Monday, June 25, 2007

Finally - A Madison Update

June 25, 2007

Hi all,
No good excuses for why I haven't written for a while. Just seems hard to sit down and write lately. Maybe because so much is going on and so little seems settled.

The question of whether or not we will be able to remain at God's House is truly in God's hands. The city zoning office is pestering us, but we know who our real enemy is.

The latest is that we've received a notice from the city stating that we must "Provide information substantiating that the Full Circle Ministries International and the God's House church operations located at the facility at 1103 Jenifer Street are legally incorporated as churches OR Vacate the premises." We are incorporated, but as a Christian mission organization, not as a church.

We are an arm of the church, so it remains to be seen how this will turn out. As for their requiring us to be incorporated as a church, churches are not required to be incorporated, so I don't see how that can hold up. However, I suppose we would have to go to court to prove them wrong. !!???!!

They have requested we meet with them tomorrow afternoon, Monday, June 25, at 4:00 in the City County Building. The head of the Zoning commission, the local police, our Alderperson, our landlord and, hopefully, the Pastor of God's House will be able to join us. Please pray that he'll have the childcare he needs to free him to be there.

Also please pray that I'll be at peace and able to speak as the Lord wills. Pray that this will all be resolved according to God's plans.

In the meantime we have begun a new work in an area of ministry that has been growing in my heart: healing the land. Richard volunteered to bring crews of volunteers under his direction to weed, trim and clean up a few city parks that the city cannot afford to care for. These parks are in our new Marquette neighborhood, mostly at the ends of streets along the lakeshore. They have already removed over 20 bags of weeds and debris from 2 parks and made them welcoming places again. We'll continue this through the summer. If any of you locals want to join in just call Richard at the office, 608-251-0555.

FULL CIRCLE ARTS COMMUNITY

I've shared with some of you that for quite a while now the Lord has been pressing me to get back into drawing and painting and other forms of art work. He has recently filled in the picture a bit more and is leading us to form a Christian Arts Community in Madison.

We are currently looking for inexpensive studio space either in the Willie Street area near our offices or on the south side near my home and on a bus line. Either location would make it easier for me to take time to see what God would have me do in the Arts. I have three others who are definitely interested and we will form a beginning core.

Please pray especially for an affordable studio space that we can quickly occupy as Cathy, one of our very gifted artist friends needs space for teaching portrait drawing asap. If you have leads for us or are interested in this ministry yourself, please email or give me a call at 608-577-3264. We are praying that the Lord will provide some patrons who will help fund at least the beginnings of this ministry.

At times I struggle with depression (it seems to be the malady of those in ministry in Madison), so please keep me in your prayers. I know that I am not adequate to lead this ministry and am amazed that God just keeps it going and even growing.

Oh, yeah, a big thanks to a couple of Sandi's who have really blessed us. The Lord sent us a librarian named Sandi who is cataloging our Christian lending library and getting it all in order. Another Sandi, all the way in Georgia, is working on getting our website up and going again. If you check it now you'll see info from 3-4 years ago, but the basic format is there and we'll be learning how to enter in the updated information and photos.

Roger and Richard are fine and we have several other volunteers who jump in on occasion to answer phone, help our visitors, fix computer problems, or bring in just what we need right when we need it.

Roger had a tough start to the day on Wednesday when our internet connection went down. With several waiting to use the internet he was eager to get it up and going again. The power source to our router was fried and not replaceable. We needed new equipment and, praise God, it was given to us that very afternoon! God sent us an "angel" with the answer to our prayer.


The Tuesday outreach on State Street goes on and is bigger than ever. Sure glad to have Lynn back cooking her popular taco salad. Have you ever made taco salad for 100? God bless you Lynn! Amy and Kelly and Dave and the rest of the crew, it is a blessing to work alongside you!

Thank you all for praying for us. So many of you have mentioned that you have been faithful to keep praying even when you didn't know what was happening. It is often when I don't communicate that your prayers are most needed. I am blessed by knowing each one of you and by your willingness to pray for us.

Love from all of us at Full Circle,
Sherry

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