I haven’t written in so long! For that I can say honestly both “I’m sorry” and “you’re welcome”. I’m not delusional enough to think that anyone can’t get by without an update post from me but I also understand that with the cancer I have sometimes not updating leaves people thinking the worst. So here I am! Feeling great and loving life and ready for our next few adventures, some of which some of you are aware of and some of which may be quite the surprise.
First of all, long story short, we are just about finished with building our very own house!! It’s unbelievably exciting and we should be fully moved in this week. It’s crazy how things went from just talking and dreaming to actually building and doing. It’s been a ton of work but it’s paying off big time. Here, check out our little slice of heaven!
But the truth is, I didn’t really want to update anyone about our house. Is it wonderful? Yeah, definitely. But we have something much more exciting going on that we need to explain to people: we are planting a church.
Yes. You read that right. We are in the process of starting a church right in the area we will be living!! I am so excited that I could scream, and yet I’m also so sad that I could, and do, cry at the mention of it. So please, feel free to check out now if this doesn’t interest you. But if you know us and go to church with us, please hear me out, because I have so much to say.
1. This was not our idea.
We believe God has been working on this in our hearts for a long time but because we have been so happy and comfortable at our church, we didn’t see it. We have had Acts on our hearts and minds for years as an example of how to “do” church and we are thrilled to try to take this out to our new community.
2. This is not in spite of our current church. It’s because of it.
It’s because of it. Did you get that?! We have been so inspired by how the people at our church love and move and breathe Jesus to the New Holland community that we were inspired to do the same in the new community where we will live. I will always love New Holland Church of the Nazarene. Always. We have no reason for leaving besides being obedient to a calling. We love it there and we love the people there. That will not change, not ever. I would recommend that as a church to people without hesitation. It’s where I found Jesus and where I found a Christ-centered family that supported us and loved us through our hardest times. You all taught us how to be the church and I pray that we can do that any sort of justice in moving forward with this endeavor of starting a church of our own.
3. We aren’t trying to start a trend or create a divide.
Unity! Christ came for unity! I’m sad to say this but Christians can be just as bad as anyone about jumping to conclusions and assuming intentions and I truly hope that we don’t get caught in the middle of these things. These things are of the devil and are meant to destroy the church’s credibility so can we all just do our best to not fall prey to this? My biggest fear in this is that our church will feel betrayed, but I hope I’m wrong. I hope people will support this endeavor with love and prayer because aren’t we all on the same team??
4. We aren’t trying to steal anyone.
Look, we aren’t trying to take anyone from an already established church who is involved and happily serving. But if you have felt the call to be a part of a church plant and wish to be involved in this then we welcome you to come and see what we are about. Just as how it is layed out in Acts, our goal is to build community and serve in Jesus’ name. We want to be outreach focused and we are putting our tithe directly towards community causes. These are things that our core group all felt strongly about and it’s so exciting to think about the implications for the Kingdom!
5. Please, talk to me.
I know I’m not the most important human in the universe but I also know that there may be people who have questions or who feel uneasy about this. Please please get a hold of me because I do not want to leave our church on a bad note. It’s the only church I’ve ever known and I love it so dearly. Please, if you want to talk about this, talk directly to me, I’m happy to clarify!
6. Lastly (And most importantly) I do not feel “released” from NH Naz
When I became a Christian, I had to learn a lot of “Christian-ese”. Most of the phrases and sayings came to make good sense to me and I began to speak this language fluently. But one phrase never made sense to me is the idea of being “released” from a church. Since becoming a Christian 10 years ago now, I’ve heard it said countless times that the church is not the building, it’s the people. And that’s exactly why I feel no sense of release from our church. I love these people with my whole heart and have no desire to lose any contact with any of them. We intend, with the blessing of our current pastoral leadership, to remain involved in the kingdom work at NH Naz, we just won’t be there Sunday mornings.
I have no idea how this is coming off or even if anyone will care, but it’s been on our hearts for months and as we have a target start date in mind for our new church (Sept 17th!!) we just felt like the cat should come out of the bag and people should hear it from the horse’s mouth. Animal analogies aside, we are ready! And if you live in the Lancaster/Lebanon area of PA, feel free to contact me for more info about Faith Journey Church!!
**I’m editing this to add this: if you have any suggestions or advice on church planting we are more than open to hearing it!