Monday, March 30, 2009

on the wings of failure come new ideas

Some of you may remember, just about one year ago, my family and I took a giant leap of faith and opened a coffeehouse, called, "The Pod." The idea was to create a "third place" environment where pedestrians could come in off the street, grab a cup of coffee and some conversation and relax. Third place meaning that place where people gather outside of their home and work place, for conversation, relaxing and socializing. A cafe/coffeehouse is the perfect environment for stimulating great conversation and connecting with everyday, ordinary people, and building relationships.


Somewhere along the way yours truly got lost on the fine line between ministry and small business. What I thought would be a successful, innovative attempt at creating culture turned out to be a financial failure. Who knew a year ago the economy would take a nose dive? Small business loans became harder and harder to obtain as banks began to scrutinize the qualification requirements. After less than a year in operation The Pod was taking on water and sinking fast. We decided to close while we could still climb ourselves (my wife and I) out of debt.

I never looked at this as a failure, just a good idea at the wrong time. I prayed then and said to God, "if I ever have such an opportunity again. let it be all about You."

Most recently, the CORE Church relocated from 6th Ave & 101st St. to a much smaller, more manageble space, located just one block south at 6th and Glen. This space is located on a busy street corner. many pedestrians congregate right outside our front door. Great place to be...great opportunity to give new life to an old idea. Alas, CORE Church Pedestrian Cafe is born. Not the Pod mind you, but a ministry of the CORE Church...similar concept but different. The vision is to facilitate a third place environment. This storefront space is divided up nicely, providing a decent sized space in the front. The front door opens to 6th Ave, where many people already gather. So, we're merely opening the door and inviting them in.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Street Outreach Center at CORE Church of Troy

An idea that we have been praying and talking about for some time now has become a reality, as the CORE Church of Troy announces the start of our new Street Outreach Center.

The CORE Church has relocated from the century old brick cathedral at 6th and 101st, to a storefront located one block south at 6th and Glen. We knew when we chose to move that we would be moving into the heart of the street culture, and we know now this is exactly where God wants us to be. We also know that the street corner located right outside our front door is very active. Many people congregate there. There is a CDTA bus stop there, with many people waiting for buses throughout the day. We have been praying about the best way to reach some of these people, when it dawned on us to simply open the doors and invite them in. For several months now we have been receiving bread and milk product, every three days, from a local convenience store. It is the product they pull from their shelves as new product arrives. These items usually have shelf life left on them, sometimes as much as five days to a week. We often get more bread than we can give away, along with donuts and assorted pastry and packaged snack items. God has already provided the food, and now He has provided the space to begin this outreach ministry. We cannot begin to imagine all that God wants to and will do through the CORE Church of Troy, as we seek to make Him known in this North Central district of Troy, NY. Our new Street Outreach Center will be open Monday through Friday, 11:00am until 2:00pm. We will add components to this outreach ministry as God gives the vision and provision.

Would you pray for us as we step out in faith and begin this new street outreach ministry? Perhaps you'd like to help by volunteering your time to serve with us. Maybe you'd like to donate coffee, filters, paper products, or whatever God may put on your heart. Additionally, if you'd like to conrtibute financially to this ministry, you may do so as the Holy Spirit leads you. Checks may be made payable to CORE Church of Troy (earmark Street Outreach Center if you so desire)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Stand Against Racism

The CORE Church of Troy is hosting a Stand against Racism event on April 3rd, partnering with Troy/Cohoes YWCA. We will have a prayer walk at 5:30pm, kicking off at 6th and Glen and walk North to the other corner (6th & 101st) to feed-a-kid, then back to our new place, via River St., after the meal and have a discussion on how to combat racism in our lives and in our community, followed by a reception . Please pray for this event, and if you're in the neighborhood, consider joining us, as we seek to make Christ known in Troy's inner-city.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

I Guess God knows what He's doing afterall

It became evident to me today why God moved the CORE Church from one street corner to another as a fight broke out right outside our new space.
I was down at the new space setting up for tomorrow. Two women started fighting, right on our front step, as one of them started beating the other with a cane, and in the process, broke her arm and cut her head, police came from everywhere, lots of kids nearby,what a bloody, chaotic mess. People were milling about everywhere. Several young children who had witnessed all of this were visibly disturbed. I have to admit that this church planter was brought to tears, as the Holy Spirit spoke to me, "This is why you are here." The corner of 6th and Glen Avenue has become a violent, crime ridden hot spot. It is located right near a convenience store and two major bus stops on one of CDTA's main Troy routes. Dozens of people get on and off the city bus, every 20 minutes, right outside the front door of our new church space. I am thoroughly convinced God has called CORE Church of Troy to bring His peace and His hope to this inner-city neighborhood. People here need to know God's love and mercy, and I pray that we will see and seize every God-given opportunity to make Him known in the hearts of these people, and that through our efforts God will be glorified and that will see and experience a maximum impact in this community, for His Name's sake.

Friday, March 13, 2009

We the Church...Be the Church...See the Church: Sermon series

We the Church must Be the Church so that others will See Christ in the Church and glorify the Father in heaven
at the CORE Church of Troy, we begin the second leg of our "We the Church...Be the Church...See the Church" sermon series. The first segment of this series, "We the Church," delved into the question of who and what the Church is (not merely a"what" but a "Who," not just "me" but, "we")

Be the Church asks the question, What are we the Church to do? The body of Christ in action, function, purpose, etc. looking at 3 basic statements...Live as Christ lived....Love as Christ loved...Serve as Christ served...and watch what God will do through His Church.

Be the church part I: How did Christ live? How does He ask us to live? What happens when we take Christ at His word and allow Him full access to our lives so that He may live His life through us...we become living epistles, conduits of grace, ambassodors of hope, peace and love...and a lost and dying world sees Christ in us and yearns for wnat we have in Christ.

It is my hope and prayer that our small but growing congregation will be inspired to "Be the Church" in our own community, as we seek to embed the missional/incarnational DNA into our local expression of the body of Christ.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Investigating U2charist

I am intrigued and investigating "U2charist" wanting to know more about the spirituality of Bono/U2 and their Millennium Development Goals to end world poverty, aids and injustice.

Would love to hear some comments, in favor of, not in favor of, etc.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Becoming regulars at Northway Church

It's been about two months since my family and I began attending Northway Church's Saturday evening service in Clifton Park.

We were searching for a local church with a Saturday evening service, since we, as a family, are tied up on Sunday's with our own church plant in Troy . I had met Brian Howe via facebook and accepted his invitation to come for a visit. took him up on the invite and we haven't been the same since. Luv what Northway Church is doing to bring church into the current age we now live in, by making church cool and exciting. My kids love it. My wife enjoys relaxing and listening to Pastor Buddy preach. On any given Sunday at the CORE Church, she's busy with children's church and other activities and rarely gets to hear me expound the word. I have to say I greatly appreciate Pastor Buddy's engaging style of preaching. He brings it on with the gospel every time (at least from what I've seen and heard for myself), and communicates the timeless truths of Scripture in a timely, relevant way. Kevin Brustle and the worship band rock the house as they sing the Good News and prepare the congregation to encounter God. I think my family and I will continue this Saturday evening trend. If you see us there, say hi to us. We'd love to get to know you!