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.
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.
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…