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Summary: Our new church name describes who we are and who we want God to make us into.

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Our New Name as a Prayer October 22, 2006

We began the decision-making process to change our name back in January on this year. We went through deciding that we would begin the process of choosing a name for the church, and then received suggestions for possible new names. We voted on all the possibilities and narrowed it down to four, then we voted again and narrowed it down to one name. Then we gave you the opportunity to vote yes or know for that final name. You said yes to Runnymede Community Church with an overwhelming majority. Much prayer was put into the process, as well as the decision. Even though voting seems very unspiritual at times, I have become convinced that this is God’s name for this Church. We have had prophetic words and confirmation for “Runnymede Community Church” and I know that the leadership, and you the congregation put a great deal of prayer into the choice; listening for what God wants and praying for unity in the church as we went through the process.

I believe that God has given us this new name, not just as a moniker to be known by, but as a prayer for our congregation. A prayer that we would be a Community Church. This prayer comes from 1 John 1:3-4 (we’ve been studying 1 John on Sunday mornings)

John speaks of his hope in writing this letter: he says “We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete.”

This is how Eugene Peterson Translates it: “We saw it, we heard it, and now we’re telling you so you can experience it along with us, this experience of communion with the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ. Our motive for writing is simply this: We want you to enjoy this too. Your joy will double our joy!”

Community with God

John says, “our fellowship, our communion, our community is with God.” That is my prayer: that first and foremost, we would live in community with God.

God whom we worship is the very model of community – the Trinity, the three in one. The Orthodox church has this great word that they use to understand the trinity, and that is “Perichoresis.” It means “circle dance.” I think that it is one of the best ways to understand the trinity – an eternal dance between the Father, the Son and The Holy Spirit. The Spirit is the one who invites us into the dance, and Jesus, the Son pays our dance ticket so that the Father welcomes us with open arms. - Dave’s painting

It is my prayer that we would learn the dance better and better, that we as a community and as individuals would learn to hear God’s voice, to hear his divine music and understand the rhythm of his movements so we can keep step.

Last week I said that I would like nothing better than to be known and a friend of God, as a person who knows God, and that is my prayer for this church, that we would know God and be known as a people who are friends of God.

Community with Each Other

Drawing the Neighbouring Community

What I hope about this new name is that it is a prayer to God about a part of who he has called us to be, and who we are trying to be. As a church, our relationship with God is our first call, but his call on us is to be in relationship with the community around us as well. It is my hope that the community around us will see the name as a sign that we have a place for them here at Runnymede. I pray that the people of this neighbourhood would come and have fellowship with us, because our fellowship is with the Father and with his son, Jesus Christ. (1 John 1:3-4)

I pray that we as a congregation of God’s Church in this city will become an integral part of this community, that the flavour of Bloor West will be seasoned by the Kingdom of God as we express it as a congregation.

I pray that, as each of us is an individual expression of the corporate Church, that we will impact the community like yeast impacts the dough in bread. That every area of this community will be touched by the church.

I pray that we will live up to our name in being a tight-knit community, showing the unity of God by being unified in love through his Spirit. I pray that we would be one as God is one and that the light of his unity would shine forth through us into the community around us.

Our name is a name, but it is also a prayer.

Mike

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