September 13, 2022
My co-workers and partners in God’s field:
In a sermon last year at a supporting church, I preached on the Book of Acts, particularly the last scene where Paul is under house arrest awaiting trial (28:17-31). I pointed out that many read the Book of Acts and pray, “We want that! God, do it again!” Yet, that’s not necessarily the right takeaway. We can get enamored with almost every scene . . . but, using Amy Carmichael’s words, ministry isn’t pretty, not a thing to be looked at and admired. Luke didn’t hold back, didn’t paint a rosy picture. He presented a battlefield and a battlefield is not beautiful. The mission of the church is an impossible task. Ministry is messy, especially in a community like the Hill.
This past year has been a blessing to watch God at work . . .
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Over this year, from the COVID-19 lockdown ‘till the present, I have participated in three funerals from among our church family. One of these was for Marcus, a young single father of two teenagers, who had been a faithful servant at our sidewalk breakfast each Saturday. He was originally invited by his sister, who, herself, had become a regular part of our Saturday Sidewalk Breakfast team. Early on, Marcus and I sat on my apartment front stoop, while he shared his recent and messy life and why he was committing himself to the weekly sidewalk breakfast:
“When my life fell apart, I didn’t find too much grace at church. I do take responsibility for how I messed things up, but it was still hurtful that the grace I thought I’d find at church wasn’t there. Maybe grace would have helped me turn my life around. When I see who comes to this breakfast and the church service, I see grace—this Saturday Breakfast is exactly what these folks and I need . . . it’s like ‘Grace with boots on the ground.’ I want to be a part of that and maybe I can be a part of the grace that helps to turn some of these lives around.”
I will miss this man, a friend and a brother, a co-worker in God’s field--and I will never forget his words. Your financial support would greatly help make keep this weekly event of grace possible.
For the full Newsletter and pictures of this past Summer ministries, please check out the file below.
“But the heartbeat of the kingdom of God is the local church. A specific address where a collection of disciples--sinners and misfits all--are trying to live into the ways of Jesus” ~Richard Beck
We’ve have learned one thing that is vitally important to a ministry that seeks to reach people whose lives are unstable, subject to immediate changes and interruptions—sometimes violent interruptions, often daily and messy crises, and where self-sustaining resources are lacking . . . people whom we called back in my social action/community action days, vulnerable populations . . . that one thing we’ve learned: be consistent.
Most recent NewLetter & Photos (Spring thank-you letter) >> Here
Our COVID-19 Version of the 2020 Hill Christmas Store––This year we could not facilitate our regular Hill Christmas Store because of COVID-19. But, we were determined to do something. Thanks to our anchor Church (CPC New Haven) and the Beacon Bikers, we were still able to provide twin events outside (at our Sidewalk Breakfast & Church Service and at Maxine’s Saturday Read Aloud) with pre-packaged Grab’n Go bags (worth $47 for $5), along with Christmas carolers at both sites . Some of our Store regulars appreciated that we hadn’t given up. New families and neighbors discovered something new CPC in The Hill does—no matter what! Your prayers and support helps keep these annual events going despite COVID-19
For Full Fall-Winter 2020 Newsletter Update from the Hill >> Click Here
Adjusting Ministry & Church Services to the COVID-19 Crisis––A tsunami hit us when State after State began closing down, schools closed, gatherings banned, and Stay-at-Home policies established. No church gatherings. Wow! Every pastor and session (i.e., elders) scrambled to respond. I was able to keep in touch with CPC in the Hill families through the phone and dropping off basic household items and groceries, especially during the shut-down period. Live streaming became the goto for online services. We started with a Facebook Live service; in May, moved to the front steps of our worship site for an outdoor in-person and FB Live; in June we moved out back to the patio for an outdoor, more accommodating in-person gathering (still, FB Live); and, now, we have transitioned back inside for our in-person gathering at 158 Davenport Ave. Because of social distancing protocols, we can only accommodate up to 25. No one has had to do this before—a shutdown and then a transition back to gathering—yet we are slowly trying to get back to some form of normalcy.
For Full Fall 2020 Newsletter >> click here
CPC in The Hill NewsLetter Updates
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