We celebrated the 10th birthday of H2O Kent this weekend, with a bunch of different activities including a 5K race, a brunch, a tailgating party, a banquet, and a worship gathering (also: let the photographic record show that I wore a different H2O Kent T-shirt to each activity!).
I wasn’t a part of the original church-planting team back in 2008, but I feel like I’ve been blessed with a unique vantage point to the church’s “conception” and “birth” through the years. Because of my friendship with Jason Slack, I was invited to a special ordination and commissioning service at H2O Bowling Green in the Fall of 2007.
Two years later — after the church planting team moved and settled into Kent — I was afforded another opportunity to attend a worship gathering in the Fall of 2009. This was just as the church was starting to hold its first public events on-campus, meeting in the Multi-Cultural Lounge of the Kent State Student Center.
At the time of that visit, I wasn’t really thinking about the possibility that me and my family would ever play a more active role in ministry at H2O Kent — but I remember being encouraged and impressed by the way the church was establishing itself back in the earliest days of their life in northeast Ohio.
Then, of course, I got to be much more intimately acquainted with H2O Kent when our family moved to Kent in the summer of 2012. We felt immediately accepted and embraced, starting with the warm welcome we received at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
Our full-fledged involvement over the last six years has only deepened my appreciation of everything God has done (and is doing) in this church. Our church is certainly not perfect, but we’ve fostered a strong culture of plurality, humility, and family that has lent itself to slow, steady growth through the last ten years.
At one point this weekend, we said: “The vision has never been stronger; the need has never been greater.” And I think that’s so true. The story of H2O Kent is still being written. We’re genuinely excited to see what God will do in the next ten years!