Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Father, forgive me! It's been one whole year since my last blog entry

Wow! can't believe a whole year has gone by since I last posted here, but indeed it has been! One year and a day to be exact.

So what have I/we been up to? What's new at CORE Church of Troy? 2010 has been the most challenging year I have faced since we arrived in Troy nearly 5 years ago...so challenging that I really, truly wanted to give up and go and do something else with my life. I made a new year's resolution at the end of '09 to be more passionate about ministry and life and general. I truly wanted to pursue and experience the abundant, joy filled life that Jesus came to give us and to pass that onto others. However, the joy-stealer (aka Satan), kept at it, using little things to get at me. But we have pressed on and persevered, and here we are at the near end of 2010...still pursuing the great commission call here in Troy, NY.

Major developments for 2010 so far
  1. Moved from the dilapitated storefront we were renting. The landlord wanted to up the rent and additional $200.00 per month without fixing any of the building's prevailing problems. The city of Troy's code enforcement unit came through the building back in March and shut it down for various code violations, giving us until April 1 to vacate. We began meeting at the church parsonage, which we continued to do through the spring and summer months. We also had church in the park several times during this past summer. However, we saw our small group grow from a dozen or so, to about 20, and our small home was stretched for space. Don't know how house churches handle the issue of growth; perhaps by multiplying house churches. We, however, thought it might be good to find affordable space that can accomodate church growth.
  2. Our move to Troy Family YMCA
  3. We looked at a few available spaces during the spring and summer months, but none that we felt were adequate. So we decided to wait it out and trust that God would lead us to where He wants us to be. I had been thinking about our local YMCA for some time, and after praying about it I approached the branch director who was very receptive of our proposal to meet in YMCA space. We had out first meeting at the Y on October 3. Five Sundays have now passed since we signed the usage/rental agreement. There are a few bugs to work out, but for the most part, the arrangement is working nicely. The best part is that the YMCA provides a safe, family friendly environment, which is more conducive to church growth. We are now talking with the YMCA staff about expanding usage of their space to possibly include their teen/rec room, whic would be a nice incentive for the many kids who are part of our fellowship.

    3. Embracing Youth Ministry. One of the good problems we have encountered and have since embraced is the large percentage of youth who makeup our fellowship. about two-thirds of our congregation are under the age of 16. We have learned the value of collaboration, as we have teamed up with Grace Fellowship's Life:redefined youth ministry, led by youth pastor Jason Coombs. Jason and the youth ministry team at Grace Fellowship have been very gracious and accomodating as we have begun bringing as many as 15-20 kids from Troy to their Thursday night jr.high youth meetings, and a few more who attend Wednesday evenings' teen/high school version.

    4. Looking forward to what lies ahead. We are greatly anticipating what God will do as we continue to reach out with His love to the youth and families in our community