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Posted by Tanner Woolf on

This last Thursday, my wife and I found ourselves spending our Thanksgiving in a beautiful home with 12 people who were complete strangers to us six months ago. If you would have asked Kendall and I before we got married how we thought we would be spending our first major holiday together, we wouldn’t have even dreamed of this! As we sat with the Nordlund family and ate, played games, sang Christmas songs, laughed, and made fun of the dog wearing the cone of shame, we never felt like we were away from our family. That’s how we have felt since we first became a part of the faith community here at GPBC.

Kendall and I moved to Portland this past May and have been on a crazy journey ever since we arrived! God made it very clear to us that we were supposed to move out to this really weird city, and other than Kendall’s schooling, we had no idea why. She was accepted to several other schools, and I received job offers from other churches closer to home, but God had something different in mind. We took this huge leap of faith, packed up our stuff, and headed to Portland. While Kendall has been attending George Fox University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program, I was working several different jobs from pushing carts at Costco to slinging lattes behind a coffee bar. We were remaining faithful to God for what he had for us out here, but we were longing to be a part of a community. Kendall and I would read through Acts and so desire for a community that loved each other like the First Century Church.

Then we found this church.

From the moment we walked through the front doors, we felt the Spirit moving in an incredible way. Through the interview process for the Student Ministry Pastor position we were able to see more and more of what we were longing for. In Acts we see the Church living this way:

“And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.” Acts 2:42

We’re so excited to be a part of this faith family! We grow together, we take communion together, we pray, sing, laugh, mourn, and truly love one another. We are so thankful to the Nordlund family and everyone else in the church who is showing Christ’s love to us and everyone else who comes through those doors!

I would love it if you just felt encouraged by your community after reading this, but I would love it EVEN MORE if you read this as an invitation to be committed to something bigger. We see in Acts that when the church fell deeply in love with God and dedicated themselves to spreading the Good News of that love, the Spirit truly moved.

During this advent season we want to provide you with several opportunities to grow in your relationship with Jesus and in our relationships with each other! We invite you to join us during the next month as we learn more about what it looks like to love as Jesus, how to be a part of a community that cares for those inside and outside this building, and how to be generous with what God has gifted us with. If you would like to learn more about these things and grow in them, please feel free to click on the Advent Conspiracy link below!

I’m so excited to grow with you all this Holliday season!

Tanner Woolf




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