HR | July Newsletter

By Hanley Road on July 1st, 2019

News and Events at The Journey Hanley Road
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Perfecting Rest vs. Perfect Rest 

The Mattia Family Singers are now three weeks into our summer. Summer was easy before we had our boys. When Amy and I were both teachers, it was even easier. In the summer of 2001, we bought a Super Nintendo, ate Taco Bell and KFC twice a day, and became completely nocturnal creatures. We were oblivious and unalarmed until my brother, Patrick, visited and asked, "Hey, why are you guys so pale? Do you have ANY groceries in the house?" To be honest, it probably wasn't healthy, but we DID feel ready to teach when the end of August rolled around.

These days, however, with two boys, we have begun to anticipate the summer. To savor the summer. To plan the summer so we can execute it for maximum effectiveness. It reached a fever pitch three years ago when I signed up my son, Emerson, for no less than six different enrichment camps before Amy put her foot down. "You don't even have time to hang out with him, because you're always taking him to stuff. Do you even want to be around him?"

Of course, I did want to be around him, but somehow I thought he would get so much more out of his summer if he was involved in these sessions instead of hanging out with me. And I would get so much more rest and time to hone my interests. I could learn to play guitar, write that book, tour on my bike, run, start grad school, and finish those seven books I had started. Everybody wins! But when I packed everything in, aiming for maximum rest, we didn't even feel rested. Emerson felt like he'd attended school all summer. I felt like I had been an Uber driver with three other side hustles.

So, this year, I've been thankful for Pastor Curtis' and Carlos' teachings on summer and rest. We've heard from Pastor Curtis: "There is never a moment that is not intentional...because every breath you have been given is a gift," and "Submit to your limitations like Jesus did." I find myself oscillating between the most extreme takeaways from each, rather than living rightly in the tension in between.

I am a creature of comfort. Comfort is my core idol. I seek it because I fear that I am not enough to handle all of life's baggage. I numb myself to the fallen world. I've also bought into Pelagianism. Pelagius was a Celtic monk who went head-to-head with St. Augustine, especially on how much God's will and ours are involved in salvation. Augustine and orthodoxy won out, saying our salvation is all dependent on God. But modern Pelagianism is alive and well. It holds that we humans are perfect, able creatures with no real need for God. This philosophy is at the core of many modern American ideas about maximizing our time, defining ourselves, and exercising our empowerment.

Such beliefs are outworkings of that great American, Benjamin Franklin, who wrote the greatest Pelagian heresy: "God helps those who help themselves." I used to believe that. But even with my best-laid plans for an excellent summer or an excellent life, they never make me feel like I am enough for very long. As RJ Heijmen (on "The Mockingcast" podcast) said, "Freedom. Autonomy. Empowerment. Self Definition. It sounds amazing until, like, you get cancer, or you can't stop drinking, or you go bankrupt, or you yell at your kids every morning. It sounds great in terms of how we like to think of ourselves, but it's awful in terms of how we actually live our lives."

The truth is that my own maximization or perfection is not the goal. As a Christian, being with God is the goal. And I can never get to him (or to all my to-dos), because I am, in fact, not enough. And I don't just need a little help. I am completely dependent on Him. I only know that God is real because He loves me and He chose to reveal Himself to me. So I rest in His love because He worked first. Then I can do some work, which He commands and empowers me to do.

Here we see it: the tragedy of living before a harsh world with my two responses being either numbing comfort or building myself up as my own God, self-sufficient with no need of a Savior.

I am not enough. So I submit to the God that is. That's my summer.

A final word. I don't know about you, but as I experience rest and God's blessings, I feel more generous. Generous with time and presence to build Legos with my son, Huxley, or practice golf swings with my son, Emerson. Generous with my money as I rest in the fact that God will provide.

God has richly blessed Hanley Road this past year with a great facility and a great leader in Pastor Carlos. Ellen has been a God-sent administrative help. And God has seen fit to make our worship and Journey Kids departments thrive, with Jason and Bryce's help.

As you face your summer, as you remember our church family, won't you consider giving above and beyond – of your time, your presence, your resources? Let's give our tithes back to the Lord at the end of our fiscal year, as we continue to bring the gospel to University City and the St. Louis metro area.

Nathan Mattia

At The Journey, our prayer for the future of our church is that we would become more like the church in the book of Acts – a prayerful church, a sending church, and a generous church. 

Your generosity and willingness to go above and beyond your regular giving by June 30 will allow us to finish this fiscal year well and start the next year prepared to do the work the Lord has called us to do. 

We're in a new summer sermon series – looking at what it means to have a summer well spent. We're focusing on topics like rest, relationships, community, and more over the next month. Invite a friend to join you as we take time to pause, reflect on, and pray about what it looks like to reset and redeem our time! (Watch sermons from this series here.)
July at Hanley Road will be a time for us to simplify our services, events, and offerings to give rest to volunteers. We will be having limited Journey Kids (ages 3 and under), but we will be having special children's messages within our normal services. Stick around between services for some sweet times of fellowship - keep an eye out for cookies and donuts!
One way we hope to lean into what it looks like to live an intentional lifestyle of rest and relationship is through community-building opportunities and experiences both at The Journey and across the St. Louis metro area. Here are some upcoming dates – mark your calendars! View a full list of summer opportunities here.
Beginning September 8, Hanley Road will be changing its service times to 8:30 and 11 a.m. This change allows us to increase opportunities for Christian education by offering Equip Classes here at Hanley Road.

Save the Date
August 10-September 21

Marriage is an important relationship, one that we believe reflects God’s unconditional love for humanity (Eph. 5) and is meant to be a lifelong covenant commitment between one man and one woman. Four Weeks to a Great Marriage 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!

If you're interested in pursuing membership at The Journey or learning more about our beliefs, this is the class for you! We are condensing our normal four-week membership class into one Saturday. If you need childcare, we request that you register by July 3rd.
From June 16th - July 7th, Hanley Road will be collecting school supplies for UCity's upcoming Back to School Rally. Hanley Road is also planning to show up and help at the Rally; REGISTER HERE for this opportunity to embody love to our neighbors!

Interested in meeting new people at The Journey Hanley Road? Join us at one of our Community BBQs for some food, fun, and fellowship! If it works for your schedule, we encourage you to attend one of the BBQs near your part of St. Louis.

Come on out to Art Hill on July 12th for food trucks, hanging out, and Black Panther!



On any given Sunday morning, our Hosts team strives to create an environment where people can better connect with each other, and ultimately, Jesus. With hospitality and engagement, Hosts hope to make people who attend our services feel welcomed, safe, and loved. 

Due to people moving or transitioning roles in our church, we have a large need for more Hosts team members. We have the greatest need for folks to join our 11 a.m. team, for those who are willing to plug into more hands-on roles (brewing coffee, preparing the communion table) at both the 9 and 11 a.m. service, and for those interested in staffing our Welcome Center (at both services).

Learn more about this ministry, or reach out to one of our Sunday morning leaders, Patrick Arthur, if you're interested in joining our team!

Support our families with newborns by providing them a meal. We have several families in need of our help and plenty of dates available. Sign up today! 
With lots of meetings and meals, Hanley Road seeks out sitters on a regular basis. If you would like apply to be one of our sitters, please access the link below. If you have any questions, please email Ellen.
Theology at the Bottleworks is coming up on Wednesday, July 17, 6:30-8:30 at Schlafly Bottleworks. TATB is a monthly public discussion that takes up the most important issues of our times among a diversity of interesting people with all views. This month's topic is: Can we have a sane, civil, and intelligent discussion about abortion?
We need the prayer support of our church family for this event. Theology at the Bottleworks is full almost every month (thanks be to God!), so space at this July session will be limited. We need your prayers more than attendance - prayers for peace, for an atmosphere of loving our neighbor, and for representing Christ well. For those considering attending, please make civil and intelligent discussion your goals, and be as willing to listen as you are to speak. Please also consider attending another month instead of July; Theology at the Bottleworks meets every month on the third Wednesday evening at Schlafly Bottleworks.

Check out the podcast for Theology at the Bottleworks, intended to help Christians address current hot topics from a gospel perspective.



August 3 | Summer BBQ
August 4 | Journey Students Dungeons and Dragons
August 6 | Back to School Rally 
August 24 | WM Round Table Talk
August 25 | Church Pancake Breakfast

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