University Blog

A New Opportunity To Grow

Posted by Reed McNitzky on

It’s about the journey, not the destination. 

Maybe someone has said that to you when you were impatient, frustrated, or at a dead end. This cliché can make our eyes roll into the back of our heads, I know, give me a chance. I think about the past four months, and while I wake up each day begging God to bring this nightmare to an end, the better parts of me wonder what God might have to teach me in the middle of it all. And the God I know often gets through my thick skull by way of the people around me.

Thankfully, I am surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses at University: people who have gained wisdom through their own dire circumstances and reflected on how God moves in the midst of the storm. With the help of Pastor Holly Wilson, I have spent the better part of this pandemic sitting at the feet of people in this church, discovering new stories of how God lives out the name Immanuel – the one who is with us. These conversations have spawned an incredible ministry, Stories From the Wilderness, which has offered people a new way to see the story of salvation play out in the lives of people we know and love.

Among other things, Stories from the Wilderness has reminded me that God is not found at the end of our faith. Rather, God is with us every step of the way, guiding us with grace and forming us into people of the destination. John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, wisely described salvation as a “way” rather than an end goal. Stories From the Wilderness proves this as we hear about the God who chooses to remain with us and causes healing, freedom, and redemption to come from even the bleakest places.

The standing invitation hasn’t changed, you are always invited to hear these stories by tuning in on Sunday nights at 5pm on Zoom or Facebook Live as Pastor Holly and I interview different members of the congregation. But, we want to expand the invitation. Stories From the Wilderness is going to be made into a curriculum for small groups, Bible studies and Sunday school classes to walk through together. By embarking on this 6-week journey as a group, I know that you will discover the connection between the story of Scripture, the stories of the interviewees, and the story God is telling in your own life. I know you’ll (re)encounter the freedom and power that comes with experiencing God’s presence. I know that your understanding of our Immanuel God will only be enriched.

If you want to know more or you want to receive the Stories from the Wilderness curriculum we are creating, email me at and we can ensure that your group has it as soon as it becomes available. 

So, won’t you walk the journey with us?

Blessings along the way,

Reed

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