A Quick Update

I try really hard to keep you guys updated on my ministry but some months are harder than others. This month has been particular hard. I generally struggle with this the most when ministry is really busy or I’m facing some sort of life crisis and this month has been a little bit of both so its been hard to think how to best update you.

So I’m going to give you a fast update with a list.

  • I had a great time a couple weeks ago with a team from APSU BCM in TN. I was so thankful to have them share in our ministry at NCC as well as other plants around the city. I love working with college students and their campus director is a personal friend of mine, so it was a lot of fun.
  • Life at New City is an absolute blast, relationships are continuing to build and life change is happening in many ways.
  • We have enjoyed the addition of the Hill family over the last few months, not only at our church but in our friendships as well. Shannon and I have become great friends and I love exploring the city with her and introducing her to some of my favorite places while trying new ones as well.
  • At the end of April I helped lead a training for missionaries serving through NAMB’s MSC program. This is the fundraising/partnership development process that NAMB missionaries go through and I’m excited to continue to help missionaries raise support for their ministries.
  • My sister and niece Molly came to visit last weekend and it was a fantastic time! Seeing NY through a kids eyes is hilarious and exhausting all at the same time. Molly went home and told her teacher she got her nails done at a salon in NYC. The teacher clarified with Misty that she in fact did. Molly had a blast and I loved every minute of it.
  • Last week I was in TN. I originally planned to be home for the weekend for my nephews high school graduation but made the trip a bit longer to see my friend and former intern, Sabrina Thompson, as she is dealing with some health stuff. It was good to be there with her and pray for her and her surgeon before she had surgery.
  • My nephews graduation was a lot of fun, its weird to think he no longer has to go to high school. We had a great celebration with family!
  • We are just weeks away from our GenSend students arriving as well as our New City interns. It will be a jammed packed summer of interns and ministry. I am really looking forward to it and have spent a good deal of the month prepping for GenSend team. I will be leading that group this summer but still interact with the New City team.
  • Lastly, Wednesday I leave for vacation. I look forward to a time of rest, relaxation and exploring another part of our globe and seeing another culture. I value vacation and time away and I am thankful for the sell of my condo last fall to make this trip possible!

A couple things you can be praying for! Pray for my friend Sabrina as she continues to deal with this unexpected health issue. Pray for my nephew as he embarks on adulthood and that he would let God lead him. Pray for my vacation that it will be a restful, refreshing time! And lastly pray for the summer mission teams and interns that will be serving across the city this summer!

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Photo journal of a week

Ever wondered what the Number 1 question I am asked about my ministry, well here it is… “What does a typical week look like for you?”. So I want to answer this question this month for you with pictures because reading about it would probably be very boring.

Sunday

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Sunday’s are for New City. I arrive at church around 9:30 to help with setup. Once we get everything setup we welcome volunteers and then guests and regular attenders. I love greeting and helping our people connect with each other. We are normally done around 1pm and then head to lunch with friends. I generally spend the rest of my Sunday relaxing, because Sundays are busy days!

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A large part of my “job” at New City now is organizing, recruiting, scheduling and shepherding our volunteers. This has really helped create a “volunteer family” at our church plant and is helping us to create some emphasis around owning your faith and serving in it.

Monday

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Making its way onto Monday, is the most boring photo of my week. I spend a lot of my “office hours” from home, coffee shops, or the New City office. A good portion of my week I work on plans for events, volunteers, internships, mission teams, team members, emails, phone calls, etc. These “tasks” of ministry make things happen and while not glamorous are absolutely essential. (also essential: coffee)

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Monday nights I attend a Bible Study Fellowship group in Manhattan. While this is not my group, it looks a lot like this (minus those boys). BSF is an interdenominational Bible study group so I enjoy getting to know women from other areas of Christianity and from different cultural backgrounds. I also love the in-depth study of a book of the Bible. We are currently wrapping up a study on John.

Tuesday

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In between “tasks”, meetings, social events, etc I take Ellis to the park to hang out. We have met lots of new friends this way and are using these connections to have gospel conversations and invite people to church. This is Ellis and our friends Erin (human) and Macy (dog).

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Most Tuesday nights I play volleyball with a group of people in the school where our church meets, it’s a great opportunity to build relationships in our community and I get some good exercise. In the warmer months we play at the sand court in our park.

Wednesday

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Wednesday mornings I usually meet with the Send NYC team, which is Steve Canter pictured here and Sterling Edwards not pictured but sitting to the left of the girl standing in the photo. This was a meeting we had a few weeks back with a former IMB missionary to the deaf who is starting a deaf ministry at Sterlings replant church, Park Slope Community Church.

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I’m the only one that knew I was taking this picture so I hope these students don’t kill me for this. Another important ministry I am apart of through Send NYC is our GenSend internship. This summer I will help lead and coach a team of 16 college students that will be serving in three of our Brooklyn church plants. I love this part of my ministry.

Thursday

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Once a month I write an email newsletter update. Here is a sample of the first part! If you don’t get my newsletter, feel free to fill out the “About You” section of this blog and I will add you to the newsletter. I also write three other newsletters through out the month, one for our Send NYC partners, one for our Church Planting Team Members and one for our New City volunteers.

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On Thursday nights I met with Chelsi (pictured reading the Word) and Tara for a discipleship circle. We are reading 2 Corinthians together now. This is one of my favorite times of the week!

Friday

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These are our lady Church Planting Team Members serving across the city (there are some guy team members as well but I didn’t have a pretty picture of them). Twice a week I coach two our new team members and at various times throughout the week I am interacting with others or planning trainings/gatherings with them and having conversations with potential missionaries about serving in NYC.

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Sometimes I take time out of my ministry work to pick up a side babysitting job. I like to hang out with babies and I also like the extra spending money!

Saturday

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This is from last Saturday and represents brunch on Saturdays as well as our small group that meets on Wednesday nights. Brunch is a big deal in NY so when we need a small group fellowship time, we take on brunch.

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Friday afternoon to Saturday afternoon is my sabbath (I like to sabbath with my Jewish friends). Ok not really but I believe that a Sabbath is important for all Christians and this is the time that works best for me. So I try to protect this time for fellowship, time alone with God, and rest. This is from last Saturday when I was beating Natalie at a dance game… well I was losing but I thought I would share this slightly embarrassing photo anyway!

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Maybe a better picture of Sabbath… hanging out in this awesome view!

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Lastly, Saturdays are for fun nights out with friends and trying different restaurants around the city. This was a Hawaiian place Jocelyn and I tried last week and that is a Brûlée Pineapple that was delicious.

Reflections on a year…

One year ago today, I moved into the apartment God provided me through a NYC housing lottery. This week’s social media memories from Timehop have been filled with excitement, joy, and most importantly relief.

Following the approval and moving in, I wrote two blogs, A place to call home! and More big news!! (See October 2015 archives to read them). So this weekend I went back through and read these posts. Here are my quick reflections based on the reality of this last year and the anticipation and hope from these posts.

  1. Living in Long Island City has been a tremendous blessing for my ministry at New City Church, most of our church members and friends are just next door or down the street so loving on them and serving them is more convenient from this location.
  2. Although God has used my home as a ministry, I don’t feel like I have used it to the fullest. I wanted to use my home in creative ways that would point people to Christ. This has seldom happened and the reason is because I’m just not that great at coming up with ideas and not bold enough to make big moves sometimes. (I did try to host a brunch once but it failed before it even happened…lol)
  3. It’s easy how quickly we forget the pain and suffering of difficult situations once they have passed. It’s rare that I think about those tears once shed over the struggle of apartment living in NYC.
  4. While I have met almost all of my neighbors on my floor and have interacted with people from all over the building, it’s harder than I expected to build genuine relationships with people in my building.
  5. God’s work is never accidental or haphazard. Its no consequence that October 16 was my application date one year, the lease signing date the next year, and a day of reflection and thought this year.
  6. Much of the first three years of my life here felt like constant transition and preparing for the next phase but this last year has been a settling down year. Its been a great year in many ways but in other ways its been hard. I no longer look at my life here as “this is where I live right now” but more of “this is where I live”.
  7. I continue to feel extremely grateful and I have probably said 9000 times this year how God provided this for His glory and I’m just trying to use it for His purposes.
  8. My last reflection is this… it’s really, really nice to have an elevator and air conditioning whenever I need it.

Pardon my ramblings but just thought I’d share with you some of my thoughts. My biggest desire is to see God glorified in the things He provides and the ways He leads; so my biggest plea tonight is that you pray that I will continue to use my home as a blessing for ministry here and that I will be more open to ways to build relationships in my building and that I don’t stand in the way of how God would call me use this blessing.

A story of…

It’s that time of the year again where I make my annual trip home to hang out with my partners and church families there. I’m always so grateful for the encouragement and partnership that this trip brings. I would really like to see as many of you as possible this year and share with you an amazing update of life and ministry here. God has laid on my heart a story to share… a story of New York, church planting, missionaries, and of life change! As I think back on this year, I cannot help but be overwhelmed and excited about what God has done! Surprising and wonderful things! Come hear all about it as well as plans and hopes for next year at one of these three events.

Nashville area Brunch
Covenant Baptist Church, August 27th 10:00am
Click here for more information and to RSVP:
http://nashvillebrunchupdate2016.eventbrite.com 

Knoxville area Dessert Fellowship
Seymour First Baptist Church, August 31st 6:45pm
Click here for more information and to RSVP:
http://knoxvilleareaupdate2016.eventbrite.com

Cookeville area Brunch
Stevens Street Baptist Church, September 10th 10:00am
Click here for more information and to RSVP:
https://cookevilleannualupdate2016.eventbrite.com

I will also be at a couple churches on Sunday mornings, ASPU BCM, and hanging around Nashville, Knoxville, and Cookeville for a few days, keep up with me on Facebook or through text and let’s make sure to see each other! Please feel free to invite other friends, family, or lovers of New York to join you!

They call this thing a commute

In an effort to share NYC with you, on occasion I like to share stories about life here that might be different from where you live. One of the biggest changes in my life when I moved here was going from driving a car everyday to riding a subway everyday. Its also one of my favorite things about living here. So to share with you a bit of the fun and crazy let me share with you a story from a couple months ago.  Here goes.

I had one of those days… one of those crazy, chaotic days. You can probably relate. The past 10 days my schedule has been packed with activities, meetings, and travel all while fighting one of the most vicious colds I’ve had in a while, so as you can imagine I’ve been a bit drained. Adding insult to injury, the last two nights have been the worst sleep I’ve had in a long time. So when facing a 7:15 AM (that’s right – AM) mission team meeting this morning, I knew today was going to be…let’s say “special.” Here’s how it went down:

After arriving at the 7:15 meeting (that finally got started at 8:00), I cheerfully did my best to orient our new mission team and then got on my way. I got back to the train only to find hundreds of people milling about with confused looks on their faces. There was some sort of delay. I jumped on my train and stood there while we waited. There were a few announcements about delays and train outrages so I stood there and waited. I watched as people fumbled in and out of the train, complaining and fussing about their crazy commute. I only had to go three stops so I (im)patiently waited while people bumped me around my small spot on the train. We finally got moving and I made it home. I worked for a couple hours before heading out on my next errand.

I jumped on the now calm and quiet 7 train (thats the train line I use most often) and transferred to the R train in Manhattan. I brought along some light reading on spiritual warfare and as I read, the train started to lull me to sleep (remember that whole lack of sleep thing). I wasn’t really asleep but close enough and I watched the stops roll by when suddenly I realized I missed mine. I hopped out of the train and walked to the only staircase at the other end of the platform to get on the train going the other direction. I hopped on and rode to the next stop. It’s not my stop, though. Where did my stop go?? Thinking this train must not be stopping at my stop, I looked around and found the stairs, which are again at the other end of the platform. I walked and walked and finally came up to the street. I decided to grab a taxi because at this point, I was so turned around and not sure what to do if the train wasn’t stopping at my stop. Did I mention it was like 29 degrees that day? I joked with the taxi driver about how I got confused and turned around and it was too cold to figure it out. He gladly drove me to my destination.

While strange and frustrating, I find these moments great reminders of the peace of God that soothes us through chaotic moments. Sometimes they make us laugh, sometimes they make us cry. That day I chose laughter. That, and some coffee!!

For those of you that have never experienced a NYC subway ride, watch this quick video I made a few years ago for a VBS, its not great quality but you will get the picture. Those of you familiar with LIC, will notice you can’t even see my building in the shots… it wasn’t even here yet and you can see the since torn down 5 Points.

Modern Grace [part 1]

Meet Gary and Ana. God is working through their lives in transformational ways. Our relationship with Gary and Ana started three years ago as interns from our church met them in the park. Over the last three years they have developed key relationships with Patrick and other members of our church. At a pivot point in Ana’s journey to Christ, they started attending to our Sunday gatherings. Over the last year, they have been in my small group and I’ve watched as God has transformed their lives through relationships, difficult circumstances, biblical truth, and conversations about the word of God. It’s a joy to call them friends and it’s my pleasure to share with you their story through a series of videos created by New City Church called Modern Grace.

Modern Episode 1 (mastered)-HD from newcitychurchny on Vimeo.

Look for more of their story in the coming weeks!

A little info from NYC for your Good Friday.

As I mentioned in my newsletter earlier this month, I am working on revamping my blog, which will hopefully go live next month, but I thought I would take a moment to give you a brief update.

God is continuing to do a great work across our city and I’m continually blessed to be a part of it and grateful for the ways God uses me personally and our church plant. Here are five quick points of prayer, praise, and excitement in NYC.

  1. Pray with us this Sunday as thousands of people gathering for Easter across the city. New City Church is prepping for a huge crowd! We sent out a community wide Easter invite and have been personally inviting friends to be a part of this Sunday as we celebrate Christ’s victory over death.
  2. Four new SBC church plants will launch regular services this Sunday: Swerve Church in Bushwick Brooklyn; Crossroads Church in Jersey City;Point Community Church of North Brunswick, New Jersey; and  Iglesia Central of Randolph, NJ. Praise God for new churches in communities with great spiritual need.
  3. Last week Ana surrendered her life fully to Christ! We are rejoicing in the way God transforms lives and excited to see her grow in her faith!
  4. New City Church has had a great group of mission teams serve with us this spring as we have begun doing research for future church planting in Manhattan and continued to show grace and peace in Long Island City. We always love having partners here with us! Its such an encouragement!
  5. I’m currently in conversations with a handful of potential missionaries that sense God is opening the door for them to be a part of the work in NYC. Pray with us that God will continue to provide labors for the vast harvest field of our wonderful city.

Here’s a few photos of life and ministry the last few months:

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NCC team enjoying our January Blizzard by going to a Donut Festival!

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Playing in the snow with Evelyn, one of our tiniest church members.

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Patrick interviewing Gary and Ana about his recent heart attack and how God has worked through this time in their life.

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Las Vegas Church Planting Assessment Retreat

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Speaking to church planting students at Southern Seminary.

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Saying goodbye to dear friends in ministry Butch and Maribeth as God leads them back to TN.

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Chilling on Sunday morning with Izzy, our newest NCC member.

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Celebrating Friday well with friends in ministry across the city. So thankful for these girls!

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A visit with my Nashville friends over this past weekend.

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My small group fellowship meal this past week.

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Im so thankful for these friends and the way God guides our discussions each week.