worship gathering

God Give Us Grace to Go in Peace

by Kim Arthur

“God may you give us grace to go in peace and be a blessing to the city of Seattle and beyond.”

Every Sunday, we close our worship gatherings with this earnest prayer. Every week, God graciously answers. Sometimes the answers are small and easily missed. Sometimes they are extraordinary and jaw-dropping.

This has been the case since 2010 when God gathered a group of strangers in Birmingham, AL and disrupted their comfortable lives by challenging them to live missionally in a faraway city with less than 4% confessing Christians. In 2011, God began gathering an additional “random” group in Seattle willing to be part of the start of a new gospel-centered church, and in the midst of cross-country moves, job searches, small group trainings and worlds colliding, The Hallows Church was formed. In 2012, The Hallows then began weekly worship gatherings in one of the oldest church buildings in Seattle–Fremont Baptist Church–with people from different walks of lives, hometowns, college campuses and careers. Ten years later, that small group grew and changed tremendously through comings and goings, births and deaths, mourning and rejoicing, pain and gain, and as always, God answering the prayer:

“God may you give us grace to go in peace and be a blessing to the city of Seattle and beyond.”

He answered this prayer by bringing in and sending out countless disciples with the natural ebb and flow of our transient city. He brought in co-laborers over and over, connected us with those seeking the good news of Jesus and entrusted us with resources and abilities to uniquely bless our city and beyond.

We’ve seen Jesus save children and adults alike. We’ve seen people embrace and embody sacrificial generosity, humble community, gospel clarity, biblical fidelity, a global mentality, missional living and more! We’ve experienced so many “glimpses of heaven” and as a result, so has Seattle, Edmonds and West Seattle.

We’ve cared for those who are considered the poor and powerless in our city through generous tithing and mercy funds, entire MC small groups rallying around families struggling in the poverty cycle, and through partnering with the Union Gospel Mission, Vision House, Nourishing Network, and local schools. Our “small” church has even supported and sent out two additional church plants in the greater Seattle area-The Mountain Church in Des Moines and The Pointe Church in Federal Way.

We’ve been humbled as Jesus equipped and sent Hallows people out to support the gospel work being done in Mexico, Sierra Leone, Turkey, Japan, Guam, Haiti, Zambia, Tonga, SE Asia (location withheld for security purposes) and Central Asia (location withheld for security purposes). We’ve reached the nations by partnering and supporting ministries right here in Seattle for international students and refugees.

It certainly hasn’t been easy. It hasn’t always been pretty. Change has been a constant. But every week, we can look back and rest assure that the same God who has clearly given us grace to go in peace and be a blessing in the past will continue in our future. This is a good reminder as we enter yet another new, exciting and somewhat bittersweet chapter of The Hallows Church in May.

Moving forward as three churches

As many of you know (and many of you may not know if you do not currently live in Seattle or are connected to The Hallows mainly through our youth ministries), we will be moving from being “one church in three expressions” to three autonomous churches in hopes of best reaching and blessing Edmonds, Seattle and West Seattle. With so much history and shared DNA, it can feel sad to not be as connected with one another formally. Yet, on the other hand, it is exciting to consider how God has graciously been at work all along in the midst of change and what He might be up to now.

So, in the next couple of weeks you’ll be able to subscribe to separate email communications tailored to whichever Hallows congregation(s) you want to stay in the loop with (new church names to come as Edmonds and West Seattle are in the “pre-launch” phase of becoming autonomous churches.) The Edmonds Expression and West Seattle Expression will also be launching new websites soon but aren’t quite ready to be shared yet so in the meantime, I’ll continue to update via Saturday email (subscribe here), our hallowschurch.org website and Hallows Church Center app with info for all three churches. If you have questions, you’re welcome to email me or reach out to your local Hallows Expression elders. 

With that said, as our church changes and in some ways goes in new directions, would you pray with me:

“God may you give us grace
to go in peace
and be a blessing
to the city of Seattle and beyond.”