Friday, March 13, 2015

Seasons

After a bitter winter, this past week began to feel, smell, and produce signs that Spring can't be far behind.  One thing about living here in Ohio is that we get to experience the change in Seasons.

Our Church is going through a season of change that I pray will draw us closer to the Lord.
Many of you were here Sunday when our Student Pastor and his wife, Eric and Nicole, came forward sharing the news that God was calling them to plant a Church in their hometown of Carlisle, Ohio. While their departure, around June 1,  is bittersweet, how wonderful it is to know that God is still in the business of calling people to follow Him, calling people to plant churches and reach folks in a certain area.

It has happened fast, and one reason is because Eric is working with the Cincinnati Association which is a Send North America City.  What used to take many months to accomplish has been accomplished in a few short weeks.  The interviews, assessments, references, have all been completed,  Following our recommendation Sunday night to be the Sending Church, things will move forward with their approval. One unique thing is that the Send City Coordinator for Cincinnati is Dennis Holmes.  Dennis grew up in our Church and is from Camden.  Only God could orchestrate that.

Both Eric and Nicole have fine pedigree in the area of ministry.  Nicole's dad, Mike Holmes, was the longtime Pastor at Westside Baptist church in Hamilton, and Eric's dad, Don Clarkson, is serving on Staff now in Centerville and has served several Churches in our Association.
They both know what is at stake to plant a Church. Their vacancy serving here will be a challenge. They both wear several different hats, and my prayer is that it will allow a number of folks to step up and use their gifts as we continue to rich our Jerusalem with the Gospel.

Why do we need another Church?  Aren't there enough Churches now?  Those are good questions, some I have asked in the past, but I have changed.  The most dynamic growth in the local church has been in the life of new works. Praise the Lord!  If that is the case, we should thank God that for the past three years we have partnered with Randy Chestnut at Hope Community Church in Old North Dayton, and more recently with supporting Walk Church in Las Vegas, with Pastor Heiden Ratner.

The Gospel is being proclaimed, lives are being changed and you are part of it.  Thank you for being a church that is willing to do whatever we can to make a difference for the sake of the Gospel.  This year, when we give to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering, it will be going to couples like Eric and Nicole Clarkson who will be Church Planters in Carlisle.  Praise the Lord!