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October 2014

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Living on Mission with the Trinity 

by Josh Brock

The people are what makes Ecclesia a unique network.

This was evident in the most recent event we hosted. From the outside looking in, it may have seemed small and insignificant…but once you experience the people; something amazing happens. You experience love. Our ‘In the Name of God’ event was incredible. A group of about 40 men and women gathered to discuss the tagline topic - ‘Cultivating Mission Empowered by the Trinity’. Powerful. Hearing from the heart of leaders and pastors on the front lines of mission was a reset button. If your battery warning light was flashing, that evening was the much needed recharge.

We kicked off the night hearing from our newest staff member, Mark Moore. Mark was able to introduce himself and share his passion to see mission, theology, and spiritual formations come together and work in unity. Undoubtedly, this was the perfect intro into our topic over the Trinity.

The night was scheduled with three sessions covering the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. First up was Don Coleman discussing ‘The Love of the Father as the Heartbeat of Missions’. If you haven’t heard Don speak, you have missed out. His natural ability to speak with the fruits of the spirit was refreshing. To hear with such love, “the Father [He] is so fond of us, He will do whatever it takes to get us”, was like God wrapped his arms around you with no plans of letting go. This was the first step in cultivating mission, the love of the Father as our source.

In the next session we heard from Mike Hollenbach, on, ‘The Whole Life of the Son as the Focus of Mission’. Mike’s ability and passion to teach was incredible. Mike was able to walk us through key points relating to Jesus being our focus in mission. “It’s not the scriptures we worship, its the Christ.” To cultivate mission with the Son as our focus, we must make the Son our focus. Mike’s message was beautiful, raw, and real. He opened up and allowed us to see a real person. God was powerful that night as we were able to understand the second step in cultivating mission…focus on the Son.
 
In our last session, Mia Chang, spoke on, ‘The Fullness of the Spirit as the Power for Mission’. Speaking on the Holy Spirit seems to bring up stories. Mia brought some incredible stories from her life where the Spirit was very evident. “We don’t need to be afraid, the Holy Spirit has us covered.” It is one thing to read about the work of the Spirit. To hear Mia tell stories of her experience with the Holy Spirit brought the Spirit to life! And we have the third step in cultivating mission…the Holy Spirit is our power.
In closing this incredible night with church planters, leaders, pastors, and folks on mission we were able to worship together in song. Powerful is the only way to describe this event. Hands were raised, knees were floored, hearts were wrecked. We were cultivating mission…empowered by the Trinity.

 

1st Ecclesia Coaches Training a Success


The beginning of October is a beautiful time at Princeton Seminary, especially so this year as 30+ Christian leaders gathered there for our first Ecclesia Coaches Training. 

The room was full of hungry leaders who wanted to learn and grow in their abilities to help others find clarity and reach their goals in ministry and in life. Our lead trainer Chad Hall was impressed by the questions, the level of engagement and the attentiveness. 

The training provided an incredible mix of coaching theory and concrete skills with a great balance between lecture/teaching and practicing on/with each other. 

On Tuesday night J.R. Briggs and Gary Alloway provided a fantastic tour of the seminary and the university before we all adjourned to a local pub for dinner.

Despite having a very diverse group of people in the room including Ecclesia pastors, a big group from the VA Mennonite Missions, two Christian higher education people, a non-profit missions agency staff member, as well as several potential Ecclesia church leaders, there was a wonderful sense of everyone being united in wanting to learn the basic skills of coaching so as to come alongside others in their ministry journey.  

 

Congrats!

We want to extend a warm congrats to those who have enjoyed some significant milestones in the recent past. 





Justin Fung, Associate Pastor at The District Church was recently married to Carolyn Schneiders.  Justin and Carolyn met at District Church and were married on July 11, 2014.




Ecclesia Board Member and Teaching Pastor at Rhythm Church in Miami, Keas Keasler, was recently engaged to Sarah Varughese and will be married on November 15th in Miami.


Geoff Holsclaw at Life on the Vine finished the long road of the dissertation.  Geoff graduated from Marquette University with a Ph.D in Theology and Society. 

A Special

ANNOUNCEMENT

Two Church Planters Trainings To Be Held in 2015!!

After several years of holding our annual church planters training on the East Coast, we have decided that the time has come to multiply our locations.  Next spring we will hold our annual church planters training on the East Coast.  In addition, we will offer another training somewhere on the other side of the Mississippi.  Currently we are exploring options in Chicago, Dallas, Denver, and Minneapolis.  If you have an opinion on where we should go next - let us know by sending an email to bob.hyatt@ecclesianet.org

The Genesis Church Planters training has been formative in the cultivation of many churches both inside and outside of Ecclesia.  New staff member, Mark Moore, who previously served with Acts 29 and has been involved with several other planting initiatives says that Genesis was "the most comprehensive church planters training he has experienced." 

 

New Ecclesia Address

The Ecclesia mailing address has moved to a new resting place.  We expect that it will be here for several years.  Applications, donations, and any other communication that needs to be sent by mail can now be sent to:

The Ecclesia Network

PO Box D
Grantham, PA 17027

 

 

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Ecclesia National Gathering/
Missio Alliance

Our Ecclesia Gatherings this Spring will be held around/during the second national gathering of Missio Alliance which is May 7th – 9th at Alfred Street Church in Alexandria, VA. 


Public registration for “Being Truly Human:  Re-Imagining the Resurrectional Life” will begin in a few weeks.  At that time, a discount code will be distributed to Ecclesia Network members who want to register at a reduced rate. 

The Early Leaders Gathering for Senior Leaders in Ecclesia Churches (please note that since the leadership posture of churches within Ecclesia differs, as well as the size of churches, we are leaving it up to Ecclesia Churches to define who their senior leaders are) will be held on the evening of May 6th to the morning of May 7th.  More than likely this will be held at Downtown Baptist Church. 

The Ecclesia Network Gathering @ Missio Alliance will be held on Friday evening, May 8th as the overall conference will be on a well-needed break by that time.  This will be a great time of celebration as we get to see our wider Ecclesia family, welcome new churches and recognize new leaders from the network.  
 

 

First-Ever Congregational Leaders Event for Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Churches.


On January 10th, Ecclesia will take an important step as part of fulfilling its overall vision.  The “non-vocational” leadership of Ecclesia Churches in the two regions will be meeting for a day focused on the development of leaders both spiritually and practically.  This gathering will be held at Eastpoint Community Church in Newark, DE from approximately 9.30 – 3.30 on Saturday, January 10th.  If you are interested in finding out more about this event, please email Northeast Regional Coordinator, Mike Hollenbach at 

mhollenbach.bridge@gmail.com

Network News

The District Church Moves Into a New Space.  At the end of August, District Church in Washington D.C. moved into a new auditorium to accommodate its continued growth at their Columbia Heights campus.  Chris Backert was on hand to show the support of Ecclesia and to pray over this new season of ministry and impact for TDC.  Currently, District Church is one church in two locations – Columbia Heights and Eastside DC.  Recent District Church residents – Matthew & Lisa Watson – were newly commissioned to provide leadership to the Eastside Campus.  It was an exciting time to see the work God is doing there as well. 


Shanna Cummings was commissioned as a new pastor at The Well outside of Philadelphia, PA.  Shanna serves alongside Scott Jones and will be bringing her wonderful gifts of shepherding and hospitality to bear on The Well and the wider Bucks County community.  J.R. Briggs, Director of Leadership & Congregational Formation was on hand for this significant day.
 


Ecclesia Leaders Would Love To Visit Your Community!!

It is one of the great hopes of our staff team that we could make meaningful visits to each congregation in the network over the next two years.  If you would like to discuss having a member of the Ecclesia staff or board come to connect with your community, please email Jane Linton at admin@ecclesianet.org

Recent Pulpit Swaps:
Cyd Holsclaw from Life on the Vine in Chicago-land @ Engage Community Church in Carlisle, PA
Bob Hyatt from The Evergreen Community in Portland, Or @ Rhythm Church in Miami, FL. 
  

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