Newsletter

“He is Risen! – It’s Gotta Matter!”

04-09-2021NewsletterTom Pivonka, Provisional Coordinator

I think the biggest thing that I have missed due to my being forced to work from home due to COVID has been listening to Air 1 or K-Love radio my drive to and from work. My commute from my bedroom to my office is much shorter and really doesn’t offer much time to get in my Christian Music fix.

A couple of months ago I splurged on an Alexa Dot, and this has allowed me to get back into my daily music. Depending on my what I am working on, I either listen to contemporary Christian music, or classical music.

Any time that I am working on a talk, preparing to lead a gathering, or now, a letter to the body, my antennae go up when I listen to Christian music. The Holy Spirit frequently speaks to me through lyrics. In the past month I was really touched by two specific songs: My Testimony by Elevation Worship; and God of this City by Chris Tomlin. Although these are two different songs, the parts that really jumped out at me are very similar:

READ MORE

The Humility of God

03-27-2021NewsletterJeff Looker, Senior Coordinator

Geoff’s Shell’s Coordinator letter two weeks ago had a wonderful exhortation about deepening the virtue of humility in our lives. He started with a sentence from Phillipians 2- the well-known exultation of the humility of Jesus and His obedience to death. With Palm Sunday tomorrow, what better topic to write about in this letter than the “Humility of God”!

The humility of God is really about God’s love and fidelity to the world, even when the world turns away from Him and denies Him. The persistent mercy and love He shows to mankind is indeed a mystery rooted in humility. Cardinal Ratzinger once wrote:

READ MORE

Philippians 2:3

03-19-2021NewsletterGeoff Shell, Coordinator

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves…” (Philippians 2:3)

Recently, I was meditating on the principle of “humility” in the Christian life. I realized that for me (and I suspect for many of us), the natural tendency, once I think I know something, is to clutch onto it for dear life. After all, I thought of it, didn’t I? So it must be true!!!

The “deadly sin” for which humility is the antidote is pride, which C. S. Lewis (in keeping with many of the Church Fathers) describes as the primeval sin, the sin of Lucifer. Small wonder that the Evil One is so skilled at tempting us mortals toward that tar pit. The frustrating characteristic of pride is that, no matter how advanced we may be in the Christian walk, that sin always lurks close at hand. We may achieve some degree of mastery over gluttony, envy, sloth, but pride? That is always but a stone’s throw away….

READ MORE

Love Creates Transformation and Evolution

02-26-2021NewsletterJeff Looker, Senior Coordinator

Brothers and Sisters:

As I write this, I am in Augusta Georgia at the North American Network of Charismatic Covenant Communities (NANCCC). It is great to see old friends from so many sister communities around the country. It is especially nice to see the new generation of young adults present that have caught the vision and have been called to Covenant Community by the Lord. The Lord is continuing to keep His promises and is raising up a new generation to serve His purposes of renewing the world!

READ MORE

Unity

01-30-2021NewsletterJeff Looker, Senior Coordinator

Brothers and Sisters:

It doesn’t take a voracious consumer of news to know that we are a divided nation in need of unity. The concepts of “unity” and “division” unfortunately have a variety of meanings, depending on who you ask. There appears to be great division on the topic of unity!

Satan hates unity. Ever since his fall from Heaven, Satan has sought to divide the world. His first action was to divide the angels, followed famously by tempting Adam and Eve to original sin in the garden, dividing mankind from God. (Thank you Jesus for restoring us to the Father!) Division (along with condemnation and accusation) is Satan’s specialty. The word “devil,” comes from the Greek word diabolos, which can be translated as, “to divide,” “to separate,” or more literally, “to throw against.”

READ MORE

The Beatitudes

01-20-2021NewsletterJeff Looker, Senior Coordinator

Brothers and Sisters:

This week in my fellowship, Mike Peters had us watch a homily by Fr. John Riccardo, a wonderful homilist and Spirit filled priest whom I had never heard before. The topic was the “Beatitudes” of Matthew Chapter 5. A great subject for sure but not one that I usually run to for inspiration!

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:3-12, RSV-CE)

READ MORE

Happy New Year!

01-01-2021NewsletterJeff Looker, Senior Coordinator

Brothers and Sisters:

Welcome to 2021! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s break!

One of the traditions Pam and I have been practicing on New Year’s eve is to think of all the things we are grateful for. Good health, a relationship with Jesus, the gift of our family are all easy choices. But as I pondered the question, “What am I grateful for” I realized how generous the Father is to us, and how often we focus on material blessings instead of the gifts that profoundly represent His love for us. One thing I observed at Christmas this year with my grandkids was how much they enjoyed giving gifts they had made for each other and seeing the reactions of their cousins to the labor of love they had crafted. It beautifully took the focus off of “what did I get” and created an atmosphere of mutual blessing. The Father loves to give us gifts; His only begotten Son Jesus to save us, His Holy Spirit to sanctify us, the Blessed Mother to lead us to a relationship with her Son and the Saints to show us a heroic witness of the way of life God calls us to. And finally you, my brothers and sisters in City of the Lord; we are Gods’s gift to one another. We “represent” God’s love to each other—in other words we “Re-Present’ or present over and over the Love of God and the Gift He is to us! Let’s not forget this!

READ MORE

Prepare!

12-07-2020NewsletterJeff Looker, Senior Coordinator

Brothers and Sisters:

I think its an understatement to say “2020 didn’t work out quite like I thought it would!”

A year ago, my letter to the community spoke about the “Humility of God”. The mystery of God becoming man and how God’s ways are not our ways- His thoughts not our thoughts! (Isaiah 55:8). I spoke about the mystery of John 3:16 and why does God so love the world that he sent his only Son to save us and restore us to relationship with Himself ? To begin to plumb the depths of that mystery, we have to understand that one of the grand principles of God’s nature is the He “moves towards’. God “moves toward” Himself in the Trinity. He initiates the incarnation with His great desire to “move toward” and dwell among His people. In the institution of marriage, He creates a desire for man and woman to “move toward” one other; the two becoming one flesh in marriage and consequently the family reflecting the life of the Trinity. In Luke 15 Jesus speaks of the three parables of God pursuing us and “moving toward” us so to speak. In the parables of the “Lost Sheep”, the “Lost Coin” and finally the “Lost Son” who the Father runs toward to greet and restore into relationship with himself.

READ MORE

New Statutes Approved

11-16-2020NewsletterJeff Looker, Senior Coordinator

Brothers and Sisters

As I write this letter, I am preparing for our November 14, 2020 GLG (General Leaders Gathering) where the Senior Leadership Teams of all of our Branches come together (via zoom this year) to approve the final version of our new City of the Lord Governing Statutes (Constitution). While this may not sound like very interesting or exciting news, it is a milestone in our journey of refounding that our Community began several years ago. I also received a very nice letter from Bishop Olmsted yesterday approving our Statutes and encouraging us in our mission as a Community. He remarked that our new Statutes “are well done, with greater emphasis and clarity on the City of the Lord’s core mission and identity..”

READ MORE

A Family of Families

11-02-2020NewsletterJeff Looker, Senior Coordinator

Brothers and Sisters:

As I write this, our 2020 AZ Branch Men’s retreat is almost a week behind us. What a wonderful time we had together! 39 men gathered at El Nathan retreat center in Flagstaff for three days of fellowship, worship and impartation of revelation that will lead us into the next season God is unfolding before us. A big thanks to all the brothers that shared, prepared talks, helped with meals and logistics. I think everyone that attended had some role of service that was indispensable.

One of the blessings of this Men’s retreat was the variety of ages that attended. From an 18 year old Pivonka to the 91 year old head of the Lebeau clan! One third of our attendees were young adults, and we had many guests, sons and brothers that attend our young adult bible study and participate in our life in other ways. I was reminded of the scripture:

READ MORE