In recent years, the city of Everett has adopted the slogan, “Good Things Happen Here.” While often misunderstood, this community is marked by creativity, diversity, entrepreneurship, and passion. Those who understand it are making good things happen on a variety of levels, which is why this city is ripe for the Gospel. With the hope of Jesus fueling our efforts, anything is possible.
During the "Vision Sunday" message I gave earlier this Fall, I shared that to be a church that reaches our city, we must become a church worth reaching them with. In other words, who we are and how we behave is what we invite others into. I've been overjoyed watching us takes steps towards Jesus in community, serve one another during our gatherings, and find creative ways to care for those within our family. Let's keep putting these things and more into practice!
Below you'll find an exciting recap of 2019, as well as some ways you can be engaged heading into 2020. Take time to read through the update, and thank God along the way for all he's done!
We can’t wait to see what God does in 2020!
Reach Church, Everett, WA
140+ people gather every Sunday.
What started with a few couples has grown into a robust and growing church family. On any given Sunday, we see dozens of adults and children worshipping Jesus and strangers becoming family. We don’t just go to church, we are the church. God has made us family, and that’s not just a buzz word for us. Sunday gatherings are just one expression of how we respond to the gospel, worship Jesus, live in community, and serve one another.
We support these organizations financially and with volunteer hours.
Baby Bottle Drive
In June, we facilitated a Pregnancy Resource Center Bottle Drive, collecting donations in bottles for this ministry that supports expecting mothers with free ultrasounds, childbirth classes, and other resources.
Serve The City Day
We hosted another Serve the City Day in June with 34 adults + 11 kids doing street cleanup, landscaping and other beautification projects. Serving is rather fun in the company of friends, new and old.
Our goal beyond checking boxes is to create inroads for the love of God to be made apparent, both in those serving and those being served. It’s about the Gospel spilling out everywhere, on everyone who might be around to experience it.
Mission Lead + Poverty 101
This year, we had the joy and honor of bringing on Emily Johnston as our Mission Lead! She comes to us with a wealth of knowledge, insight and experience on both local and global mission work. She’s already taking our mission efforts to the next level!
Emily helped us partner with Everett Gospel Mission for Poverty 101 in October where individuals from our church, other local churches, and our community learned how poverty isn’t someone else’s issue, it’s our issue. Learning to move from an individualistic to a collective approach to serving our struggling neighbor is hard but crucial. It was just the beginning of an important conversation, but one worth engaging at any level we can.
Winter Coat Drive + Giving Tree
With Emily’s support, we were also able to put on our first winter coat drive and giving tree supporting Everett Gospel Mission and at-risk youth connected to Compass Health.
We're excited to continue finding ways to love and serve Everett and beyond!
Strangers are becoming family at Reach Everett.
40+ people reading the Bible together in DNAs.
8 Groups are serving each other and their neighborhoods.
92 adults (+ a gazillion kiddos) in Groups.
8 Meet-Ups are helping people meet new friends.
DNA: 3-5 people of the same gender who read the Bible, pray, and point each other to Jesus.
Meet-ups: Low commitment events to find friends, have fun, serve the city, or learn together.
Groups: This is where strangers become family. We share meals, grow, and serve together regularly.
In 2019, we were blessed to have Spencer + Mackenzie Wallace join our team to champion Meet-Ups, providing more avenues for people to get connected in community at Reach. They’ve done a fantastic job with administration and organization as well as caring for Meet-up leaders!
96 unique children were served over the course of the year.
Every Sunday, an average of 36 kids are hearing and experiencing the truth that Jesus loves them. Every week, God is bringing more kids to church, and He is inviting more faithful people to serve them. Our small friends are having a ridiculous amount of fun as they grow in their love for Jesus and one another.
Addie Wise led our Kids Team faithfully through the 2018-2019 school year. We are so grateful for her contribution and the way she intentionally invested into both kids and volunteers! This summer, we were equally blessed to have Ilea Bingham, Janelle Duke, Elisa Dos Santos, and Kara Gasperetti join the team to put together Gospel-centered curriculum, schedule and care for volunteers and lead the team on Sundays. These faithful folks are doing an unbelievable job.
We are in the process of hiring a part-time Kids Lead for 2020. In the meantime, Kara Gasperetti has agreed to step in as the interim. With over 10 years of non-profit / leadership experience, Kara will be a great fit to strengthen and empower our team as we look to the future.
This fall, we welcomed Joey + Brie Best to the team to pioneer Reach Youth! We held an interest meeting in September where over 25 people joined us to see how they could get involved whether that be through participating as a student, supporting as a parent, or serving as a youth leader. We’re so grateful for the Bests who are volunteering their time to make sure youth feel valued in our community and have a place to belong and grow as disciples of Jesus. We’re excited to see what God has in store as we dream and plan for Reach Youth launching in 2020!
Believe it or not, technology plays a large part in our ministry.
We are a church run almost entirely by volunteers. Cool, huh?
45 beloved souls help our children have fun and know Jesus on the kids team.
4 men on the security team keep their eyes open to make us safer.
4 additional men drive our trailer to/from our gatherings on Sundays.
21 servants work way harder than we realize on the worship and production teams.
35 humble beasts serve on the welcome, admin, and setup + teardown teams.
That's a lot of people serving one another...and that's just on a Sunday!
To care for and support all these amazing people takes some spectacular leaders. We previously mentioned our Kids Team Leads, but also want to recognize Allison Pennington and Stephen Marti.
This year, Allison has continued to oversee our Setup + Teardown process and team. We are delighted by her gift of hospitality, the efficiencies she strives to create, and the way she supports every ministry. We literally would not be able to gather week in and week out without her organization.
Stephen has led our Worship + Production teams, pointing people to Jesus through the mediums of art and technology. We are incredibly blessed by his musical giftings and creativity as both a worship leader and songwriter. Above and beyond that, he even encouraged our church through teaching a couple times this year!
In August, we welcomed our first part-time staff member to the team, Tayla Marti! Tayla is stepping up as our “Community + Culture Lead,” which means she’s going to keep us in check with our core values, help new folks take next steps, and provide care to our groups and group leaders. She’s got a huge heart for Jesus and His church.
We look forward to God's provision as we seek to expand our team further in 2020.
Even though we have achieved much together in this past year, there’s still much to be done as we continue pressing on in our call to "Be the Church and Reach the City!" To that end we want to invite you to help us finish the year strong and prepare ourselves for an exciting 2020 at Reach Everett a few ways:
(One time or recurring. Every gift is tax deductible and will count for your 2019 return if made by 11:59pm on December 31st.)
Know this - you are loved, prayed for, and valuable in God's Kingdom. We can't wait to see what he will do in and through us in 2020!