Today is Sunday, July 28th, 2013. We have been fully “operational” for 5 months now, and I got home from our service today and got the urge to want to start chronicling – on a weekly basis – the life of True Life Church. My hope is that others will join me in the chronicling (meaning – I hope others will write posts like this one because I won’t feel like doing it every week).
I want to start writing about the ups and the downs of being a new church plant on the Jersey Shore — about the victories and the miracles and the lessons and the Check-out-what-God-did stories; as well as the conflicts, disappointments, and discouraging moments. And I want to be as honest as I can be about my own heart and what God has shown me and challenged me about.
Let me start with today.
Today we baptized five people. Five people — four of whom I didn’t know six months ago — were willing to get dunked in a strange-looking baptismal tank within a high school auditorium in order to publicly declare that their hope is in Jesus and that their hearts belong to him. That’s pretty exciting.
Another thing that was really awesome about today was all the other people who took ownership of True Life Church by helping to make the baptism happen. There was Roy and Lisa Young, another couple who I didn’t know six months ago. They helped me pick up the baptismal in their truck, took it home, dressed it up, cleaned it out and basically took care of all the set-up logisitics. Jim Mercadante, who flies around the country every week for business and is probably exhausted on the weekends, showed up early to help however he could with the set-up and then made sure all the baptizees got into the tank safely. His wife Anne-Marie was willing to take a bunch of photos and then spend hours touching them up the next day. Marissa Rubenstein, another new friend in recent months who is refreshingly honest about how she doesn’t believe everything we talk about, jumped up to take pictures for one of the women being baptized (someone who she doesn’t know at all). Stan & Nancy Miszczenski, who both already do so much every week for our gathering, helped baptize two people (an engaged couple named Joe and Lisa who are part of their life group).
And that’s not to mention everyone else who did the normal weekly jobs of caring for infants & teaching kids & greeting & making coffee & cutting bagels & counting the offering & playing music & telling jokes & giving hugs.
So it was a good day. Made me think that God’ s up to something.