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Our weekly newsletter filled with news, updates, and inspiring stories of how God is working in the Bay Area.

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Sign up for The Good Stuff

Our weekly newsletter filled with news, updates, and inspiring stories of how God is working in the Bay Area.

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Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.

— Colossians 2:7 NLT

Thanksgiving is one of our favorite times of the year! It’s an opportunity to refocus our hearts and minds on gratitude, especially for God and all that he has done in our lives. When we are deeply rooted in God, we will overflow with thankfulness, and we have seen this kind of thankfulness completely change people’s lives.

Gratitude inspires giving

We were recently inspired by our middle schoolers in San Francisco giving back to the community. Erik and Heather Nelson, together with our SF single professionals, inspired our middle schoolers to develop passionate hearts for doing good last Friday. Together they made 270 “Bags of Love” filled with essential goods that were distributed this past weekend to the unhoused community in San Francisco.

The Nelsons lead the Turn 180 SF recovery support group, and shared how great it was to see the middle schoolers enjoying making things for other people.

Gratitude for a changed life

At the age of 13, Frank Tribble experienced a profound tragedy, losing his 15-year-old sister in a car accident. Without much guidance on navigating his grief and anger, Frank left home at 15, living on the streets and grappling with substance abuse and homelessness. He is now 76 years old, 30-years sober, and has built three successful limo companies.

“For if you give, you will get! Your gift will return to you in full and overflowing measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use to give-large or small-will be used to measure what is given back to you.”

— Luke 6:38 TLB

Frank and his wife, Teri, were invited to church by his friend Darryl. He started studying the Bible with guys who became his good friends, like Frank Ponterio, Ali Motamed, and Rusty Milnes. Frank’s unwavering conviction that the Bible is the only truth fueled his commitment to putting its teachings into practice, nurturing his growing faith. This past Sunday, November 19th, Frank took the step in his spiritual journey by being baptized into Christ.

God made a profound impact on each of these friends’ lives as they studied the Bible together. Frank Ponterio lost his mother, and Rusty’s wife, Wanda, faced challenging health issues. The bonds forged and the faith cultivated among all the men involved revealed that God was at work, providing encouragement and strength to everyone involved.

In trying times, the love and faith that helped Frank Tribble find God also encouraged and strengthened the faith of Frank Ponterio and Rusty Milnes. They were each grateful for how God moved and answered their prayers to change Frank’s life!

God promises when we give, we will receive. The story of Frank Tribble’s changed life reminds us that God is always working to fill our lives with good things, even when we can’t see it.

Gratitude inspires doing good

As a church, our gratitude for God inspires us to do good for people in any way we can—from serving our community to simply putting a smile on someone’s face. This past Sunday, we hosted events full of warm friendship at our locations around the Bay Area, and we wrapped up a “Doing Good Fundraiser” that will support our community service efforts in a great way.

In San Francisco, our Thanksgiving Fest Sunday brought hundreds together for a day centered around gratitude and doing good. People were moved by Scriptures and powerful stories from Patrick Cross, Jacob Duran, and Raymond Fung. Afterwards, many people shared that they had been looking for a spiritual community like this and plan to return, while others decided to begin studying the Bible to pursue a relationship with God.

At our Common Ground building, the Silicon Valley South ministry had a “Flannel Fest” Sunday Service, where many from all over the South Bay came in their best flannel shirts to enjoy holiday treats and great time to connect with friends. People were grateful for having their faith built as they heard an inspiring lesson from the Bible about “Choosing to Believe” along with sharing from current SJSU student Julien Elliot and recent Cal Berkeley graduate Rasarea Chan.

At each of our services, we got to watch an inspiring video compilation of stories of Doing Good. Each story illustrated the impact God makes through initiatives supported by the BACC Doing Good Fundraiser with the hundreds who volunteer with grateful hearts to meet in the Bay Area and beyond!

Amy and I are looking forward to seeing God moving hearts and changing lives together as we enjoy this season of gratitude!

Happy Thanksgiving weekend!

Written by

Ray Kim

Ray Kim is a Southern California native who made the Bay Area his home after graduating from the University of California, Berkeley. He is passionate about community service, and is spearheading such efforts as the E-Hoops program at the University of San Francisco.