Seattle, WA 08-2019

Seattle is a beautiful city. On a warm, sunny day during the summer, the majestic mountains and the glistening waters makes the Emerald City stand out as a wonderful place to visit.

Illumine Church is a new mission restart in North Seattle. Pastor Kent Reeder arrived from South Carolina a few months ago. While maintaining ties with Illumine in Rock Hill, SC the new start in Seattle will utilize similar methodology yet tailor their message and approach to a unique audience.

Praise and Proclaim Ministries had the privilege to launch an outreach initiative to help Illumine Church introduce themselves to the neighborhoods surrounding the congregation.

Grace Lutheran Church had existed in north Seattle for over fifty years. For the past several years, they shared a pastor with Salem Lutheran Church in Edmonds, WA. Together, the congregations voted to close their doors. After the sale of its property in Edmonds, the former members directed the district mission board to oversee the effort to rebuild on the Grace Lutheran property utilizing the funds from Salem. Plans are moving forward to build a new ministry center next to the sanctuary.

The people living in the Seattle community are unique. They are more global-minded than other regions in the U.S. and look for ways to serve their community. They seem more willing to support projects designed to help people in need, the environment, or animals. They are not interested in organized religion. And they are not afraid to tell you that.

Praise and Proclaim provides evangelism training for members so that they can verbally proclaim the gospel with comfort and confidence. We adapted our methodology and approach with the people we met at the door to introduce the new church on Greenwood Avenue. But even with that change, when the word “church” was mentioned, they immediately held up their hands and said, “I’m not interested. That’s not for me!” Some people were firmer than others to express themselves.

Though we met our share of people who may have not expressed interest in a church, the Lord did provide opportunities to provide a short gospel message. We also rejoiced that several people expressed interest to connect with Pastor Reeder and desire to be a part of the Illumine church family.

Pastor Reeder is aware of the challenge of restarting a new church. He is adapting his approach, the messaging, and how the ministry center will both serve the community and proclaim the message of the gospel. It was a joy to help introduce the ministry of Illumine to the community. The new ministry center is scheduled to be completed in 2020. In the meantime, we ask the Lord to bless the efforts of Pastor Reeder and a core group of members who are busy planning and introducing themselves to the community.

The outreach initiative was blessed to have members from Faith Lutheran Church in Prior Lake, MN who came to participate. They travelled to Seattle in partnership with WELS Mission Journeys. Together with members from Holy Trinity (Des Moines, WA), Cross of Christ (Boise) and St. Matthew (Spokane, WA), we were blessed with a group to go out and assist the gospel ministry at Illumine. It was exciting to see the vision, the planning, and the desire to connect with families in Seattle and proclaim the gospel to them. May the Lord continue to bless their efforts.

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