To Our Dear Imago Dei Church Family in Peoria, Illinois-

It has been our honor to serve alongside you these last seven years. Though our time with you has been shorter than we expected, we are grateful to have spent these years with you learning and growing together, caring for one another, making a difference in our city and world, and being formed in Christ’s likeness.

You are a special community, Imago Dei, one full of beautiful stories that you share freely, inviting others to share freely as well. We’re so grateful to have been just a small part of the narrative God is writing here among you.

We are thrilled about your future and trust that the Spirit will continue to guide you into the church you long to become.

Therefore, we urge you, dear family –

Be faithful – beyond what’s normal or convenient. Stay when it gets hard. Show up when it’s messy. You’ll learn so much about who you are if you allow yourself to be transformed by Spirit-led fidelity.

Be open to learning and growing and changing. Your ability to try new things and see what sticks is such a good way to live as a faith community. Keep dreaming and discovering who God is calling you to be in the season at hand with the specific people who call Imago home.

Be kind – to yourselves and to others. Begin with kindness. Fill the gaps with kindness. End with kindness. Kindness is versatile and not as common as it should be.

Be quick to say I’m sorry and ready to try again a different way. A church filled with humility is such a safe place for all and that’s where you really shine.

Be honest with your questions and doubts and continued uncertainty even if you’ve been at this following Jesus thing for quite a while. Your willingness to say “I don’t know” helps others do the same.

Be grateful for the ways that you’ve managed to find solid ground again after so much has been torn down and seemed like rubble. Allow yourself to wonder what God can build upon that foundation. Look for the beauty that can come from ashes.

Be ready to laugh. Try not to take yourselves too seriously. You’re a brilliant, wise, thoughtful people, but the quirkiness and wit that lives here is such an important part of Imago. Life is more beautiful when the heaviness is broken up with shared joy.

Be generous with your time and your heart and your stuff. It’s all temporary anyway and it’s so much more meaningful when it’s shared.

Be hopeful. Cling to the deep truth that there is much more happening than what we can currently see. There is more beyond the daily grind and the anxiety that riddles our lives. There is more than the pain and injustices that fill our world. Hope is a powerful force. Take a deep dive in her healing waters, when necessary.

Be devoted to Jesus – to His life, His teachings, and His good-news-for-everyone gospel. Follow him the best way you know how. Point people toward him. Rest in him always. 

He is faithful. He is good. He will lead you home.

We love you, Imago.

6 thoughts on “To Our Dear Imago Dei Church Family in Peoria, Illinois-

  1. Michael Tunis says:

    You are leaving us much better than you found us. In light of Imago’s tumultuous history of the last 5 years that is an accomplishment you should be quite proud of. We are so blessed you guys were here to steer us through it all, pretty sure we would not have survived it without you.

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    • Thank you, Mike. We already miss our Sunday mornings serving alongside you, Sue, and the team. Thanks for being such steady reminders of grace and love through it all! You helped us keep going. 🙂

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  2. Michael Tunis says:

    Helped you keep going…you weren’t paying attention, been trying to keep you from going? 😉 Have you heard of Covid 19?………all me.

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