12 December 2017
Dear friends and family and friends-like-family,
For nearly a year now, so many of you have been asking the question: what’s going on with you guys?... While we have tried to answer, we haven’t exactly known what to say...or rather, where to start. Two of our closest friends and intercession partners have shared in this with us...with the expression: dots...lots of dots wanting connection.
Simply put, we’ve had bits and pieces of words and direction from the Lord that have seemed pretty unmistakable in the last year. These have been revelations that have been enough to engage in obedience steps, yet we still have many unanswered questions. Not to worry, we’ve done our best to hang in there in the waiting. With this letter, facebook post, and webpage link, we’re going to try to give our best explanation and our best attempt at the big picture at the end of this long, faith-stretching year and let you know why we are writing it all out.
I’m going to address the bits in pieces so you can see the dots and their possible connections:
home church <3
A little over a year ago, we had a leading in our spirits that we had taken home church as far as we could take it within our giftedness. Not wanting to presume too much about what that meant, we began to take steps to flesh it out. Did He want us to resign? Did we simply need to bring on co-laborers? To that end, we did end up inviting two dear friends to join us in the work. It was also during this time that we had a very clear directive to finish a book I had started nearly nine years before, and we took a much needed two-month sabbatical to write. Toward the tail-end of our time away in the months of April and May, we did receive the directive that we were to step away from directly pastoring home church.
In July, I made our intentions known to our elder team to finish out the calendar year as lead pastor. Shortly after our announcement, our friends who had served the church
with us during the late spring and summer accepted a call to return to New York. Everyone kind of wondered what would become of the church and thought maybe this was an ending of sorts, but as is often the case in God stories, He puts commas where we tend to put periods.
All of that said...
Earlier this fall, we were approached by another community church with the request of merging and assuming control of our small body here in our amazing space at 32 East Main in Thomasville! To that end, we have been engaged in meetings and the early logistics of seeing that happen, and this past Sunday (as of the writing of this letter), we hosted Pastor Jason Goins of R2 church along with a worship pastor from their church in Jamestown for an envisioning service of what “Renaissance Road of Thomasville” at 32 East Main could look like.
And so, what R2 has asked of me is the willingness to remain in a full-time capacity into March 2018 to slow-walk the pastoral team into the relationships of our home church family and into the “ins and outs” of life in Thomasville. However, under the financial model in which this merger will need to gain traction, it requires this location to continue to support me as they have these past few years. And at present, it is not able to do so.
In short, our financial “runway” for the “dots” we are about to mention have been shortened.
(As an aside, our non-profit, 121 Inc., has assumed responsibility of the lease and operational expenses of the coffeehouse and will sublease to the church moving forward.)
32 eastmain coffeehouse!
The coffeehouse is the key that unlocks the door for R2 to bring a consistent gospel presence to Main Street, Thomasville. It is also a platform for 121 to be used to bring the church of the city together. In our little space across from the railroad tracks, pastors write their sermons, local non-profits dream dreams and pray through to see ends meet.
We see this location as a significant lighthouse for the city of Thomasville. We are currently open 7:30a - 6p Mon. through Sat. So, though I do not anticipate a long- term role of leadership with R2, Steph and I hope to continue to run the coffeehouse and manage the worship space as long as the Lord allows through 121. While Stephanie and Tsion are managing the shop, I definitely have a supportive role (getting really familiar with Costco). If you can imagine, local coffee shopping is not big business (unless you’re Starbucks); Steph, Tsion, and Salem have been volunteering 60 plus hours a week to this mission until the shop has enough traffic and revenue to pay its managerial staff and employees.
121 youth community worship gatherings!
When we finally received our permit of occupancy in our auditorium space next to the coffeehouse after a wait of seven months (as inspectors researched a code that would work for this old building), we opened the doors wide to a ministry that’s been on our hearts. We began straight away hosting a different youth pastor from the city every week for a worship gathering of teens. This requires a Sunday evening rehearsal time for our youth worship band and sketch comedy team for our Thursday gatherings. The idea is to get the youth and youth pastors of the city worshiping together across denominational lines. We want to bring an awareness to the unity in the Spirit required to see real community transformation. *
local band friday evening worship nights!
We’ve invited the worship bands from our community churches to come and use the coffeehouse stage to lead us in worship and fellowship... Again, we are hoping to introduce an appetite for community transformation while developing relational equity among our churches.
going in circles and actually getting somewhere
This is the title of book one of a two book project...the book we wrote on our sabbatical trip earlier in the year. This book was written to address the processes of God in the life of a believer. It has been reviewed by a prominent publisher but appears to be a dead- end. It still needs a final edit, graphic design for cover, and...a publisher.
still going in circles and getting somewhere
This is the book I have been aching to write! It will be written to address the micro- processes of God in the life of a believer (as the first was more about the macro-processes... ). It delves into the way God made us to operate: flesh, soul, and spirit...and how His indwelling when we step into connection with Christ changes everything. The base outline is finished. The bibliography is selected. I am currently putting it all in a single-volume source so I don’t have to travel with an 90-plus book library to complete it. Our present hope is to have the book far enough along that we can complete it on another two-month stretch late spring next year (much as we did the first book).
jack and jill
We are excited about the idea of using these characters in case studies we write using the tools and information given in the circles books. It will be a series of books to follow the first two. In these studies, we’ll see Jack and Jill deal with specific issues. Each book will contain a story section and a raw theological teaching section. We have fourteen different issue/plot lines at present.
weekly live radio and streaming tv show!
We have received an invitation to create and produce a weekly program that will do much to bring all of our other endeavors together. This show will be entertaining and funny, while discussing those things that beat deepest in our hearts (community transformation, identity in Christ & freedom issues, dealing with disillusionment, doubt fear, etc., hopefully, introducing the language of transformation into the life of the body.) We are beginning with a three-show pilot. If these perform well, the goal is for a statewide release to grow into a nation-wide release among the Truth Network affiliates. The eventual hope is to do well enough for national syndication sending out the ideas of the circle books, community transformation, and identity in Christ well beyond the borders of Winston-Salem.
Connected to this is the opportunity to TV livestream the show with its recorded comedy sketches included. We have shared this idea with an experienced producer in Atlanta whom God connected us with through a mutual friend and kingdom-builder. His organization currently has streaming content access with Roku, Amazon fire TV, Cross, and Android. It has our heads spinning wondering how it all works and if its really something He wants us to pursue.
Lots to do here!!! The learning curve feels more like an Everest climb!
127 children’s home tours!
Of all the things we feel a direct call to do, this one remains the biggest mystery to me. The home tour is a tour of children’s homes in Georgia and Florida where we bring a version of youth camp directly to them. To get the full vision of this one, go to www.ph121.org (oh... never mind... you're already here!) .... There you’ll find that it’s hard, exhausting...and life-changing for the teens we visit and for the students who travel with us.
121 discipleship retreat!
A personal favorite! This is an intensive 5-day retreat for youth who are ready to go deeper. It’s not for everyone. It’s emotionally and physically hard. We’ve been offering this retreat rotating between the NC and FL beaches since 1999. It is Survivor before it was ever created...except no one gets voted off.
***The folks connected to the Truth Network have suggested that both the home tours and 121 discipleship retreats be made available for reality-show production...something we are strongly considering as we develop the radio and TV streaming show.
triad transformation prayer barn gatherings <3
Currently, these take place on the second Wednesday of every month at 5:30am in our barn. My current role in these gatherings has been to intermittently share what we have gleaned in the pursuit of community transformation for the past several years. It is also to host it.
We realize one early morning a month doesn’t sound like much.... However, we are hoping that this small band of intercessors turns into so, so, so much more.
Christ Together Southeast triad leadership team!
Christ Together is a national network of churches engaged in the mission of saturating their communities with the Gospel. My role with the Triad team is very similar to my role with the prayer barn intercession team (without hosting duties). As it develops, our hope is to aid Christ Together in the creation of sustainable, informed-intercession teams across the Triad of NC.
So... there you have it. How do you explain all of that in five minute conversations and passing moments? We are intensely loaded with mission! However, what you may have noticed is that all of them are mission - in development. Hence, the financial runway I mentioned earlier.... Taken together, these are understatedly immense time- consumers. Some are close ~ some are very close ~ some are sitting in the mystery that screams maybe tomorrow, maybe next year...who knows! Regardless, we are currently living in a felt-limbo that demands attention to detail less we fail to be alert and see it delayed or diminished. While it’s been a hard place to be emotionally, we believe it’s the journey Jesus has us on at present.
To that end, we want to ask if you would help us create a financial runway for the next six months to help walk and birth these things into sound missional and provisional security.
To help us transition home church, keep 32 eastmain coffeehouse open, continue the youth worship gatherings and music gatherings on Main Street, endure until the publishing of the circles, writing of the second circles, development and finding of sponsors for the radio/tv streaming show, service of triad transformation intercession.
We need to see $4500-5000 a month coming into 121 Inc. to get ourselves back on manageable financial footing. We will also be seeking sponsors and advertisers to help get our three pilot episodes on the air. We will need an estimated $6500 to make this happen.
We are welcoming both one-time and ongoing monthly gifts to 121 Inc. At present, we have a giving link at
www.onetwentysevenhometours.org. You can also give the old-fashioned way by sending a check made to 121 Inc. to PO Box 26, Wallburg, NC 27373.
We’ll be looking to put together a newsletter of sorts to keep those of you called to financially support us up-to-date and “in the know” as things progress on the various projects. (Please provide an email address with gifts sent to the PO box.)
Thank you sooo much for taking the time to plod through all of this story and information! It means way more than we can express. We love you!
Scott and Steph Reid 121Inc.