CHURCH PLANTING RESIDENT
Connection Church is a family of gospel-centered churches in Western Queens, NYC.
My 1-year residency will consist of mentoring, coaching and on-the-ground training so that upon completion I will be prepared be an integral leader on a future church planting team. During this residency I will be assisting with ministry at the current Connection Church, Astoria and help begin a new church the neighboring community of Woodside.
Partner with me by praying and giving to see God's kingdom come to NYC as it is in Heaven knowing that when we reach NYC, with its diverse makeup and strategic dynamics, we reach the world.
WHAT I'VE ALREADY DONE AT CCNYC:
This summer I participated in many of Connection's different ministries in hopes to "make Astoria a better place to live." We believe that by making our community a better place to live many people will come to know Christ.
Every Wednesday morning we would go to Sean's Place playground for a ministry called Connect the Tots. We would bring bagels & coffee, and try to create community in a city where it's hard to come by. I met a woman named Lindsay in the park who nannies a little girl in Astoria. I introduced myself, & we had some small talk. I continued to see Lindsay every week, & we got to know each other a little better each time. One week she came up to me & told me that her boss told her to take that Wednesday off, but Lindsay was upset because she would miss Connect the Tots. So, she went to pick up the little girl she nannies, & brought her to the park even though she didn't have to--all because she didn't want to miss the community that Connection Church has created there.
I am so thankful that I got to be a part of church that is setting out to bring the kingdom of God to NYC one small act of love at a time.
The Big Apple
I have always loved New York City. Last year my home church started taking mission groups to work with a church plant in Manhattan, and I was the first to sign up. This trip was where I began to see NYC as more than just a wonderful vacation spot, but as a city filled with people who are lost & in desperate need of Jesus. This new love for the people of New York lead to me to the city for a summer internship. I was randomly (yet prayerfully) placed at Connection Church, & I fell in love with the community there. It was such a perfect fit. By the end of the summer, I knew God was calling me to spend a longer season serving the people of Connection Church & Astoria.
Surrounded, Yet Alone
Loneliness plagues our city. Although millions call NYC home (and over 300,000 in Astoria and Woodside where I'll be ministering), so many people find themselves lost in a sea of loneliness with no end in sight. One of the redeeming factors of the gospel is community with the One who will, "never leave you or forsake you." This message speaks color into people's pale lives.
Worship Gathering at Connection Astoria
Each Sunday at 5pm the church gathers on the campus of beautiful Trinity Lutheran Church in the heart of Astoria to worship. This is a picture I snapped during my internship at CCNYC in the Summer of 2015.
We All Have Trash
Sin is like trash in our hearts. Its gross, ugly, smelly and doesn't belong. We have found a simple way to display the gospel to our community in Woodside by picking up the trash that blows around on our streets and sidewalks...its also a great reminder of the work Jesus does in our hearts!
I've had the opportunity to lead students while serving in NYC...selfies optional.
The Third Place
Every community has its own "third place." That is, a place where people gather outside their work and home (the first two places). Because of the small living quarters most people deal with and the limited yard space parks and playgrounds become a large gathering point for the neighborhood. However, there is often not much community happening, that's where the gospel (and Connection Church's #LoveLoud ministry) steps in and creates opportunities for people to experience pure love expecting nothing in return.
Sometimes, that means free face-painting :)
At the end of a long summer the staff of Connection Church celebrated how God had moved with a nice dinner in Astoria.
Top row (left to right): Lead Planter LARRY MAYBERRY; Community Minister JOHN WOJCIECHOWSKI; Lead Pastor DANIEL MCGHEE; Summer Intern JOSHUA FIXIN
Bottom row (left to right): Summer Intern, LISA ROGERS; Summer Intern ME (KATELYN LANE); Church Planter, KARI MCGHEE; Church Planting Resident, WINTER FIXIN; Church Planter, LINDSEY MAYBERRY