October 5, 2008 was a historical date in Gracepoint-Austin's history. We celebrated the official start of our church during the Inaugural service. As we got to watch a slideshow of all the important events during the past 3 months we've been at Austin, I couldn't believe that we've only been here for such a short time. It feels like ages ago when we first had our Koinonia Bible Study when we cooked enough meatloaf to feed 30 people but no one came, so we ended up eating different variations of meatloaf the entire week. I remember the first time we tabled and flyered on campus, and our first New Student Welcome Night when we barbecued 100 pounds of stead and wondered if anyone was going to come. During the service I was amazed at how God has led us faithfully to this point and thankful that we could share this day with all the people that we've come to care for--new and old faces alike. I was also thankful for all the brothers and sisters who came out from our home church in Berkeley just to help us prepare and participate in this celebration. I've known many of them for about 8 years, and their presence was a reminder that our small team here is not alone but we are supported by a cloud of witnesses. I was also excited that our new friends here at Austin were able to meet our friends from Berkeley, and we got to share some good laughs as we watched videos that accentuated Pastor Manny's quirks, watched our Berkeley friends sing and dance and even pretend to act as grumpy old men.
Our senior pastor back at Berkeley, Pastor Ed Kang, gave the message based on Romans 16 which captured our hopes for this new church. Through the text we saw the love and affection Apostle Paul had towards the early Christians despite the fact that they were all scattered throughout the world. He urged us to cultivate these kinds of relationships where we claim one another in love because of the gospel. Now that GFC-Austin has officially started, I hope and anticipate to build the same kind of community of love centered around this precious gospel. Happy Birthday, Gracepoint-Austin!