TO ALL OUR FRIENDS AND ENCOURAGERS,
We want to give God praise for his wonderful mercies to us. Thank you for your prayers on our behalf for the work of Urban & Mercy Ministries and the New City Network.
We just came back from an MLK week driving visit to Network ministries in Florida. We went to Jacksonville, Hollywood, Miami, Lakeland, and Orlando. We met with Pastor David Abney and Willie Addison from Christ Church InTown. Willie Addison hopes to finish Gordon-Conwell seminary this coming May and get credentialed in the PCA this year. Then we met with John Houmes at New City HH (Hollywood and Hallandale). Both in Jacksonville and Hollywood they report good progress with growing congregations and ministries.
We met with Steve Lantz of Team Respect who introduced us to Jesse Carbo of City to City Miami, we had a great discussion about how to energize new church planters about the need for mercy ministry and the inclusion of the poor in their churches. We went up to Lakeland to visit Ben and Nicky Turner of Strong Tower Fellowship. We are grateful for their heart to bring on interns and apprentices in pastoral leadership, and they have worked hard to raise the money and recruit men into the program. Finally we met with Pastor Michael Aitcheson of Christ United Fellowship in Orlando who is ready to have men ordained as Elders and to become a particular church. God is doing great things in these church plants in Florida. We hope to see these folks gather occasionally as Network members for a meeting in Florida to mutually encourage one another. Pray for great cross-cultural churches to be planted in that very multi-ethnic population.
We just returned from visiting many of our Network members at the Reconciliation and Justice Conference hosted by New City St. Louis. This is always a stimulating time to hear presenters teach us about the challenges of cross cultural ministry. Again, God is doing great work and every time we have this conference new church planters and pastors become committed to this vision.
One of our biggest pieces of news is the invitation we have received from Chris Hatch and the New City Fellowship of London. They have asked us to come for 5 or 6 months to help with the preaching and leadership while Chris is working on a doctorate in Chicago. One of our supporters already purchased our tickets. With the permission of MNA we will be working out of London, hopefully visiting some Network churches in Africa as well. We have several prayer requests about this opportunity:
We need housing in London, so whether the Lord opens up a free place, or the money is provided for the very expensive rent we expect, we will need a work of God to make it happen.
We will need specific support for travel back to General Assembly, to Spain for a Serge conference (we have been asked to do some workshops there), and a trip to Kenya.
We will need other expenses covered for living and ministry in London. We are looking at an overall budget of about $20,000.00.
The Network will need continued support to cover our salaries and other ministries even while we are gone.
If anyone happens to have a place for our use in London let us know. If anyone is contemplating a visit this summer in London, please stop by to see us.
A NEW BOOK
Lord willing my new book will be published before we leave for England. The title is “Insufficient: Pursuing Grace–Based Pastoral Competence.” White Blackbird Books is my publisher. Please pray for the final editing, publication, and distribution of this book. Of course I would love for all of you to read it, but my hope is that it will be worth the read, especially for pastors and for those who sit under them, which should be all of us. We will no doubt be making incessant announcements as to where and when it will be available to purchase.