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☀️The Big Sun
Friday, February 3 - 2023 Week 5
It’s the first Friday of February, and you’ve made it! The Sun is here to reward your endurance.
☀️A Compelling Vision - A Report On The Mayor’s State of the City
by Philip Kulishov
Opinions overflow. Unless complacency derived from fear and guilt has had its complete victory over your soul, you, too, probably believe you know what’s best. As it relates to work, family, church, or civil matters, people have their opinions. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course. It’s inescapable. People are thinking and caring creatures. Careless neutrality would be a problem. Having a vision for how you think things should be, is not.
On Wednesday evening of this week, Mayor Nehring delivered his annual State of the City address, sharing his vision for the city with the people of Marysville. He remarked on the work he and his team, along with the City Council, had accomplished last year. He presented his take on the current affairs impacting Marysville. And he delivered his vision for 2023. If there’s one thing you can’t criticize our Mayor for, it’s his abundance of communication. His analysis of our city’s current state and his vision for the future is not new information for the public, per se. Apart from his active and personal participation on social media, Mayor Nehring does a marvelous job being available and approachable towards his people. With his regular Coffee Klatches, involvement in community events, support for endeavors that bless Marysville, and being open for walk-in meetings, the Mayor’s initiatives for our city are no surprise for those paying attention.
But, like I began, we all have opinions, ideas, and visions for what we think would be best. We may disagree with the Mayor, or we may uphold his view. Or, perhaps, we’d say that he upholds ours. But what makes one vision compelling, and another not so attractive? Why are some people capable of rallying others towards a better future, while some are just — as the proverb presents — taking a walk. Clarity in communication is essential. And conviction for what must be done is crucial. But I believe there is one point to consider that makes all the difference in a person who wants to influence others. One point, without which, no matter how clear the communication, keeps the vision from being compelling.
This emphasis was clearly delivered to the audience at the Mayor’s address. And it happened before he ever took his stand behind the podium. Like an effective ambiance, it set the tone for his entire presentation. At 6:30pm that Wednesday evening, before Connie Mennie welcomed Mayor Nehring up, an introductory video played, recapping the previous year. The video showed a lot of good things happening in the city, with much involvement from city officials. The message of the video was clear: Marysville is our community and we care. But just in case you missed the message, right before the video faded to present the city logo, two bold words appeared on the screen summarizing the tone: “My Marysville”. With those reverberating words, Mayor Nehring took the podium and delivered his State of the City address.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is what I believe sets apart the leader that people want to follow, from the person who is just nagging about everything he wishes was different. The person who can compel others towards his vision is the one who’s connected with those people and identifies with them. What’s makes the vision compelling has more to do with the visionary than the vision. It takes more than just having clearly articulated opinions, and well thought out arguments. It takes looking at the people you’re talking to, and say, “My people.”
This could be unsettling. What if I don’t like these people? What if we disagree? What if there are goats in our midst? Do we really want to identify with the whole bunch? Being connected doesn’t mean being cowards. There is a time for factions and divisions. Even Moses told the people who were on the Lord’s side to separate themselves from the rebels. We keep our convictions, and keep plodding forward. But we don’t isolate ourselves in pride. We remain connected in love.
So, as we endeavor to influence Marysville towards a better future — that is, as we endeavor to make Marysville great — we would do well to follow in Mayor Nehring’s example before expounding our vision, and say, “My Marysville.”
Editor’s note: the Facebook Live recording of the evening is still available to watch here.
☀️Cascade Christian Reformed Church
by Maggie Rothenberger
In 1968, a meeting was held in Silvana, gaging interest in branching out a church to our very own Marysville, as more and more people moved to the area. Thus Cascade Christian Reformed Church was formed. Pastor Tim Schaaf says, “Over the past 55 years, we’ve seen ups and downs. Through it all, we’ve kept a high view of God’s love, a habit of extending love in practical ways, and a commitment to helping families flourish.”
Pastor Schaaf, who has been pastoring the church for a little over two years, “was called to the church in November 2020, a few months into the COVID pandemic. I saw a loving church with tons of potential." They were eager to rethink ministry for a post-COVID world while also longing to return to ‘in-person’ activities.” Since he’s been there, they have introduced live-streaming and online classes for those who cannot be at in-person fellowship opportunities. However, they haven’t neglected those face-to-face opportunities, “...but we’ve also strengthened our Fellowship Groups, making sure that everyone had personal contact with others in the congregation.”
Their website says, “Although we aren't perfect, we are committed to becoming more like Jesus all the time. So whoever you are, you will fit right in.” Cascade CRC is a varied congregation, as Pastor Schaaf says, “We’re seeing both older people and young families join our church lately. I (the pastor) have an 8 ½ month-old daughter, so young families can relate. I’m also in my 50s and have many aging mentors, so older folk can find insight and community as well.” They open their on campus gym facility for Monday volleyball games from 6:00-8:00pm, and Tuesday basketball games from 6:00-8:00pm as well. Their gym hospitality doesn’t stop there, however. Pastor Schaaf said, “Anyone from the community can use our gym for a very minor fee. We’ve had schools, private coaching sessions, an MS Support Group, and other clubs use the facility.”
Pastor Schaaf himself graduated from Reformed Theological Seminary, were he benefited from the teachings of both R. C. Sproul and Steve Brown. When it comes to teaching style, he tries, “...to bring Sproul’s Reformed theology with Brown’s ‘street-smart’ approach. We laugh a lot while going verse by verse through the Bible.” The congregation puts great emphasis on Scripture reading, relying on resourses put out by the church, such as their “Daily Audio Bible”, and Pastor Schaaf’s “Wednesday Word,” a weekly email and YouTube video that offers insights on a few sections of Scripture.
I asked Pastor Schaaf what he would like to say if he knew that the entirety of Marysville would read it, and this was his response, “The Gospel of Jesus is a lot better than we think it is. So many people think that church is about work, politics, or religious platitudes. I see Jesus as a real Savior for real people with real problems.” This is what Cascade CRC seeks to preach to our community.
There is a Pump Track open house next Thursday, February 9, 5:30pm at the Jennings Park Barn. What is a “pump track”? More info at the city’s news release here.
A little Marysville history: