I haven’t posted on this blog in quite a while, but this post is more than a simple tweet or fb status update, so it seemed fitting for me to revisit this blog-o-mine.
As many of you know, I have been the associate pastor at Community Covenant Church (CCC) in East Bridgewater, MA for a little over two years now. Becoming a pastor came as a surprise not only to many of my friends, it was a bit of shock to the system for me as well. It came about at a time when my father was near the end of his life, and I was struggling to understand or find the hope that I once embraced so tightly. Somehow, it was during this time of uncertainty the Spirit saw fit to invite me into something new.
When I received an invitation to consider the position at CCC, I was in no way hoping to pursue pastoral work. In fact, I had dropped out of seminary 4 years prior due to internal belief conflicts. As you can imagine, I thought I had left the potential for church work in the rear view mirror. But when I spoke to an acquaintance at CCC about considering the position, a peace came over me that I can only describe as overwhelming. I knew it was right.
To be honest, it made no sense to me. I had become totally and completely compelled by city life, fully dismissing life in the suburbs. Working with the homeless communities in Brockton and Quincy overtook and consumed me in a way that I was convinced I would never be able to do any other kind of work. I’d certainly never become a pastor in the burbs. Or so I thought.
But this rural/suburban community awoke something within me that I didn’t realize I had lost: compassion for folks in the suburbs. I needed healing from my own pain and judgments, and this Christian community gave me just that. In that way, they gave me far more than I could have ever offered them.
It is with great sadness that I am nearing the end of my time at CCC, but I am headed toward something I had once dismissed with even more intensity than being a pastor in an established church; I am planting a church in Brockton, MA.
Through a lengthy period of discernment, assessments and affirmations, Jen and I have agreed to pursue this uncertain venture. We have longed for an opportunity to share life with folks in a place like Brockton for many years now, and it appears that seeking the Kingdom has led us to this place at this time.
Why Brockton? Well, that’s a much longer conversation…but I will say this: whether we are successful in establishing a sustainable Christian community in this city or not (and I hope we are), we will, without a doubt, experience the grace of God in new and profound ways; we will form new relationships with folks from all sorts of ethnic, racial and socio-economic backgrounds; and in so doing, we will get a taste of what the Kingdom will be like when people from every nation, tribe and tongue comes together to worship our Creator together.
I will post updates as time goes on. Thank you all for your prayers and support!