July 2019 Church Planter Updates

JULY CHURCH PLANTER UPDATES

Greetings from Pastor Fenco of Camino de Fe!

Summer has been busy for us at Camino de Fe (FaithJourney). We partnered with the Somerset Hills school district and I have been participating in the Home School Association, a group made up of volunteers and school staff whose goal is to reach out and assist the Spanish speaking community. I have connected with Spanish speaking families from the community as well as teachers, principals and superintendents who have the desire to make a difference. I will be part of the programing and planning for the new school year.

Somerset Hills school district has an assimilation camp for children who speak Spanish in their homes. This is a six week camp for children entering Kindergarten and First grade. We participated in the camp by providing snacks for the first week of the camp. Some of our families and friends of Camino de Fe provided the snacks. The snacks were delivered every other day at the elementary school. At the end of the week, we provided lunch to the school staff that is participating in this camp as a thank you.

Camino de Fe continues to meet weekly every Wednesday at 7:15 in Bernardsville and worships monthly in Basking Ridge. We recently started meeting at a new location once a month: The Bernardsville Public Library. We normally meet in different homes in Bernardsville, but after listening to the community, we decided to find a more public place to meet and what better location than the local library. It is our hope that those who for some reason are not able to meet with us in people’s home will be able to meet us at the library.

It has been amazing how God has been at work here in Bernardsville and in the surrounding areas. God opened the door for me to meet principals, superintendents, teachers, business owners and Engineers who have the desire to make the community a better place, and to help those who are here assimilate to our way of life. Even in the midst of negative rhetoric there are people who are passionate and love their neighbor. I am thrilled to see how God continues to develop and nourish these relationships so that His glory can be seen in our community.

I’ll leave you with this: For some time God has been showing me that when I experience a situation or see something unusual, that instead of seeing the problem, I need to see the need and how God can use me to meet that need. For example, by the train station in Bernardsville, migrant workers stand there early in the morning to wait for someone who will pick them up to give them work for a day and maybe even a week. This is a group I could easily meet and so I started looking at the need. There is a need of showing Christ to this community. So I’ve been going to the train station to meet them and hand out breakfast bars. I encourage you to see the need.

Keep us in your prayers. Especially pray for those relationships that we are building; pray for our leaders that continue to lead each Wednesday, so that I can meet families and start other communities; pray that God continues to open our eyes and our hearts to see the need of our communities.

Greetings from Pastor Matt of Mile Square Church!

Greetings from Mile Square Church! Since our last update, we finished our preview season. Preview season was what we had been doing from January to June by having monthly services in the Bow Tie Cinema on the third Sunday of the month. Over the course of that season we connected with a lot of new people (we averaged 39 people over the course of six services!) and grew as a launch team. Now we prepare for launch on October 6.

As a church we've begun to prepare by meeting weekly in my apartment for a more intimate experience of celebrating both Word and Sacrament. We're in the process of teaching and preaching through the book of Acts in a group we've called Acts Two. We study the passage, discuss, pray, celebrate the Sacrament, and enjoy a meal together. Our prayer is that this will catalyze significant growth together as disciples and also as friends who are collaborating to launch a new church!

Another one of the ways we're preparing for launch is by visiting local LCMS churches and recruiting people to the SWAT team, which stands for Servant, Willing, And Temporary. What we've been asking of church members are three things:
  1. Committing to serve at Mile Square Church for 1-2 Sundays a month
  2. Committing to serve and help establish the plant for 6-12 months
  3. Committing to serve in a role that fits your natural talents and spiritual gift set.

We're also doubling down on our evangelistic efforts by creating and implementing evangelistic pathways to help introduce people to Jesus. For example, last month we invited people to join us for Taco Tuesday at a local restaurant. This month we have one event every week to which launch team members can invite their friends. Tonight we're getting a group together to hang out at one of Hoboken's rooftop bars––City Bistro. Contrary to what it may seem, these aren't just fun events (although they are fun!). They are places where we can intentionally build relationships with people who don't know Jesus. And with a lot of intentionality and prayer, someone who was only willing to come to Taco Tuesday at first might just be interested in coming to church too.

Please continue to pray that Jesus continues to show favor to our efforts. Pray that the Holy Spirit increases the "missional temperature" of our church and that many many more become connected to Jesus. And lastly, pray that the promise of Psalm 23 is our attitude and reality: "The Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need."

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