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Hope Church NYC Launches This Sunday, September 23rd

It’s hard to believe that September 23rd is finally here.  After months of wrestling with God about what our next steps were, Tina and I came to the conclusion that God was calling us to stay in NYC and plant a church in Astoria, NY.

Less than one year later, Hope Church NYC officially launches.  I am so humbled and grateful as this church planting project is born.

Solideogloria.

As we head into this Sunday, I wanted to recognize some folks whom God has graciously allowed to have a hand in planting Hope.

1)  Tina and Our Son David – This has been an unbelievable season for our family, and one that has taken precedence over what’s happened at Hope.  David has been such a gift, and Tina has been the best mom and wife I could have ever asked for.

My wife and son have been a gift from God.

With all the stresses of a newborn and a new church, Tina has been a steady and faithful rock throughout the process, even putting up with my shenanigans with good-spirited aplomb.

And David has been a true champ.  I love these two!

2) Launch Team -  What makes a church is the people, and Hope is full of some incredible people.  I can’t thank these folks enough for their commitment, their volunteering, and most of all, their presence!

There have been some funny, “that’s church planting” moments for sure, but I’m so grateful for the willingness to go with the flow as we’ve had so many stops/starts & twists/turns.

This community has also shown me so much grace through my own mistakes – many of which have been painful but necessary to see.

Launch team and new regular attenders – thanks so much for being part of what’s happening at Hope!

PS Special shout-out to our other pastoral staffers – Craig Okpala and Joe Longarino.  Studs.

3) The Evangelical Covenant Church - It’s been such a joy to be part of a larger movement, and the Evangelical Covenant Church has been super supportive and encouraging throughout.  Jason Condon, the Director of Church Planting for the East Coast Conference of the ECC, has been so helpful and insightful in this process, and learning alongside other church planters in NYC, NJ, and New England has challenged and encouraged me in so many ways.

We’re so lucky to be part of this family of churches!

4) Family and Friends who have Supported Hope - So many friends and family have supported this church plant with their prayers and their financial support, and it’s been so humbling to hear stories of people fasting and praying on our behalf, while others have given sacrificially so that we could launch.

Seriously humbled by all these folks who are literally all around the world. Thank you so much for your friendship, mentorship, and generosity.

And a very special thanks to the Hyun and Park families.  Tina and I are so, so grateful for you and your support.

5) New Life Fellowship - I’m so grateful for all the friendships I’ve made at New Life over the years, and the incredible people I’ve learned so much from. Obviously Pete and Geri Scazzero have had a significant part in that journey, and I’m so, so grateful for all they have deposited in me over the years.

I wouldn’t be the person I am today without New Life, and Hope wouldn’t be the kind of church that it is without New Life.

6) Other churches in NYC - There have been so many pastors who have voiced their support of what we’re doing, and to know we stand side-by-side with so many churches is an amazing feeling.

There’s something stirring in NYC…

Some Details about the Church We’re Planting

Experiencing and Inspiring Hope Everywhere.

“…those who hope in his unfailing love.” – Psalm 33:18

- Our Home Church Groups will be located throughout the city -

- Our initial Sunday Gatherings will be located in Astoria -

If you’re interested in joining our Launch Team, feel free to email me.

To learn more, click here.

Highlights from February

It’s been a fast and fulfilling month.  I have much to be grateful for as you can see in the following list.

Some friends who joined us in watching the Packers beat the Steelers. So gratifying.

1. The Packers Winning the Super Bowl - If you were to ask me at the beginning of the season which team I’d root for to win the Super Bowl, I would have said the Packers.  I know, I know, I’m still working on the Jets being my team, but Aaron Rodgers and Jahvid Best (former Cal players) are easily my favorite players in the league.

I was so happy for Aaron Rodgers and Packer nation, including Carl and Chris Park.

2. Extraordinary Seminar with Ron Vogt on “Bearing the Cross: Being Real and in Relationship. Ron has influenced me greatly, and to hear some of his latest reflections felt like drinking from a deep well.

3. Seeing Peter, Jenny, and Eli on President’s Day Weekend.  I couldn’t be happier to see them.  Seriously.

4. Reading Tim Keller’s newest book, King’s Cross. The book is quite splendid – I simply pause, ponder, and soak in the beauty of Christ at the end of each chapter.

5.  Seeing Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) and Kenneth the Page (I don’t know his real name) filming an episode of 30 Rock in Long Island City. NYC is the coolest city in the world.

It was quite random to see them filming, so I just parked and Kimberly Jones and I kept inching closer and closer until one of the crewmen asked us to go to the other side of the street.

I’m pretty sure Tina Fey said “hi” to me with her unassuming glance.

6.  Retreat-ing with 43 others last weekend. Highlights included: Worship in Singing times (thanks Craig and Heriberto!), Shaming Shame rituals, Bearing One Another’s Shame, Taboo (Unlimited Passes, Stool, Menus or “Men use”), Raw and Honest Conversation, Hitch, Conversations about Awkward Christian Dating, Sweet Clementines, and quite simply, Connecting with some really wonderful people.

Good Times in Bloomingdale, NJ, minus a few friends who missed the picture.

Special shout out to Dr. Jay Feld, therapist extraordinaire, retreat speaker, and dear friend.  It’s hard to believe we’ve partnered together for this retreat  for six years straight.

Thanks for sharing, Jay.