Godly Play for the younger children, will be another avenue for them to receive, engage, wonder, and respond to biblical narratives in some age appropriate ways.
  • Details: new program will include elements we value from Godly Play and other curricula - hands on, creative response to stories; individual kids' kits to which children can return each Sunday they are present; grouping stories with overarching themes.
  • Frequency: volunteer levels will help determine whether this is weekly, three times a month, or an every other Sunday program.
Samples of stories and curriculum will be posted next week after Teresa and Angie have opportunity to make some choices. If you have ideas, concerns, or want to offer your help, please contact Teresa with feedback until about September 6; Teresa and Angie will be fine tuning program details between September 6 and September 11, which is the Sunday we announce and celebrate the beginning of our next Children and Parent Ministry season. September 18 will the be the first Sunday for Godly Play and this new program.



While there are some ministry settings in which it is difficult, even inappropriate, to include little kids, we have experienced a few success stories recently. This is important for us to acknowledge, for we have been blessed with families, yet located to serve a neighborhood largely bereft of children, or kid friendly places and spaces.
One success story is the way our church kids have been participating at New Horizons. Every month, on the first Wednesday evening, Emmaus Road serves dinner to street involved youth at New Horizons. A small group from the church shows up around 6PM; someone is designated to buy food; everyone pitches in to prepare. We serve dinner and clean up, usually leaving by 8:30PM. Kids from around kindergarten age on up enjoy this ministry opportunity; they usually like the food, feel important serving from behind the counter, and receive smiles and positive comments from the youth. Adults and parents in the kitchen supervise, while New Horizons staff members are out on the floor with the youth. It's a reasonably safe and positive atmosphere, and the children of the church are gaining hands on ministry experience.
Another success story comes from our most recent Groundworks Sunday, July 31. One of our Deacons, Kristen VanderLinden, along with David Anema, an Elder and Americorps Member, have been coordinating volunteer efforts with Simon Senior Apartments down the street on 3rd Ave. With the help of Catholic Community Services, we have been able to help several elderly, low income neighbors with cleaning. This most recent effort, however, included a social activity, as we hosted a bingo tournament with snacks during the time several church members were cleaning. A number of our children played the game with their parents and the neighbors, and had a lot of fun! The presence of young children was a welcome part of our morning there, and the kids spoke up about enjoying their time.
It takes creativity and patience, but pursuing kid friendly urban ministry is possible and worthwhile. God has opened up some doors for us to build longterm relationships with neighbors, and to raise kids who learn a lifestyle of hands on service in the city where they live.



Sometimes it's better to postpone an event than to try to pull it off without doing it justice. That is the sentiment for postponing Belltown's Founders Day Festival. Last summer, the first ever neighborhood festival for Belltown launched with great weather and good support. This summer, the festival committee has not had ample time to establish new non-profit status NOR fundraise to host the event this summer ($20k grant was available last summer; not this time). We can hope for the sake of the neighborhood that the Founders Day Festival returns next summer. Read more.



The final Road Crew meeting of the season IS THIS SUNDAY, June 12, Pentecost Sunday. See the agenda; read through the NINE SIGNS OF GROWTH, or NINE PIECES OF VISION; find out how to participate.

SUMMER SUNDAYS & LITTLE ONES: what shall we do this summer after Godly Play is over for the season? Read about what some are planning; find out how you can help.

The ELDER CANDIDATE list has been published; if you are a professed Road Crew member, see the list; communicate your nominations by next Sunday, June 19.



For obvious reasons, it's a great thing the Komen Race for the Cure happens every year. It also presents some navigational challenges for Belltown residents and visitors. This Sunday morning, June 5, come to Emmaus Road a little earlier; do not attempt to cross or park along the streets outlined in the map.



Thanks to all who joined the Groundworks Sunday effort! We had a modest but powerful group of folks. Ezra and Josiah and a host of kids worked outside to clean up around the New Horizons center. Together, they filled seventeen bags with garbage and landscape trimmings! Others worked over at the Simon Senior apartments and helped some neighbors with specific needs. Next Groundworks Sunday: July 31



Lori was with us a few Sundays ago. She explained the purpose of her pilgrimage along The Camino Franc├ęs from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, France to Santiago de Compostela, Spain. It is 500 miles; it will take her 5 weeks to walk. You can follow Lori ALONG THE JOURNEY, her blog about the people, places, and experiences of her pilgrimage to the end of the world.



Over "40 Days" we asked God to guide us; we took time to listen; we gathered to speak. What did he say? Read more.



Emmaus Road thanks God for another healthy child! We celebrate with Mark, Christina, and big sister Ella, the birth of Ryder John Bradlee Nelson, born May 18.


This Sunday May 29 we will be Church Beyond the Building together in Belltown. When churches venture into new territory, an inevitable question arises: "What about the children!?" Last Groundworks Sunday, one of our moms, Beth, organized a task for kids, along the lines of previous efforts to create kid-friendly, adult supervised volunteer work. Recently, Beth shared with me that her daughter Quinn asked, "Mom, when am I going to get to go out and pick up trash with you and Dad again?" It dawned on Beth that what Quinn most enjoyed about Groundworks Sundays was working side by side with the adults; the event had a special energy and excitement that Quinn was able to catch. She drew this picture after going along with her parents to work along 2nd Avenue. Beth shared with me how her daughter's question resulted in an epiphany for her as a parent, about what a great opportunity this is to disciple our children, let them experience Church Beyond the Building as a normative part of their faith family, see another form of love of neighbor, and see the needs of our city up close. This Sunday, rather than organize a special activity for kids, I encourage parents to find and choose something to do with your child(ren). I acknowledge, and know from personal experience, the challenge this is for parents of toddlers, but I have taken a long view: as our children grow and Emmaus Road continues to honor this opportunity, they are shaped by what they see and hear around them. Even if all you can realistically manage is a little cleaning or straightening up inside New Horizons or around the parking lot, they benefit from the joy and enthusiasm they see among the crowd (not to mention the 11:45am pizza). Kids who are a little older can come along with parents who venture further out from Third/Cedar to clean and landscape around the 'hood.

We began devoting "fifth Sundays" to neighborhood service, foregoing worship liturgy, to serve and connect with people outside our worship crowd, hoping to lay the "groundwork" for long lasting relationships with neighbors (read more). Response has been positive. Along with our Americorps volunteer David Anema, I have the privilege of meeting neighborhood activists and ministry partners on an ongoing basis; I hear appreciation for our volunteer service on these Sundays. More importantly, individuals from Belltown have been greatly encouraged to have met several of you from the church (read more). We know God works in our lives through multiple, diverse encounters with his people; we trust he uses our service and love of neighbor - even those we do not know very well - to bless them.

10:30am Arrive as usual
10:45am groups disperse:

  • Simon Senior Apartments to assist residents with deep cleaning - Kristen VanderLinden
  • Street cleaning/landscaping around 2nd/Bell - David Anema
  • Painting @ New Horizons - Kurt Munson
  • Cleaning, sorting, maintenance @ New Horizons - Biff Gaitan and Cornell Blackwell
11:45am Pizzas emerge from oven
12:00PM Groups begin wrapping up, returning



Saturday June 4, 10am
This is one of New Horizons Ministries' annual fundraising events. It is a great opportunity to support the work going on among street-involved youth. In case you haven't been for a few years, the WALK now takes place in Belltown, from the ministry center north along the water.



Emmaus Road's spawn, Dr. T3k & the Preach'r, will make noise to AMP UP THE BEAN, in an effort to raise $2000 this summer to buy sound equipment for Street Bean Espresso. This will empower Street Bean to fulfill an aspect of their mission, to become a vital neighborhood gathering place and artist showcase, featuring live music regularly. Come join the effort, Friday May 20, beginning at 7PM; cheer on your Emmaus Roadheads and offer some $ to bless and invest. No charge for admission; donations invited between sets.



This comes directly from Central Seattle News, Seattle Dept. of Neighborhoods and an Article from Seattle PI Blog


Belltown’s 2nd Ave is known as a street that has many nightlife options. Now, parts of 2nd Ave may be soon known for its generosity. Businesses on the 2200 block of 2nd Ave (between Bell and Blanchard) are hosting a mas- sive food drive that will send all collected items to North- west Harvest. Stop by one of the locations before May 14th and donate (see the recommended items below):

Concept One Apartments 2219 2nd Ave

Cafe Casbah 2219 2nd Ave

Belltown Barber 2219 2nd Ave

Bedlam Coffee 2231 2nd Avenue

Clever Bottle 2222 2nd Avenue

Pintxo 2207 2nd Ave

The Senior Center 2208 2nd Avenue

The Humphrey Apartments 2205 2nd Ave

Recommended items:

Infant and baby items - Baby formula, Canned milk, Infant cereal, Jars of baby food, Powdered or canned milk, and baby diapers.

General food items - Oatmeal, Whole grain pastas, Brown rice, Tomato products, Canned vegetables, Canned fruit (especially with low sugar, but not artificial sweeten- ers), Canned fish or meat, Shelf-stable milk, Beef stew, chili and similar meals with low sugar and saturated fats.



Emmaus Road, hundreds of inhabiters will be inhabiting our neighborhood this weekend. Pastor Likkel and Elders Anema and Munson will be joining them, to learn how Emmaus Road is, or can be, connected to a growing movement among the greater church in North America. This conference - INHABIT - conveniently happening in Belltown down the hill at Mars Hill Graduate School (at least that's what it HAS been called... ), aims to bring leaders together who sense God is building a greater bond of love and service between congregations and people of a certain place. Several of our sister CRC congregations from the Seattle Cluster will be there with us.
This is related to how we speak of Emmaus Road as having a "neighborhood of gathering", and why we see ourselves as part of Belltown. We invest time and energy locally through New Horizons, partnering with Imagine Northwest, sponsoring an Americorps volunteer, convening the Belltown Covenant (e.g. belltownvolunteers.org), and Groundworks Sundays. We are not alone; countless congregations, old and new, are hearing "love thy neighbor" in fresh, dynamic ways. Friday and Saturday, April 29-30, a few of us from Emmaus Road will be able hearing and sharing stories.



BELLTOWNVOLUNTEERS.ORG, brought to you by the Belltown Covenant. What is it? An online resource to help Belltown residents connect with their neighbors by volunteering in their neighborhood. With the help of a Mars Hill Graduate student, and members of the Belltown Covenant, the project has finally moved from the development to the launch phase. Our Community Development volunteer, David Anema, is currently gathering data and "populating" the site with specific opportunities. Viewed through our own theological lense, this is more than a community development tool: it is a way to empower people to live out one of our core ministry values, to "love thy neighbor." We acknowledge the challenge people have in getting to know their neighbors, let alone love and serve them; belltownvolunteers.org is one small effort at removing barriers and opening a doors to healthy relationships and life.



We thank God for Jasper Dean Elenbaas, born to David and Jessie on St. Patrick's Day, March 17!



Emmaus Road is asking God for specific guidance. Read what these "40 DAYS" are all about on the Road Crew page.



Read this blog post from FCS (focused community strategies) by Bob Lupton. Does this description of the "gentri-church" apply to Emmaus Road and our ministry context?



We are invited to honor Anthony and the Lord who brought him home as we join with Lori and Anthony's family and friends at Blessed Sacrament Church at Noon this Saturday, February 12. Lori asks people to consider a remembrance to The National Brain Tumor Society in lieu of flowers. Anyone inspired to contribute food to the reception following the memorial service may contact Christina Nelson at c.gerrish.nelson@gmail.com.



Emmaus Road devotes "fifth" Sundays to our neighborhood of gathering, Belltown. We call these fifth Sundays Groundworks Sundays, aiming to become church beyond the building. This Sunday, we gather at 10:30AM, volunteer for an hour or two, then consume pizza & pop from Noon- 1pm.
Our leadership team and volunteer tasks include:
  • Kristen Vander Linden - Simon Senior Apartments (need about 10 volunteers for two hours)
  • David Anema - street cleaning, landscaping in Belltown
  • Kurt Munson, Biff Gaitan - painting @ New Horizons
  • Cornell Blackwell & Biff Gaitan - cleaning, sorting @ New Horizons
  • Beth DeVries - kids' trip to Animal Shelter
  • Linda Bishop - Pizza and Pop



Lori and another family member have posted updates online:
Keep Anthony and Lori in prayer.