March 16, 2009
PRAXIS: Action with reflection; the process of putting theoretical knowledge into practice
WHY YOU’RE GETTING THIS LETTER You’re getting this letter because you are either part of our family or you are someone that we consider friends. The purpose of sending this is simply to let you know about what’s happening in our life right now, as well as to ask some of you to consider being a part of a church plant in Oscoda County Michigan, specifically the Fairview area. If you are someone who is interested in partnering with us, whether by praying or giving, there is a part of this letter later on that will get into more of the details of how you can join with us. If you don’t find yourself interested in partnering with us we still hope you will take the time to read through the rest of the letter so you know all the dirt on what’s happening with us and why.
- Cody & Amanda
HOW WE GOT HERE
It is with great excitement and humility that we write this letter. For some time now God has been doing a work in our hearts and lives, refining our passions and revealing our purpose. After much prayer and waiting, we feel like the time to step out in faith is now. There comes a point where you just can’t avoid doing what burns in your heart and we feel a clear direction and valuable opportunity are now here. There is a country song (don’t ask how we know a country song) that talks about a small town and how everybody basically chooses drugs or Jesus. We live in a rural, impoverished area, and there has been more than one occasion when it has seemed as though those lyrics were about our county. We are feeling an unmistakable call to do something unique in our community; a passion to connect with people who are not currently in relationship with God, and/or don’t seem to be interested in “regular church” as we know it. We long to be a part of a “church for people who don’t like church,” if you will. We believe Jesus came for people who don’t know him...and we know plenty of those people. Praxis is the place where all of our belief in who God is and what He is asking us to do meets action. It is the name of the church we are planting because we desire that anything we know or learn about God or about ourselves leads us to an action. We are not desiring to be different for difference sake, but can’t deny the necessity for a voice of love, authenticity, and creativity in our area. That voice needs to connect with those who have no hope, or feel like they can’t come to A picture of the fam: Amanda God in the messiness of life and be honest about their questions. We feel God has Ezra, Ki, and myself. We’re asked us to join with Him in creating an environment and community where people on a boat! are loved the way they are, enabled to be honest about struggles, and where we will try anything to allow God to form us into the people He created us to be.
Praxis Church P.O. Box 178 Fairview, MI 48621
LOCATION Oscoda County is somewhat unique in that it typically is ranked with the worst counties in Michigan regarding unemployment, and poverty rate. It also usually has one of the worst rankings in the state in regard to teenage pregnancy and homelessness. Jesus talked often about our need to care for the poor. As you might imagine, the conditions in our county can cause many residents to feel somewhat hopeless...Jesus talked about that too...He called them the poor in spirit. We intend to extend God’s love and hope to all those in spiritual or physical need around us.
If You Want To Be A Part of PRAXIS... As we begin this adventure we have been blessed with a job that allows us more time to pursue our new church endeavors. I (Cody) now have a job with the local Intermediate School District working as a case manager for students who drop out or are at risk of dropping out. Exciting stuff, and we are definitely feeling fortunate to have been able to get a job in the current economy. It is not our desire to be bi-vocational forever, but we do understand that given the current economy and financial capabilities of many in our community, it may be necessary for a while. The problem is that this new job does not pay as well as my previous job and will require us to find some other means of income in addition. (Yep, we finally got around to asking for money.) Actually, there are a couple of different ways that you can join with us as we start
Oscoda County Stats
• PRAY - We believe that this really is the most important way that you can help us. Please consider committing to pray for this church plant individually, as a family, or through your local church. • DONATE - We do need some help in order to be able to do this the way God has asked us to. Please consider financially supporting us and/or Praxis in whatever way you are able. This seems like a dumb time to be asking people to donate money to anything but we’re trusting God will take care of our needs. All donations are tax deductible. • ATTEND - Join us for an informal informational meeting. April 4, 3pm @ Tim & Deb Foley’s house OR April 19, 3pm @ Cody & Amanda Gascho’s house. Contact us (see bottom of page) for directions. We would love for you to join and support us in whatever way you feel led! Please return the pledge card to stay connected and receive monthly updates on us and Praxis! Thanks for considering being a part of this with us!
•Population estimated 9,348 in 2004 •Median household income $28,228 (national $41,994) •1 out 7 people in impoverished areas suffer from some form of depression •As of 2000 approx. 72% of residents attended no church •From 1990-2000 church attendance dropped 12%
Praxis Church P.O. Box 178 Fairview, MI 48621