By Brian C.
As I reflect back on my time growing up at Evergreen SGV, one of the images that come to mind is our church logo. When I think about our logo, I tend to focus not on the three Evergreen trees, but rather on the roots that make up those trees – roots that are planted deep in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. In Jeremiah 17:8, God promises that Israel “will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit." God has been so faithful to Evergreen SGV throughout my time here and I truly believe that He has planted us by a stream. Like the woman at the well, may each and every single person that comes through our doors experience the living water that the Lord our God provides. When I look back on my journey with the Lord at Evergreen SGV, I cannot help but give praise to Him.
My name is Brian, and I am currently one of the pastoral interns. You may have already met or know some of my family members: Bob, Karen, Kevin, and Brenda. One of the fondest memories I have as a child at Evergreen SGV was when I was baptized alongside my brother and sister at Rio Hondo College on June 4, 2000. Pastor Ron baptized me, and I remember that I could barely lift my head above the water because I was still just a short, pudgy 7-year-old. Pastor Ron kept asking me, “Do you want to be carried?” But I kept on refusing because I wanted to be like a big kid even though I had to stay on my tiptoes the entire time. Funny story aside, my baptism was monumental in my life because it marked the beginning of my roots growing deeper and deeper in the Lord.
Through Evergreen SGV, God has nourished and strengthened my spiritual roots mainly through the lasting relationships I’ve formed here. All throughout elementary school, junior high, and high school, there have been brothers and sisters who have come alongside me to propel me towards Christ. Because of these relationships, God has molded me into the man that I am today. I have always considered this church as my home, even while I was away at college and also while I was away for a year serving overseas. My parents are currently abroad, and even though they’re far away, I feel like I have so many adopted parents here at church who are always checking up on me and asking how I am doing. Growing up at Evergreen SGV has taught me that life with God is not an “I” relationship, but an “us” relationship. Because of this, I now have a deeper understanding of what Christ prays for his disciples in John 17:20-23.
“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”
Jesus Christ prays for his disciples to be one, just as He and the Father are one. When we are one body, striving together to bring glory to our Father, the world will know that Jesus is Lord. In a time and era where there is so much division, let us strive to be one in Christ. May Evergreen SGV continue to be planted by a stream, so that our roots may grow deeper together in order that Christ may be known!