“You are like light for the whole world. A city built on top of a hill cannot be hidden, Make your light shine, so that others will see the good that you do and will praise your Father in heaven.
Matthew 5:14, 16 CEV
God’s call is for us to be a light and to change the world! Amy and I are grateful to be in the Bay Area because we deeply believe that there’s no better place to live out God’s vision. Not only is the Bay Area our home, but it is also home to some of the happiest and healthiest places to live in the country:
- San Jose is the #1 place for young professionals to live, according to US News and World Report.
- Santa Clara and Alameda are the best counties to raise a family in California, with Marin, San Mateo, and Contra Costa rounding out a top ten ten list by Stacker.
- Marin, San Mateo, and Santa Clara are the three healthiest California counties to live in, according to a study by the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute. Other Bay Area counties like San Francisco, Napa, Sonoma, and Santa Cruz counties also made the top ten.
- Sunnyvale was named the happiest city in America by investment adviser site SmartAsset, with Fremont not far behind.
It’s clear that we live in a special place. This is why our church was compelled to launch the Autumn with retreats that would inspire single professionals and married couples to Dream and Believe Together for the impact we can make in this incredible place!
I yearn to come and be face-to-face with you and get to know you. For I long to impart to you some spiritual gift that will empower you to stand strong in your faith. Now, this means that when we come together and are side by side, something wonderful will be released. We can expect to be co-encouraged and co-comforted by each other’s faith!
Romans 1:11-12 TPT
This passage came to life this past weekend at our Singles’ Retreat and our Marriage Getaway!
“Dreaming Together” Single Professionals Retreat
On October 6-7th, single professionals from all over the Bay Area came together at the Santa Clara Marriott to enjoy a retreat called “Dreaming Together.” It was a weekend filled with great encouragement, leading many of those who came to believe in and pursue God’s dream for their lives.
As singles gathered on Friday evening, the room was abuzz with conversations between friends reconnecting and meeting for the first time. The atmosphere was electric as the crowd enjoyed choice appetizers and festive music.
The evening kicked off with a lively “Name that Tune” game, followed by an inspiring lesson about seeing God’s dreams for our lives. Dominic Serrano and Ingrid Salazar shared their personal stories with great vulnerability. Many of the attendees expressed that despite their past challenges, the message and sharing gave them renewed hope, encouraging them to turn to God and believe that he has great things in store for them.
The karaoke party and dance to conclude the evening were a blast, with friends cheering each other on as they sang and danced together. Others enjoyed engaging conversations and games in the lounge. Overall, the event was visionary time of relationship encouragement and spiritual inspiration!
“Believing Together” Marriage Getaway
Two people are better than one. They can help each other in everything they do. One person could be overpowered. But two people can stand up for themselves. And a rope made out of three cords isn’t easily broken.
Ecclesiastes 4:9, 12 NIrV
The weekend proved to be an inspiring and rejuvenating experience not only for singles but also for married couples. Over 500 couples from all our Bay Area counties converged at the Santa Clara Marriott for a marriage getaway weekend called “Believing Together.” This event provided a much-needed opportunity for couples to revitalize their marriages and rekindle their faith together! Many came away from the retreat with a renewed determination to build their marriages by embracing God’s vision for their lives.
Because this was our first marriage retreat since before the pandemic, it was also the first marriage retreat ever for many young married and engaged couples. They expressed a lot of gratitude for the valuable spiritual lessons they learned and the awakening they experienced regarding the significance of marriage to God.
The retreat helped married couples gain insights into their marriage dynamics, understand the importance of marriage in the eyes of God, and learn to build steadily rather than hastily. One couple who attended shared that a breakthrough moment in their relationship had transpired during the retreat. By identifying their marriage dynamic and taking responsibility for their respective roles in it, they felt they could finally start a journey of positive change together.
Notably, a number of married couples were inspired to begin studying the Bible, recognizing the essential role God and the Bible have in building their relationship.
We are so grateful for all who enthusiastically planned, served, shared, and contributed to changing lives. We’re eagerly looking forward the next opportunities to be together again to help each other build marriages that believe in God’s purpose together!
Until next time,