In Touch – May 3, 2013
Posted on May 3, 2013 by under Touché,

Partnership in the Gospel

I thank my God every time I remember you.  In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:3-6)

This Sunday I will be preaching from Philippians at Arlington.  Mark Mast will be preaching at Hopewell on the Fruit of the Spirit-Kindness.  I am headed to Arlington at the invitation of Randy Prentiss to celebrate the partnership we share in the gospel.  Randy preached at HRC in January and he invited me to Arlington to make sure we celebrate our connection together.  At Arlington, Christina Congi and Chris Lueck (who plays with Glory Bound) are often the worship leaders, along with Ben Pearson who plays bass in the band.  (They all come from the greater HRC community).  Beth and Bob Lazzaro will probably be there as Beth is an elder that has come over from Hopewell.  There will be many other familiar faces and friends who are a part of this partnership.

Hopewell has been blessed as the largest and best resourced church in the Classis of Mid-Hudson.  It has been a blessing to share that with others.  Many Reformed Churches in the Hudson Valley are struggling to survive and confronting financial troubles and dwindling membership.  Arlington is a revitalized congregation through strong lay leadership, especially Jim Tremper, and strong pastoral leadership with Randy as Pastor and Caleb Mercado as youth pastor.  (Caleb is married to Hopewell’s own Becky Lazzaro.)  With so many tough stories out there, it is great to celebrate a turnaround story.

On Tuesday, Mark Mast, Steve Dambra and I will meet with leadership from the Beacon Reformed Church.  We have been working with them for a while and we may have a local pastor who would be interested in partnering with them and with us.  I am convinced that the only way some of these struggling churches will see revival is through partnership in the gospel that will support each other in leadership and share in blessing.

I say that Hopewell is the best resourced church in the classis, and that is true, but we are also struggling right now in our finances. Our numbers, year to year, are down.  I will be writing on this more and speaking about giving when we come to the last fruit of the spirit, goodness, which is also translated as generosity.  Philippians is a letter that asks for generous giving and I am sure Paul is asking because he wants to see the partnership in the Gospel continue in ways that blesses everyone.  I am asking for the same.

In Partnership, Taylor