Monthly Archives: September 2011

Ricardo Agreste: Gospel Unity

The main idea:

God has called his family to be unified in the gospel, and to work together to fulfill the Great Commission and expand His Kingdom. Often times, however, when pride, or cultural snobbery fog our thinking, we can begin to assume that we are the experts on our particular circumstances, culture, and context. We end up prohibiting our ability to be effective, efficient, and God honoring. “We always think our vision, is the only right vision.” says Ricardo. We neglect to lean on our brothers from different backgrounds, countries, and cultures to give us wisdom and insights. In this session Brazilian church planting movement leader Pastor Ricardo Agreste from Sao Paulo, Brazil sheds light on how we as the family of God, and specifically church planters, should seek to partner with our international brothers in humility to start global church planting movements.

Why you should listen to him:

Pastor Ricardo Agreste is a Brazilian church planting movement leader and President of Acts 17 Connection. He is the lead pastor of Chacara Primavera in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and spearheads CTPI, a church planter assessment and training program. Pastor Ricardo is a member of the Spanish River Church Planting family, and is our primary partner in our over 40 church plants across the Brazilian landscape.

Ron on the Road: Jerry Maguire of Redeemer PCA, Concord

Tuesday evening we met with the Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Concord, Ma. Pastor Jerry Maguire and his wife Marg have been serving at this church for five years. Spanish River partnered to plant this church back in 1994.

Jerry and Marg gave us a great tour and history lesson about Concord, this is where the first real battle of the revolutionary war was fought.

Concord is also the home to Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. This city used to be home to some large puritan churches, but with the influence of men like Emerson and Thoreau became liberal and to this day has very few evangelical churches. Redeemer Presbyterian is a bright light in a very dark community. The church has about 120 in attendance on a Sunday morning, they currently rent space in a community center in town for their worship services.

Pastor Maguire and Redeemer have a great heart for missions, Jerry is considering taking a sabbatical to teach at a Bible college in Kampala Uganda for six months. They have an intern from Gordon-Conwell Seminary that will fill in while they serve in Africa.

Please keep Jerry and Marg in your prayers has they faithfully serve in a beautiful yet difficult community.

We enjoyed our time with the Maguires, they treated us to a wonderful dinner at the Colonial Inn, which is a restaurant that started in 1716. Of course we had yankee pot roast. Later we had a sweet time of prayer for Redeemer Presbyterian and our families.

Ron on the Road: Christ the King Church

Ron Tobias, Logan Keck, Rick Downs, Bob Sawyer and Bryan Loney

Tuesday we drove to Cambridge, which is home to Harvard, MIT and Boston University. It is also home to Christ the King Church, which is a PCA church that serves two congregations an English service in the morning, and Brazilian service in the evening. Rick Downs has served as the senior pastor of Christ the King for many years. Rick also was an intern at Spanish River from 1979-1981. Christ the King Church meets in a church that is over 150 years old, and it is one of the newer buildings in the area. Christ the King Church has a real heart for planting churches in the Boston area. Rick introduced us to two men that are in the process of raising support for two new plants. Bryan Loney will be planting a church in Roslindale, and Logan Keck will be planting a church in Egleston Square, both of these are neighborhoods in Boston proper.

Christ The King Church Boston Massachusetts

Christ The King Church | Boston

Bryan came to Christ as an adult, he was working as a professor at Florida State University,

when he first heard and responded to the Gospel, and later he was called into the ministry. Bryan had to make the difficult decision of leaving FSU, even though he was a tenured professor. He and his family will soon be moving to Boston to start this new work. Here is some additional information:

Logan is also in the process of raising support, he and his family already live and work in Boston and hope to have a core group put together soon. You can read more about Logan and this project at this website:

Bob Sawyer is the director of the CTK church planting center. He has been a tremendous help to Bryan and Logan, and along with Rick  serve as their coach when the churches are planted.

Ron on the Road: Boston and The Manganello’s

We rolled into Boston in time for a late lunch at the harbor. If you’re in Boston, you have to eat a lobster roll. We had our roll at the “Barking Crab Restaurant.”

After a nice stroll along the harbor, we drove to see our friends Jim and Rosemarie Manganello who live in Lexington.

Jim and Rosemarie Manganello

Jim and Rosemarie Manganello

Lobster Roll at the "Barking Crab" Boston Harbor

Lobster Roll at the "Barking Crab" Boston Harbor

Jim used to be on staff at Spanish River Church, he started the SRC Counseling Center back in the early nineties. Rosemarie, Jim’s wife, is an amazing musician who led the SRC Choir and played the organ and the piano when they lived in Boca Raton. They have been great friends and supporters of SRC for many years. They opened their home to us for two days, and drove us around for a great tour of the area. Jim and Rosemarie attend and serve at Grace Chapel in Lexington.

We were also treated with a behind the scenes tour of their church Grace Chapel. Jim led the building committee and the facility is amazing. They did a great job making the most of the space they have on this site. We were really impressed with the children’s area and all the creative ideas they put into place.

After another great meal, we headed back to the Manganello’s home for a good night’s rest.

Ron on the Road: Jon Tyson and Michael Rudzena

Trinity Grace Eastside – Jon Tyson

Ron Tobias with Jon Tyson

Jon Tyson with Ron

Sunday morning we packed the car and drove to the upper east side to attend Trinity Grace Eastside’s 9:30 service. Jon Tyson serves as the lead pastor of this church, Jon is also the visionary leader of the Trinity Grace Church network, which now has seven worship communities.  Spanish River has had the honor of partnering on most of these church plants.

TGC Eastside meets in the Bohemian National Hall, they have a very active children’s ministry, and the music was very reflective of the culture of this neighborhood. They often include stringed instruments (cello and violin) in their worship experience.

Trinity Grace Tribeca – Michael Rudzena

Jon Tyson and Michael Rudzena

Jon Tyson and Michael Rudzena

The speaker on Sunday morning was Michael Rudzena, who is relatively new to New York.

Michael is going through the Redeemer Church Fellows program, which is a year long training program for men who are being called to plant a church in New York. Michael will be planting a TGC in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York.

Michael and his family are now living in the Tribeca area, and will be serving at Trinity Grace Eastside while he prepares to start the new church. Please keep Michael and his family in your prayers as he studies and launches this new work.

Yankee Stadium

Sam Rine and Gary Lewis

Sam Rine and Gary Lewis

After church, we headed to Yankee Stadium and watched the Yankees play the Red Sox. We were able to watch the game with Gary Lewis and Sam Rine friends from Boca Raton and members of Spanish River Church. Sam and Gary were brave enough to wear Red Sox shirts to the unfriendly confines of Yankee Stadium. The Yankee fans were good natured in their teasing, and were pleased to have their team dominate the Red Sox.

We had mercy on Sam and Gary and drove them straight to the airport, so they could leave town, without further humiliation. It was a great day and lots of fun. We then hit the road and started the drive to Boston.

By the way, The Red Sox took game two of the doubleheader that day, and still lead the Tampa Bay Rays by one game in the wild card race.