Sunday, October 14, 2007

Church Plant Update

We are so grateful for all of you who are praying for us and for the church plant! I'm excited to share how God has been answering the last two prayer requests there in my sidebar--that God would send others to enlarge and strengthen the core team with needed gifts and abilities, and that Father Rooster would hear the Lord clearly as he leads the core team and sets direction for the church.

Over the past two months, we’ve been blessed to be joined regularly by three new families and one single. Two of these drive over an hour from Nashotah, WI, where the husbands are seminarians at an excellent, very conservative Anglican seminary (Nashotah House). They are both postulants for the priesthood, one in his first year, one in his second. The first year couple, who have a little girl, found us through AMIA connections and, incidentally, through this blog. The couple in their second year, the Prathers, we know well, as they attended our sending church, Church of the Resurrection, for many years with us before going off to seminary.

In the second year at Nashotah, all seminarians are required to have an internship serving in an area church, and we are so excited that the Prathers have received permission to intern with us! Joel preached his first sermon last week and it was wonderful. Tammy has lots of experience in children’s ministry and is taking some seminary classes herself, while also caring for their 2.5 year old son. Their service, experience and leadership gifts are such a great addition to our core team.

The third family has two homeschooled children, and they are expecting a third in November. They live close by and usually walk to church. The irony in that fact is that they had to travel to Minneapolis, visit an AMIA church while there, and ask the rector if he knew of an AMIA church anywhere between Milwaukee and Chicago in order to discover the one that was blocks away. (No wonder he has offered to build us a website!)

The single woman is a former Episcopalian who has been praying for a good church ever since she moved to Kenosha, and she also heard about us in an unusually roundabout way. One of her 19-year-old triplet daughters is a student at Wheaton College. She works for the college catering division and was serving at the luncheon following the Midwest Anglican Awakening service, when she recognized a couple of our core team members, heard about the church plant and told her mom about it. "This is the answer to my prayers!" she says.

In mid-September, we added an adult Sunday school hour before the service. This morning, Father Rooster decided to ask everyone to answer a few questions: What is your church background? Why are you here? What do you sense God is doing here? And we ended up adding: What are your gifts or how do you see yourself serving?

It was a most encouraging and enlightening discussion, which we’re eager to continue next week. The group that has been meeting on Wednesday nights—Father Rooster and the two other core couples—has covered most of this ground, but the rest of us don’t know each other as well. It was fascinating to hear how God had led us all from widely varied backgrounds to this common ground. (And inspiring to me to get back to my little series on AMIA-style worship, when Charlotte’s Web is over....)

No one thought they had a clearly defined idea of what God is doing among us except for one older woman of prayer. After a couple people admitted to a sense of impatience, a bias for action to really see the church grow, and a feeling that they needed to grow in patience and waiting, this woman said she had a strong sense that God wanted us to rest in His strength, rather than run ahead. She also observed that in her experience, His strength is no stronger in a megachurch than in a small church. Naturally, we all want to see the church grow, but this word was the right perspective for us now.

Again, thank you to those who pray faithfully for us. We are so grateful for your partnership in this work, and so excited to see God moving there.

Even if we're not. (Yet!)

9 comments:

elaine@bloginmyeye said...

Oh, how I long to be that woman who gave you such a powerful word. Praise be to God for his faithfulness. Thanks for sharing your answered prayers.

Anonymous said...

i wish you blessings on your church plant. but also feel compelled to remind that there ARE episcopal churches in this diocese that are preaching the gospel, seeing lives changed, and holding fast to the historic faith. don't throw us all out with the bathwater!

Islandsparrow said...

That's really encouraging news Jeanne! May the Lord continue to build you up as you wait on Him.

At A Hen's Pace said...

Anonymous--

My sympathies are with all those, in or out of TEC, who are trying to hold to the faith once delivered.

God bless you and your parish!

maria said...

Yay! I was hoping the Prathers' names would pop up in relation to this! I'm excited about your growing team ...

Anonymous said...

thanks for your reply -- we aren't in need of sympathy, but of continued courage, grace, and a deepening outpouring of the Holy Spirit to accomplish His work among us!!

Thank you!

Summer in FL said...

I'm so glad to see the Lord moving . . . and to know that you all can see it. How encouraging! Thanks so much for sharing!

At A Hen's Pace said...

Anonymous--

You're welcome, and please pray for the same for us. We are all partners in the same gospel! Perhaps there will be opportunities in the future to physically partner together, if we're anywhere near one another in the Diocese of Milwaukee.

Everyone--

Thanks so much for your encouraging comments. The support means so much to us!

--Jeanne

Jenny in Ca said...

what an encouraging report Jeanne! I am so excited for you.

God bless you