February Newsletter

By Hanley Road on February 1st, 2020

News and Events at The Journey Hanley Road
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Hope in the Midst of Suffering:
Encouragement from the African American Christian Tradition

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might
Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand,
True to our God,
True to our native land.

– Lift Every Voice and Sing: The Black National Anthem  

Some people are wholly unaware that African Americans have their own National Anthem. “Why?” you may ask? Simply put, African Americans have had a markedly different experience with the American democratic experiment than their counterparts. From the atrocity of the Transatlantic Slave Trade, to the disappointment of Reconstruction, to the evils of Jim Crow, the African American experience has been marked by suffering. Yet, from this crucible of unthinkable suffering, a wellspring of hope and joy, known as the African American Christian experience, has erupted.

The African American Christian Experience is Biblical. From its inception, African American Christian identity was rooted in the gospel. Enslaved Africans embraced the God of the Bible, not as the God who enabled and endorsed the oppression and destruction of black bodies, but as the God of the oppressed. Their reading of Scripture understood YHWH through the lenses of both Old and New Testaments and viewed Jesus as not only the Great Liberator from the oppression of sin but as the Great Liberator of the physically oppressed and enslaved. The result of this biblicism gave birth to a faith rooted in the full story of scripture, from Genesis to Revelation. 

The African American Christian Experience is Eschatological. One of the greatest gifts of the black Christian experience is the expression of lament and suffering which moves through suffering towards hope and liberation. This hope has historically been rooted in the faithfulness of the God of Scripture who acts in history. Yet, even though black Christians expected God to act for their liberation in the here and now, they recognized that their ultimate liberation would occur at the restoration of all things, when King Jesus would cause justice to “roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:24). Black Christian preaching, music, literature, and art are replete with deep longings for the day when, “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)

The African American Christian Experience is Inclusive. One does not need to be African American to be encouraged and enriched by the rich heritage of African American Christianity. Regardless of our ethnicity, we are all longing for the day when all things will be made new. While in varied ways and in differing amounts, we have all endured suffering as a part of the human condition. One of the greatest gifts of the African American Christian experience is the reminder that we can experience the joy and hope that we have in Jesus even in the midst of our suffering. So I encourage each of you to cling to the hope of Christ, no matter what challenges and difficulties you face. I encourage you in the midst of your suffering to remember the words of an oft quoted Psalm in the black church: “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)

In Christ,
Pastor Carlos


Black History Month

As we enter into this month, our desire is to Remind ourselves by learning about the past, considering its meaning, and reflecting on its impact; to Rejoice through celebration, honor, and worship; and to Respond by asking ourselves how what we now know should inform our choices today and tomorrow. Visit our website for specific ways to learn, celebrate, and engage with us!

Donna Dykstra, Tim Koster, Mike and Laura Roth, Mike and Judy Earnshaw, Cindy Eriks, Ed Klain, Steve Blom, Julie and Randy Vroom, John and Angela Wagenveld.
These are the people that come to my mind as those who have had the greatest impact on my Christian faith. They were a part of my local church family and were committed to raising up their children in the knowledge of the Lord. Even so, they also took part in my journey of discipleship in my early years. My parents were the biggest influencers of my life and faith, but these others were crucial in helping me grow in my ownership of my Christian walk apart from my parents. As you look back on your time knowing God, what people come to your mind?
We cannot ride someone else's faith to the Kingdom of God. We get to walk that path together, but we all must walk it as individuals. One of the biggest common denominators of adult Christians is that they have had intergenerational discipleship relationships when they were young (see book Sticky Faith). Journey Kids and Journey Students are not substitutes for at-home discipleship, but they are necessary pieces of the discipleship process that is needed for faith that lasts a lifetime instead of a decade.
Would you consider joining one of our teams? We want to see our children and students awakened to and transformed by the love of Jesus, and it takes a village to make that happen. Please contact me with your interest and we can get together for you to learn more about what that could look like.

Shoulder to Shoulder,

Greetings from The Journey Board! We wish everyone a very happy, healthy 2020.
We have launched a new webpage that the Board hopes will provide better communication to all our Journey churches. You can find it here. We will post communications and other items of interest on the page as needed. We will also provide an archive of our older communications and board minutes.

Our goal in doing this is to better communicate with you and provide as much ongoing information and transparency to our congregations as possible.

Grace and peace,
Jeff Fox, on behalf of The Board of Elders

This past Christmas, our Journey churches were able to raise support for the Grace and Peace Winter Shelter through a Gift for Our City. Two teams of volunteers also served at Grace and Peace on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve, and we know that several other individuals and community groups have been faithful in stepping into the need of these women. This excites us, because in it, we see the holistic love that the example of Christ propels us toward. In the Bible, Christ charges us to feed the hungry and welcome the stranger (Matthew 25:35). You can keep on stepping into the needs of our neighbors by signing up to cook and serve a meal! Right now, we are still looking for volunteers for February 5th and March 14th!
Hanley Road will be hosting a panel teaching and discussion with FirstLight on February 27th. FirstLight seeks to help individuals see their sexuality in light of God's word and recognize that through Christ, there is hope and healing for anyone caught in patterns of sexual sin. Whether you or someone you know struggles in this area, or you're just interested in this topic, we invite you to bring your honest self to this evening. 
Parents, we will be holding child dedications on Family Sunday, February 23rd, at both of our services. Please register by February 17th

February 15-March 28

The Journey's premarital ministry is hosting the spring session of Four Weeks to a Great Marriage this month at The Journey Tower Grove! The session consists of a series of four group classes. Couples are paired with a mentor couple who will walk through the program with them. The classes and mentoring are open to engaged and recently married couples. Learn more and register for our upcoming session!

Come join us for an Ash Wednesday service on Wednesday, February 26th, at 7 a.m. here at the church. This day on the liturgical calendar marks a point of reckoning with our own mortality, our own frailty, and our need for a Savior who supersedes the grave.
Hanley Road men, you're invited to our next panel and discussion! On Saturday, February 29th, we'll be exploring our theme: "Practical Christianity at Work and After Hours." Elder Rich Pierce, Josh Wilson, and Robert Karlskint will be a part of our panel. 



Learn more about some upcoming opportunities at Hanley Road. Click on the images below to find out more about each!

If you love to sing and worship, we would love to have you join our choir! Our choir joins the normal Sunday worship team to sing once a month. Everyone is welcome to join (kids will need an accompanying adult), and there is no audition. Please email our Worship Leader, Jason Magers, if you are interested or for more information.
Theology at the Bottleworks is a monthly public discussion that takes up the important issues of our times among an amazing diversity of interesting people and views. We consider it a modern day “Mars Hill” (see Acts 17). We'll be meeting on Wednesday, February 19th from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood. 

Join the conversation this month for our topic: What is Sin and Morality, Circa 2020? Are these ideals relevant anymore, where do your values on these come from, and why do you believe what you believe? Come on out to have a brew, share your view, and lend an ear to others.' 

Members, save the date for February 23rd for our next potluck together! Please register to let us know you're coming and to request childcare.
We have several meal trains opened for families with newborns! And you don't have to be a chef to help out! Whether you're dropping off a homemade meal or sending a restaurant gift card, these families are truly grateful. Sign up for a date here. If you are expecting a little one of your own, email infohr@thejourney.org, so we can get a meal train set up for you in time!
The Hosts seek to create an inviting environment for people to meet Jesus and connect with each other. Entrance greeters, coffee connectors, and communion set-up folks are just some of the roles that we can take for granted every Sunday, but this team is essential for embodying love for our church. If you're interested in learning more about this team, please email Patrick Arthur.


March 14 | Serving Dinner at Grace and Peace Shelter
March 20 | Women's Ministry R&R "Broken Vessels"
March 28 | Easter Egg Hunt 
March 29 | All Leaders Meeting 

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