From the Renovaré Newsletter Archive

The selection below is from a March 1994 Renovaré newsletter. Download a PDF of the original newsletter.

Dear Friends,

So much has hap­pened since I last wrote a pas­toral let­ter to you back in Novem­ber that it is hard to know where to begin. Best, I think, to begin with some of what I am learn­ing in my Scrip­ture study. This year I am using a pat­tern of read­ing a Gospel, then an Epis­tle, then back to anoth­er Gospel, then an Epis­tle, Gospel, Epis­tle, Gospel, Epis­tle, and so forth. In this way I will have read the four Gospels sev­er­al times by the time I make my way through the New Tes­ta­ment. This keeps the life of Jesus con­sis­tent­ly before me.

I recent­ly fin­ished John’s Gospel, and in this Lenten sea­son of exam­i­na­tion it might be help­ful to lift up for your med­i­ta­tion a few of the pen­e­trat­ing queries Jesus pos­es to peo­ple of his day. Per­haps they can be ques­tions of exa­m­en for you and me as well. How do you answer these questions?

1:38 — What are you look­ing for?”

5:6 — Do you want to be made well?”

5:44 — How can you believe when you accept glo­ry from one anoth­er and do not seek the glo­ry that comes from the one who alone is God?”

5:47 — If you do not believe what Moses wrote, how will you believe what I say?”

6:66 – 67 — Because of this (Jesus’ hard say­ings about the spir­i­tu­al life) many of his dis­ci­ples turned back and no longer went about with him. So Jesus asked the twelve, Do you also wish to go away?’ ”

8:46 — If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me?”

10:32 — Jesus replied, I have shown you many good works from the Father. For which of these are you going to stone me?’ ”

11:25 – 26 — Jesus said to her, I am the res­ur­rec­tion and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and every­one who lives and believes in me will nev­er die. Do you believe this?’ ”

14:1 – 2 — Do not let your hearts be trou­bled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to pre­pare a place for you?”

14:9 — Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Who­ev­er has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, Show us the Father?’ Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?”

20:15 — Jesus said to her, Woman, why are you weep­ing? Whom are you look­ing for?’ ”

21:15, 16, 17 — Simon son of John, do you love me?”

SOJOURN­ING HERE AND THERE

I have been trav­el­ing a lot these days, and it is always good to learn and grow from those I meet. Two very won­der­ful local REN­O­VARÉ Con­fer­ences have been held in Boul­der, Col­orado, and San Ange­lo, Texas. They were among the most diverse gath­er­ings in terms of denom­i­na­tion­al rep­re­sen­ta­tion that we have ever had. In both cas­es the warmth of the peo­ple and the eager­ness to know God and grow in grace were mov­ing experiences.

At San Ange­lo we had a time for the heal­ing of human hurts, and I think eighty per­cent of the peo­ple came for­ward to be anoint­ed with oil and receive prayer. In Boul­der we received sev­er­al use­ful insights about what we could be doing bet­ter which will help us be more effec­tive in the days ahead.

Both local Steer­ing Com­mit­tees did fan­tas­tic jobs, work­ing as they did for many months, and I espe­cial­ly want to thank com­mit­tee chairs Valerie Hess of Boul­der and Vir­ginia Chase of San Ange­lo. We thank God for the good work he has begun in peo­ple and pray with con­fi­dence that he will bring this work to com­ple­tion by the day of Jesus Christ.

I have also led six retreats for var­i­ous con­stituen­cies of the Azusa Pacif­ic Uni­ver­si­ty fam­i­ly (i.e. stu­dents, staff, fac­ul­ty, etc.), as well as speak at schools and church­es, and the pow­er of the Lord has been over all” as George Fox often said. I leave soon for meet­ings in Eng­land, Swe­den, and Ger­many — your prayers for these gath­er­ings will be appreciated.

Via the two-minute radio spots I have been trav­el­ing to some of you while stay­ing at home. These have been going well and are being aired over the Morn­ing Star Net­work on some fifty sta­tions around the coun­try. We have taped about a hun­dred spots, though only about half have aired so far.

This peri­od of trav­el and speak­ing will be com­ing to an end in the spring of 1995. Then for sev­er­al months I hope to sequester myself for a major writ­ing project.

THE WRIT­TEN WORD

That is not to say that I haven’t been writ­ing dur­ing this time of trav­el and activ­i­ty. I have com­plet­ed a book, Prayers From The Heart as well as a prayer jour­nal, Com­ing Home. Both will be pub­lished in September.

Four REN­O­VARÉ Resource projects are at var­i­ous stages of com­ple­tion: Jim Smith is near­ly done with a book on how Spir­i­tu­al For­ma­tion Groups can enhance their efforts, Car­ol Mul­likin is writ­ing a book about retreat, Janet Janzen is doing a book on music and the devo­tion­al life, and I am work­ing on a book on the five tra­di­tions. All of these projects still need final approval from Harper­San­Fran­cis­co, but the prospects look good. I don’t even want to ven­ture a guess as to when these Resources will be pub­lished, but we will keep you posted.

ON TO DENVER

We con­tin­ue to work on relo­cat­ing our REN­O­VARÉ offices to Col­orado. Many details need to be worked through, not the least of which is office space for REN­O­VARÉ and afford­able hous­ing for Lyn­da, our office man­ag­er, and her hus­band Phil.

Last Wednes­day we had a mar­velous Spir­it-led Board of Trustees meet­ing about these mat­ters. Their con­clu­sion: Like Abra­ham’s ser­vant, Eliez­er, we should load up the camels and go in search of the guid­ance of the Lord.” (Lyn­da want­ed to know if this meant that she should be look­ing for a bride for her son, Lyle. What a lit­er­al­ist!) The next day Lyn­da went to Den­ver to see what she could find, and won­der­ful­ly some Chris­t­ian busi­ness lead­ers agreed to help us cov­er the rent for office space in or around the Tech Cen­ter. This is a fan­tas­tic gift and opens up all kinds of new options, not the least of which is more afford­able hous­ing in that area for Lyn­da and Phil.

One of the most dif­fi­cult issues fac­ing us in the move is a home for the Gray­beals. Hous­ing costs are near­ly dou­ble in Den­ver over what they are here in the Wichi­ta area, and because of Lyn­da and Phil’s lim­it­ed income and resources we are try­ing to find ways to make this move work for them. One pos­si­bil­i­ty the Board con­sid­ered is co-invest­ing in their hous­ing (i.e. REN­O­VARÉ would own, say, twen­ty-five per­cent of the home by pay­ing that per­cent­age of the pur­chase price). We have looked into the legal ram­i­fi­ca­tions of this step to be sure that it will not involve us in per­son­al inure­ment” (an indi­vid­ual ben­e­fit­ing from a non-prof­it min­istry) and have been assured that this will not be the case if it is done prop­er­ly, fol­low­ing the nec­es­sary guide­lines. The Board has approved this step.

I want you to know that through­out this process we have con­sid­ered many oth­er options, but I feel strong­ly that keep­ing our team intact is vital to the long-term health of REN­O­VARÉ and our abil­i­ty to ful­fill our mis­sion. The Board has con­curred in this con­vic­tion — emphat­i­cal­ly so!

All of this to say we need your finan­cial help. For almost three years we have prayer­ful­ly con­sid­ered relo­ca­tion and believe mov­ing to Den­ver is the right deci­sion. We believe that it will posi­tion us in a place and in a way that will help us be of the most ser­vice to the most peo­ple. We also know that, even after our most care­ful plan­ning, there will be hid­den costs that we could nev­er antic­i­pate. If you pos­si­bly can, I hope you will help us take this impor­tant step.

Peace and joy,

Richard J. Foster

P.S. REN­O­VARÉ is on sol­id finan­cial foot­ing thanks to pru­dent finan­cial plan­ning and the gen­eros­i­ty of many. We have nev­er gone into debt to finance any min­istry effort and nev­er intend to. Our finan­cial reports are avail­able to any­one who requests them.

Text First Published March 1994 · Last Featured on Renovare.org May 2022

New Online Course: Liv­ing Inside the Lord’s Prayer

Author, teacher, and song­writer Car­olyn Arends pulls back the veil of famil­iar­i­ty to throw fresh light on the bril­liant­ly suc­cinct prayer Jesus taught his dis­ci­ples to pray. Launch sale: 30% off through May 17.

Watch the Trailer >