Dear Echo Family,
2020 has been a challenging year to say the least. From California’s wildfires, to the global COVID-19 pandemic, to the surfacing of racial injustices, political tensions and divisiveness, this has undoubtedly been one of the most tumultuous seasons in recent decades. As a church, we also have had to navigate through more uncertainty and ambiguity than ever before.
And yet, we’ve also seen God come through in such powerful ways. From touching thousands of lives since the start of Echo Compassion, to continuing to support church plants even in these times, God has been using Echo to build up individuals, families, and communities in the Bay Area and all over the world. We are excited to share with you some of the many things He has been doing!
As we look ahead and enter into the next year, our prayer is that every single person at Echo will join us in this year’s Faith[full] offering initiative. This end-of-year offering is an opportunity for us to put God’s Kingdom first and invest together into initiatives that change lives for eternity.
Would you join us in prayer and in generosity as we continue believing that God is going to move mountains and use us in even bigger ways?
Pastor Andy & Stacie
Invest in Faith[full] Offering
MAKE A COMMITMENT
SEE THE IMPACT
On August 2nd, 2020, we celebrated the official unification of Echo.Church and Crossroads Church through the launch of our Crossroads campus in Fremont! Your faith and generosity from the 2019 Annual Impact Offering has allowed us to prepare this campus for receiving guests for future in-person gatherings.
Furthermore, the joining of Echo and Crossroads multiplies our collective capacity to invite people far from Jesus to hear about His love! God has already moved so clearly through this launch, and we are looking forward to seeing Him continue to use it to bless many.
For the past several years, we have continually invested in helping plant, support, and grow local churches in Brazil to impact their local communities. From the 2019 Annual Impact offering, we dedicated funds to build new buildings as the local churches in Brazil outgrew their original space.
Because of this established partnership, we were able to extend further assistance as the local economy was completely shut down in March due to COVID-19, such as by distributing hundreds of food baskets to families in need. In September, Echo families were also able to financially sponsor dozens of children living in poverty in Brazil through Compassion International.
We are so thankful for the ways God is using Echo to help local pastors and their teams in Brazil, supporting their building projects, as well as provide both physical and spiritual nourishment to the most vulnerable. God knew what Brazil would need long before we did.
In 2019, we felt God direct us towards a vision to reach the Bay Area by starting 5 new churches and 5 more campuses in the next 5 years. Since then, we united with Crossroads Church to launch the Crossroads Campus in Fremont and invested in supporting 4 other local church plants!
In 2021, we are praying for a fifth campus and investing in 3 more local church plants in order to reach even more people who are far from God in the Bay Area and bring more people into our Echo family.
We know that He will do more than we can imagine to impact the entire Bay Area as together we walk towards this vision.
Locally, we also have a vision to support 4 new church plants, to help 80 churches with their local outreach initiatives, and to have 40 ongoing partnerships with nonprofits where we volunteer. We want to continue being a resource that our Bay Area community looks to for help and to pray for those in need.
Globally, this year COVID-19 put a halt on our mission trip efforts. However, it didn’t keep us from praying for our nation and world. Moving forward, we hope to establish and prepare for 16 global partnerships and are praying for 6 short-term mission trips in order to serve our partners in 2021.
In March 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, Echo Compassion was born out of our heart to help those being impacted by the pandemic. We believed that as a church, God was inviting us to release a ridiculous amount of compassion, kindness and generosity into local Bay Area communities.
In the months following, we saw a massive inflow of generosity to meet the needs all around us, from food distribution, to grocery deliveries, to financial support, to pastoral care during this difficult time.
Months later, in the face of the Bay Area wildfires, Echo Compassion was also able to provide hundreds of firefighters and evacuees with critical supplies, as well as prayer and encouragement.
With bold faith and your faithful generosity, we have been able to help more than 20,000 people, mobilize and connect with more than 300 volunteers, and work with more than 25 partners to reach those in need all around the world.
We believe that God has only begun to open our eyes to see how He will use Echo Compassion throughout the Bay Area. As we look forward beyond 2020, we are excited by the unprecedented ways God will continue to use Echo Compassion to meet the ever-changing needs of people in need.
Beyond continuing to help individuals, families, and communities both locally and globally, this year we have also decided to bring all of our local and global church-planting and outreach efforts under the branding of Echo Compassion.
This year, one of the local churches we helped to plant was City Center Church in Berkeley, led by Pastor Ray Hudson and his family. In the midst of COVID-19, we were blown away at how God was able to use our resources, teams, and prayer to help City Center Church to launch in the middle of a global pandemic.
Since their launch, they have been able to serve over 12,000 people in Berkeley, give $15,000 towards missions, lead over 45 people to take their next step towards Jesus, and baptize 4 people – with more to come!
We can’t wait to see God continue to move through Echo to expand His Kingdom through helping to start new churches all over the Bay, nation, and world.
Five years ago, Foster the Bay was born from a vision to change the dynamic of the Bay Area foster care system. We are praying and believing that one day, there will be more families waiting for a foster care child than the other way around.
Foster the Bay was launched right here at Echo Church in 2015. Our vision was to mobilize churches across all 10 Bay Area counties to provide more safe and loving homes for children in foster care.
Through the generosity and investment of so many, this vision became a reality in 2020. Our coalition has grown to more than 125 churches throughout the entire Bay Area, from Gilroy to Santa Rosa, and San Francisco to Vacaville. As a result, hundreds of vulnerable children have been welcomed into Foster the Bay homes.
In 2021, we’ll continue to deepen and expand our work to bring foster children into loving homes. Our aim is to expand our coalition to include 200+ churches, 300+ foster families, and 1000+ Support Friends to care for our young neighbors in need.
In 2020, we’ve learned how it feels to live under a community-wide health threat. But long before this year, communities across the globe have been experiencing these challenges. Without access to clean and safe drinking water, 785 million people around the world face the health threat of dirty water, which impacts virtually all aspects of a person’s life. That’s nearly 1 in 10 people worldwide (or twice the population of the United States) without access to life’s most basic human need.
This is why we are partnering with charity: water to build safe and sustainable clean water solutions for the communities who need it the most. charity: water is a nonprofit bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries. By investing in clean water projects, we are praying for people to be released from the burden of unclean water. We are dreaming for sustainable clean water solutions for these vulnerable communities.
At Echo, we see ourselves not as consumers, but as contributors to a purpose greater than ourselves. And we leverage our unique talents and influence for the Kingdom of God, we want to be people filled with faith, using the resources God has entrusted to us so that others can be filled with the comfort that God provides!
One of the blessings of this year’s circumstances is that we have been able to re-evaluate our physical spaces and look at how they can serve us better as we gather again in person.
Through your faithful generosity, we will be able to remodel our campuses to build environments to better enable safe and engaging experiences, both indoors and outdoors.
As we improve our campus patio spaces, add options for outdoor gatherings, and expand hallways and rooms indoors, we will more effectively and safely help children and adults experience the love of Jesus.
“I want to see my friends” might be one of the most common phrases we hear from our students in 2020. Later in the year, we began to re-imagine our student gatherings while ensuring healthy and safe guidelines in light of COVID-19. But we are anticipating the day when our students are going to run free in the woods, gaze up at the sky to count the stars, and commune with God in the outdoors once again at our student camps.
We are now doubling down our efforts and hope to engage with more students at camps and events in safe ways. Our heart at Echo is to thoughtfully, carefully, and safely connect students into a community that reflects the love of Jesus; to be able meet the social, emotional, and spiritual needs of the next generation; and to raise tomorrow’s world changers.
Echo is determined to keep bringing racial reconciliation and unity to the forefront of the conversation. We will continue to partner with organizations such as Faith & Prejudice to educate, guide, and equip our own community as well as our neighbors to respond to the racial brokenness and systemic injustice in our world.
We are also continuing to seek ways to partner with other church, community, and local civic leaders to serve our local communities of color, working with organizations focused on propelling unity, love, and equality for those who experience racism and prejudice in our community and nation.
We recognize the need for change, and we are praying for and pursuing the way of Jesus for all people – especially those facing oppression.