Thanks so much for reading this month‘s news from The Initiative, a community committed to “walking in deeper friendship with Jesus and his followers, so that the love of Christ might exceed all divisions.” We do this primarily through prayer, sharing of our lives, and proactive work for greater unity. 

Looking back on January, we celebrate all the ways we saw God at work during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (January 18-25). Below are pictures from some of the prayer gatherings and services around the country that members & friends of The Initiative led or participated in, including West Roxbury, MA (top), Wheaton, IL (middle left), Hollywood, CA (middle right), and Southside Chicago (bottom). That service (at St. Josephine Bakhita parish) was featured on the media page of the Chicago Archdiocese website

Resource of the Month – Unity and Polarization?

     At the end of this month, I along with a few other members of The Initiative, will be at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, DC for an interactive event on The Church’s Mission in a Polarized World: Relational Resources for the 2024 Campaign Season. The goals of this time together are to “strengthen the network of people committed to addressing and reducing the use of violent rhetoric, especially during the 2024 campaign season, and to reinforce tools and skills for communication across a variety of differences.” Your prayers for this event are greatly appreciated!
In a similar vein, I would also highly recommend checking out “The After Party”, a set of resources being put together by my friend and former InterVarsity colleague Curtis Chang, along with New York Times columnist David French and Christianity Today’s Russell Moore. If you’re a pastor, priest, or church leader, you might be particularly interested in their “Pastoring and Politics” virtual event coming up on March 8th. You can find more information on this website.
The year unfolding before us will be a critical one for Jesus’ followers to know and live out his humble, self-giving love.

Watch this Space: Chapter Launches

     We’re continuing to work toward our big 2024 goal of launching several chapters of The Initiative in various places around the country. At the moment, the Leadership Council is working together to discern what the components and structure of a chapter should be, as well as where might be the best places to launch and who might be interested in facilitating those gatherings.
If you’d like to give input into that process, or have thought to yourself, “I’d love to see something related to The Initiative get going in my area”, please reach out by responding to this email, contacting us at info(at)theinitiative(dot)org, or sending an auto-generated email by clicking here.
Your prayers for this process are also greatly appreciated!

Thank you for your prayers, friendship and generosity!

     The beginning of the new year also offers me an opportunity to personally thank each of you who reads these updates for your connection to our community and for the specific ways that you express that. I’m grateful for how you pray for The Initiative, and for me in my role here. I’m grateful for how I’ve seen many of you grow in friendship with Jesus and his followers this year – and for extending that friendship to me. And I’m grateful for your amazing generosity in giving to our work. 

   A few weeks ago, in the InterVarsity Bible study that I lead at Assumption University, the students were working their way through the second half of Galatians 3. It’s a pretty dense passage about the law and grace, and we were pretty far into the weeds when one of the quieter students (a freshman baseball player, who is Greek Orthodox) blurted out “it feels to me like the whole point Paul’s making is in the verse at the end – ‘you are all one in Christ Jesus.'” It was hard not to just close in prayer at that point!
This month, may each of you more deeply experience of “that whole point” of our oneness in our Lord Jesus.