mo-men-tum noun: strength or force gained by motion or by a series of events
Summer is over. Fall has begun. Life and ministry seem to be moving at 100 mph. By every observable metric we see spiritual momentum in our Home Fellowship/church-planting work, the Serve Burlington nonprofit, and through the ministry endeavors of others here in Burlington. Here’s a snapshot:
Although we’re still a church with no name, we’ve definitely moved from being an idea to a group of twelve committed members who worship, pray, study the scriptures, and serve our city in the name of Jesus together. Especially over the past few weeks, we’ve grown into a group that now includes a married couple with young kids (that’s us), a married couple with grown kids, college students, single adults, and a couple of teenagers. It’s amazing to see God molding us into a team that’s committed to displaying Jesus to Burlington through sacrificial service to Burlington’s Old North End neighborhood and investing in the relationships He’s placed in each of our lives. Please pray that God will use this initial Home Fellowship as a launching pad to start Home Fellowships committed to serving each neighborhood in Burlington. Our vision is that one day every resident of Burlington will live within five blocks of a Home Fellowship that is committed to serving their neighborhood sacrificially and sharing the good news of Jesus.
We’re also excited about two other families who are prayerfully preparing to transplant their lives here. One family is visiting this weekend and the other is visiting in mid-October to scope out the city and begin moving in this direction. Both husbands have solid cross-cultural ministry and church-planting backgrounds, so we know their experience and wisdom will benefit us greatly. We’re with-holding their names for now as they continue sharing with their families and friends, but please pray that God will continue making His path and process clear to these families as they make preparations to move.
SERVE BURLINGTON NONPROFIT
In a past post I mentioned that Serve Burlington is now officially a Vermont Nonprofit Organization. Although this has not changed what we do, it has most definitely given our work more credibility. We’re now mobilizing volunteers to serve with a boys mentoring group, girls mentoring group, our “Volunteer Wednesdays” crew involving guests from two local shelters, an “on call” refugee move-in crew, and Conversational English Club which is one of my greatest sources of excitement. Just this past Sunday we hosted a block party to promote the English club with over 100 Somalis present. With at least twenty students expected, twelve English tutors, and numerous children and child-care volunteers we’re quickly running out of space at the Riverside Apartments community center. Please pray that God will continue to give us favor with the refugee community, motivate more volunteers to join our cause, and provide us with a larger nearby space to move to… for free. You can read more about our nonprofit service opportunities on the Serve Burlington website.
OTHER MINISTRIES AROUND BURLINGTON
I’m also excited to know that what God is up to is much bigger and better than what He’s doing through us and our ministry. The Navigators campus ministry at UVM has had around 70 students at each of their weekly meetings this semester- that kind of critical mass is unprecedented at UVM. Paul Hines, a UVM associate professor of engineering, is leading a monthly meeting for intellectual seekers and cynics called Philosophy on Tap. St. Timothy’s Anglican mission is hosting a weekly Alpha course. In the past few months I’ve met both a PCA church-planter and an Assemblies of God church-planter who have recently moved to Burlington. 150 Cherry Street (a local faith-based nonprofit) hosts regular prayer meetings including a monthly breakfast and prayer time for area pastors and ministry leaders. There are many other examples, butI know this is merely the tip of the iceberg of what God is doing in Burlington. For some reason God cares a great deal about this city. Please pray that God will give us all a spirit of unity and partnership that will enable us to better display Jesus to our community.