She's One!

No, not Kaelyn; she just turned eight months last week. It was a year ago Monday that Echo Church was officially started. I'm not quite sure how to describe what we've been through this past year, but it actually feels like we gave birth to two children [although Kelly swears her pregnancy was more painful]. Even though we're still scratching for every inch, I've absolutely enjoyed this past year. I wake up everyday thankful that we're here. But this experience has definitely stretched our faith. I won't lie: I was scared to death a year ago. I didn't want to fail, which was always kept me from jumping into a church plant. We left security for uncertainty. And, honestly, if you had told me that this is where we'd be after a year, I'm not sure I would've done it. And that's precisely why I'm glad I didn't know. This is a long term investment. We're not blowing out the doors today, but we're gaining momentum. Thirty years from now, no one will remember year one.

And that's why, as I have been with Kaelyn, I've been trying to enjoy every minute of Echo's infancy. I enjoy getting to build closeknit relationships with our core group. I've appreciated additional sanity since leaving Panera at the beginning of the year. Could've done without the hepatitis, but even that was a learning experience [I learned having hepatitis sucks]. It's a good journey to take.

And now, time to name drop.

So to those of you who helped us embark on this journey, thanks. Dave&Bev, Anthony, Jen, Jaime&Melinda, Mark&Heidi, Paul&Carol, Jeff&Martha, Lindsay, Bill&Betty, Brad&Tammi, John&JoLynn, Sandy, Justin, Dave&Melissa, Mike&Nikki, Jeremy&Bonnie, Sydney, Brian&Krista, Dan&Rhonda, Jeremy- you all made it possible for Echo to start.

To those local church leaders I've had the pleasure of interacting with this year [Mike, Aaron, Russell, Markus, DG, Benji, Heidi, Bill, Scott] as well as those online [Tim, Michael, Bob, Tadd, Chad, Bob, Ben, Dave] thanks for the encouragement and for keeping me sharp.

To Emily, Shawn, Jim&Cindy, thanks for being a part of our original core group. We miss you, but are excited about where God has taken you.

And to those current core Echo'ers [Aaron, Dorota, Tim, Larry, Dale, Melissa, Rachel, Nate, Tim, Jessica, Tye, Andrea, Bud, Adam, Dylan, Kelly&Kaelyn], all those who've been coming recently, and all those friends and family who have supported us throughout the year with presence, prayer, and encouragement [especially those whose names I've accidentaly omitted], my deepest thanks and respect. God is definitely good. And you are proof of that.

Let's see what He does in year two.

And to bring this full circle, here's a picture of the little girl from Echo's birthday weekend: