Dear brothers and sisters,
My apologies for the delay in getting this update to you. So much has been going on here that I simply have not had the time to compose this, and some things are in flux now (see below), so I have waited to get some clear sense of direction before writing to you. But I don’t want any further delay so:
Regarding The Haven, OPC:
Every option we have looked into for a new location for The Haven, OPC (including St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church) has closed to us for various reasons. But we’re not discouraged. The Lord has shown us places he does NOT want us to have (at least for now). We are thankful for the fine facility we have in Ascension Lutheran Church in Deer Park; but we are still very limited because of the 4:30 p.m. worship time, and also because we don’t have a facility that we can use as a base of operations for community outreach. (See the prayer requests below). On a very encouraging note, the Lord is blessing the weekly evangelistic preaching from the book of Mark. We are anticipating the profession of faith and baptism of a Jewish lady who has been worshipping with us for some weeks and now gives every evidence of new birth. Praise the Lord!
Regarding A Visit to the Pastor’s Study:
From the “Here We Go Again Department”: On Saturday, November 2 I learned that WBWD has been sold again (the same thing happened last year at this time) and that all current contracts with the station (including ours) are to be cancelled as of the end of this month. The manager of Cruciform Media (the organization that negotiates our contracts) is trying to make contact with the new station owners so that we can find out if we can continue our present arrangement with them – which is our desire. The Board of Reformation Metro NY, Inc. has a conference call this afternoon to consider our various options. Bottom line: We want to continue the radio program (as does Dan Elmendorf, the General Manager of Redeemer Broadcasting, Inc.) because it is developing a regular listenership and is useful, especially to the Presbyterian and Reformed community. Praise the Lord for that; but this is certainly a matter for prayer.
Regarding Prison Ministry building on VTPS:
We continue to have a unique avenue of ministry in prisons, especially in the Hudson Valley of New York where Redeemer Broadcasting, has a strong presence), but we are in need of more Presbyterian and Reformed ministers to volunteer to lead worship for Sunday evening services, particularly at the Fishkill Correctional Facility in Beacon, NY. Thank the Lord that Pastor Charles Oliveira is pursuing this opening for ministry, and with the full support of the congregation he serves, Westchester Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Mount Vernon, NY.
The Home and Foreign Missions Committee of our presbytery is recommending to our presbytery that I be called to serve as Organizing Pastor for The Haven, OPC beginning January 1, 2012 (at which time my call as the presbytery’s Regional Home Missionary will cease). That proposal will come before our presbytery at its meeting tomorrow. I am excited at the prospect of being back in pastoral ministry; but I will need your prayers more than ever. In this highly secular area, distracted by so many things, I can relate well to the apostle Paul’s words, “A wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries”, I Cor. 16:9.
For Your Prayers:
1. Pray that Margaret and I will be able to get our house ready to sell in February 2020, that the house will be bought quickly, and that we will be able to find a suitable new house in Deer Park or the Deer Park area in the spring of next year.
2. Pray that The Haven, OPC will be able to rent – ideally with an option to buy – a facility that will permit us to have worship at an earlier time on the Lord’s Day, and that will also provide a base of operations for evangelistic outreach in Deer Park and the Deer Park area.
3. Pray for increased attendance by visitors at The Haven, OPC, and for the Lord’s saving and sanctifying work in all those who are under the means of grace.
4. Pray for the Lord’s direction so that we can continue broadcasting A Visit to the Pastor’s Study as both an outreach for the OPC and other NAPARC churches, and also as an outreach for The Haven, OPC and our presbytery. And pray for the increasing listenership and usefulness of those broadcasts.
Yours STILL expectantly and joyfully in the service of the King of Kings,