Verity’s Big News
Have you ever heard Verity’s origin story? The title: “God Can Do Anything.”
Four years ago, one of our favorite professors at Western Seminary, Dr. Art Azurdia, contacted Taylor and me. “I think that women need encouragement in the gospel and want training in how to understand and use the Bible well. They need to know how to center everything on Jesus. You two should do something about that.”
He was right about the need and the desire – it was (and is) ours as well. However – us? Taylor and Katie? We are just two regular women. Moreover, we were just two regular women without any resources for this task and with full ministries already. It was impossible for us. We knew then and there that if this was going to happen, God would have to do it all.
The thing to do was pray. So we did, for a long time. There’s one day I will never forget. I was out walking near our house in the country. I could see the vastness of the forest, the hills, and the trees, and I knew how small and powerless I was. I told the Lord, “If you want Taylor and me to do something like this for Jesus, you will have to make it happen. We can’t do it. But you created everything I see. You can do anything! And, Paul says in Ephesians 3:20 that you are able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think. Please, Father, do this.”
The rest, as you know, is history. It was the Lord’s will for the Verity Fellowship to happen. He opened every door. He humbled us and prepared us. He provided everything we needed, including Western Seminary and Nancy Guthrie as our first speaker (another story for another day).
Most importantly, he provided you. We have said from the beginning that the Verity Fellowship is you. What we mean by this is that, just like Taylor and me, the Lord utilizes regular women to use the Bible to bring its Christ-centered truth to others – Christians, unbelievers, your church, your kids, your friends, your neighbors, your family. We are a network of women, saved by God’s grace, fulfilling the great commission of teaching, evangelism, and discipleship in the power of the Spirit until Jesus comes. We have gathered together seven times now to be encouraged and to be trained, and every time, we have scattered to do the ministry the Lord has called us to do.
God can do anything. And now he has more in mind for all of us.
The Story Continues
A few months ago, Taylor and I were contacted by The Gospel Coalition. Do you know TGC?Here’s what they say about themselves: “The Gospel Coalition is a Christian organization that seeks to serve the local church by providing gospel-centered and Christ-focused content.” Sound familiar? They center everything on Jesus, too. We love who they are and what they are about. Their heart for Christ beats in sync with ours.
In some ways, our conversation with them was similar to the one we had with Dr. Azurdia. They, too, see a need for women to receive further training in how to use the Bible well, so that the work of ministry can be done. The difference is, they have the bandwidth and resources to do this work all over the world. The process of bringing this training to women was begun by TGC through Kathleen Nielson and Mary Willson (Mary’s name should sound familiar to you). And now they have asked Taylor and I – still two regular women - to join their staff, in order to continue and expand it.
What does this mean for the Verity Fellowship? It means that the Verity Fellowship is merging with The Gospel Coalition. Because the core of the Verity Fellowship and the core of The Gospel Coalition are the same, it’s a natural coming together. The name will change. As of July 2018, the Verity Fellowship will be TGC’s Women’s Training Network. In addition, events like Verity Forum will happen, not only in Portland, but all over the nation and the world.
As the transition happens, there’s still much to pay attention to at www.verityfellowship.org. Our blog will continue for the next year. Verity Training is still happening in June, just as planned. And our site will point you to the new webpage we will create for new events. Stay tuned!
In a way we could never have imagined, God is doing an incredible work. My dear sisters, it’s Ephesians 3:20 played out in real life – today! He is doing far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think. I am in awe just thinking about it.
God can do anything.
Your Continuing Role in the Story
The thing is, this is not just Taylor and me. It’s you, too. Let me explain.
The Lord’s work in the Northwest is still growing. One of the things that was non-negotiable for us was continuing to bring regular training to the Pacific Northwest. Every single year, we will have an event in the Portland-metro area just like Verity Forum. It will have local teachers and a local feel. (Multiple workshop tracks – yes. Book giveaways – yes. Cookies, including the best gluten-free cookies ever – yes.) We will continue to serve you and now we will have even more resources to do that well. And after we gather, we will continue to scatter to do the ministry the Lord has called us to do.
But it’s even more than that. The Northwest has become a training ground. The reason TGC contacted us is not simply because they wanted Taylor and me. It’s because what’s happening in the Northwest – by God’s grace, in the power of the Spirit, through all of you – has become a paradigm that will be emulated around the world. When we have new workshop track topics to try, we will bring them here first, getting your feedback before we take them elsewhere. Other training events will be brought to the Northwest, as we become a central hub.
We need you. We need to know how the Lord is using what you learn in your local churches, so we can tell other women about it. We need your participation. We need your prayers. Though the name will change, you will continue to be the Verity Fellowship.
God is Doing the Impossible
Friends, the Lord is not finished with the work he has begun here and elsewhere. The need and the desire are still the same, if not greater. We are all regular women being used by our omnipotent, gracious God to do the impossible. It is humbling, and it is awesome. Together, let us continue to gather and scatter, doing the work God has asked us to do, until we see the face of Jesus. He will provide everything we need.
God can do anything.