• Chris Lake

Vere's Season Has Come to An End

Dear Friends and Partners,

I want to thank all of you for your prayers and support while I have been away on sabbatical these past several months. It has been a good time to rest, reflect, and seek God’s guidance on ‘what’s next’ for myself and the Vere Institute. While it hasn’t all been easy, it has been really helpful to have time and space to discern the path ahead. I am also thankful for those who shouldered my responsibilities while I was away, including Brian Bethke, Diana Gruver, and the entire Vere team.

An important passage during my sabbatical has been Ecclesiastes 3, which says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot.” Inspired by the incredible team at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, we “planted” the Vere Institute in 2014 to advance whole-life discipleship in New England and beyond. Since then, we have been thrilled to see leaders embrace the vision, and take ‘one-degree shifts’ to help their congregations understand that their entire lives are sacred and matter immensely to God.

Yet the world is now very different than it was when we began more than 6 years ago, and so is our organization. In light of this, the board has made the difficult decision that the season for the Vere Institute has come to an end. We will cease operations by the end of May.

From a practical perspective, this will mean the following:

Bookstore: Until May 31, you can visit our bookstore to take advantage of discounted items as our inventory levels last.

Co-Missioned Church Course: We are taking steps for this resource to continue to be made available to those who would find it helpful. If you have already registered (or would like to do so now by clicking here) we will send a separate email when those plans have been finalized.

Pastors’ Roundtables: These had been suspended, and will now be cancelled.

As for our team:

Diana Gruver: For those who would like to continue to be blessed by the insightful words of our Communications Director, I would whole-heartedly recommend both her blog, as well as her recently-published book, Companions in the Darkness (IVP, 2020).

Brian Bethke: Brian has recently accepted a call to be the Senior Pastor of Middleton Congregational Church. He preached his first sermon on May 2, entitled “Whole Life Discipleship: The Big Picture” which I hope you’ll find encouraging.

Brian Emmet: Brian will continue to offer his helpful coaching services, and you can find out more via his website or emailing him at: briemmet at aol dot com

Chris: I will continue to invest in leaders as a coach, particularly those going through a season of transition. I would love to keep in touch, so please feel free to send me a note at my personal email address: cslake1 at gmail dot com

I would also like to say how much I have appreciated the friendships I have developed with many of you, and am hopeful these will continue. I am also very thankful for all the individuals who contributed to Vere’s mission over the years through their prayers, gifts, time, and effort—it has meant more than you know.

As I close, I would like to offer the Halverson benediction, which has become a Vere favorite:

You go nowhere by accident. Wherever you go, God is sending you there.

Wherever you are, God has put you there. He has a purpose in your being there.

Christ, who lives in you, has something He wants to do through you, wherever you are.

Believe this, and go in His grace, and love, and power.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.