2019 Year in Review
In 2019, we dove into an initiative called the Year of Authentic Community. In the first half, we sought to build the inner capacities necessary to relate well to one another in community. In the second half, we explored core topics related to living in harmony, peace, and love with one another as the diverse body of Christ. In this Year in Review, we share some of the ways we pursued authentic community, as well as some of the fruit that came about as a result, by God’s grace.
Here are the nine teaching series from the Year of Authentic Community. Click on each to watch or listen.
“I fortunately met my great CG folks and connected so well with them. Loved discussing the sermon, things we agreed and disagreed about in a mature way. It was amazing to me there were people who wanted to talk about how to grow relationally in God’s community.”– Laura
Click on each to watch or listen.
“For the first time in years I felt safe to feel all of my emotions and to open up about how I’m really doing. I felt safe because I saw authenticity and vulnerability when two other members spent 15 minutes each sharing a vulnerable story with the entire group on the very first night I was there. I knew this group, while not perfect, was an answer to my prayer for community.”– Nora
A Song for Unity
“Make Us One”
In a year focused on authentic community, we were thrilled to release “Make Us One.” Inspired by a poem by G.K. Chesterton, this song is a prayer for the unity of the Church as we partner with the Holy Spirit to see His Kingdom come, on earth as in heaven.
“We’ve become so much closer as a group this year and have deepened our individual relationships with each other. We had so many answered prayers this year from health-related prayers, to child births, pregnancy, and healing. Our prayer nights have become a staple of our group, and sharing prayer requests continue to be a cornerstone of CG meetings.”– Patty
Celebrating New Members of Our Family
Baptisms & Baby Dedications
We welcomed lots of new life into our community in 2019 — both the spiritual and physical kind! In the spring and fall, 23 people chose to follow Jesus and take steps of obedience in baptism. Baptism Sundays are always a special time for us to celebrate those entering the family of God and to also reflect on the meaning of our own baptism.
Beyond spiritual rebirth, we also celebrated a lot of actual births by dedicating 37 babies! With baby dedications, parents commit to faithfully raising their children in the Lord, and we as a community commit to spiritually and practically supporting these families… in hopes that one day, their little ones will personally trust in Jesus as Savior and follow Him into the waters of baptism.
“As a member of a family CG, we have seen God show grace to our community by giving us a sense of belonging as families with kids in SF, patience as we learn and grow as parents, and strengthened bonds with one another. The way that God has gifted each individual is unique and beautiful. It is so incredible to watch these gifts work in harmony as a community serves alongside one another.”– Heather
Ending Evening Gathering
To Build Community on Sunday Mornings
From 2015 to 2019, we gathered Sunday nights at Dolores Park Church, the very place where we also hosted prayer meetings prior to the launch of our church. God did some remarkable things during our evening gatherings, and we are grateful. However, we believe that being under one roof on Sunday mornings where we can serve, worship, and learn together will deepen and fortify our community for years to come. We look forward to two Sunday morning gatherings at 9:15 and 11:30, starting January 26th!
“As the year progressed, I was increasingly going deeper in being known and knowing others and feeling more secure in the Lord and more loved. I’m learning how to be patient with the slow unfolding of God’s work.”– Tina
A Weekend Away to Deepen Relationships
Women’s and Men’s Retreats
As part of our efforts this year to cultivate authentic community, we hosted a Women’s Retreat at Mount Hermon and a Men’s Retreat at Mission Springs, both in the Santa Cruz Mountains. 230 women took part in the Women’s Retreat, and 151 men participated in the Men’s Retreat! Click on each recap interview below to hear some highlights and stories of how God was at work during these weekends away.
“God has been answering the prayer for consistent community faithfully in unexpected ways after losing touch with most of my college friends and having a reset.”– Michael
A Saturday Dedicated to Oneness
To cultivate deeper intimacy within our marriages, we were honored to host John and Nancy Ortberg in August for a Marriage Conference at the Golden Gate Club in the Presidio. 150 engaged and married couples enjoyed a Saturday learning from this seasoned couple and also spending time in discussion, reflection, and sharing a meal together.
“The Marriage Conference was a refreshing and unique experience. It was less of a ‘sit and listen to the speaker’s experiential wisdom’ and more of an interactive and reflective time where the Ortbergs openly shared their highs and lows in an authentic way. It was the first marriage conference we’ve attended that spoke to the spiritual, mental, and physical health of each spouse in a way that made us both feel heard, known, and encouraged.”– Emily & Chris
Stepping Up to Serve One Another
New Volunteers in 2019
A crucial part of authentic community is offering our time and talents in sacrificial service. So in 2019, we encouraged our church to commit to one another by signing up to serve in a number of important ministries.
And we were so encouraged by the community’s response! We’re incredibly thankful for all of you who began serving in 2019. We believe that God will use your time and talents not only to bless others but also to richly bless you, transforming you more deeply into the image of Christ. (And of course, thank you to all of our long-time volunteers who have been serving our community long before 2019!)
New Volunteers in 2019
Thank you to all those who stepped up to serve our community this year!
100 New Sunday Volunteers
97 New Children’s Ministry Volunteers
5 New Youth Leaders
88 New CG Leaders
9 New CG Coaches
26 New CG Hosts
8 Newcomer Liaisons
14 Community Sports Captains
11 New Music Volunteers
“As a group, we really questioned, shared, and deeply discussed what commitments make our community what it is and will be. To be in — and create community — requires shared values, commitments to be taken by its members.”– David
Sharing Our Resources
2019 Financial Overview
In addition to serving one another through volunteering, our community practiced abundant financial generosity in 2019. We’re so honored and blessed by your sacrificial giving, church. We believe that as our generosity continues to grow, our capacity to pour out into our city and community will also expand.
2019 Giving: $4.95M
Total Operational Expenses: $3.9M
Net Income: $341K
Total Giving vs. Expenses
Benevolence: Through a discerning Benevolence Team, we care for families and individuals within our church who are in need of emergency financial assistance, practical support, and prayer.
Local Justice & Global Outreach: $889K
(Includes $250K raised for our year-end giving initiative, supporting our Renewal Partner Organizations who work with at-risk children and youth.)
Church Planting: Locally, we support three San Francisco plants (Citizens Church, Eucharist Church, and Liberty Church San Francisco) and one Oakland plant (Realm Church). Outside the continental US, we support our two most recently planted Reality Family churches, Reality Church London and Reality Honolulu.
Justice & Outreach: $356K
Church Planting: $440K
2020 Giving Goal: $4.9M
“There was a moment this year when I was struggling with financial responsibilities. Friends in my community group prayed alongside me, and two couples, so secure in God’s promises to them, blessed me financially to help me carry those responsibilities. With this huge blessing and gift, I’ve been challenged and encouraged to be generous. I can’t believe I get to live this life, honoring God, and being surrounded by friends/family who help one another honor Him. All glory to God!”– Mini
Insights and Vision from Our Leadership
At Annual Vision & Prayer 2020, Dave Lomas looked back on the main themes of our early years as a church in order to canonize them as an essential part of our future. He then looked forward to share key initiatives for 2020. You can watch or listen to the presentation below.
We encourage you to also read Executive Director Dale Gustafson’s article on our story as a church and some measurable ways we are moving our story forward in 2020.