Mike Kelly, Ron, John Haralson, and Michael Subracko
On Saturday morning, Miriam and I met with three pastors that have some incredible ministry going on in Seattle.
Green Lake Presbyterian Church
Mike Kelly is the senior pastor of Green Lake Presbyterian Church, he also is directing a movement to plant more churches in the northwest. Mike and his team serve a multi-site ministry called CrossPoint Churches. Think of CrossPoint as a family of churches in missional partnership to cross barriers that divide the Seattle area–and the world–and more together than any single congregation could imagine.
John Haralson and Michael Subracko serve at Grace Seattle, which is a church that Spanish River was instrumental in helping to plant several years ago. John has done a wonderful job as the senior pastor. The church has gone through some difficult leadership challenges, and John has stepped in and has righted the ship and Grace Seattle is growing and serving the community in outstanding ways. Michael who serves as the associate minister at Grace Seattle also served in the mission field alongside Tom Hudson in Portugal. Grace Seattle is also just recently planted a church in West Seattle. Andy Pelander is the church planter at All Souls Church.
Acts 29 Network
Scott Thomas of Acts 29
We later met with Scott Thomas, who is the President of Acts 29. Scott has led this ministry for several years which was founded by David Nicholas and Mark Driscoll. Acts 29 is a church planting ministry that has played a role in hundreds of church plants around the world. SRC has partnered with Acts 29 on several of these church plants. Scott just recently wrote a book called “Gospel Coach” and his is very busy teaching seminars around the country on this subject.
Please keep all these men in your prayers as they serve the Lord in Seattle.
It has been quite a summer for the Tobias family. Our daughter Hannah married Justin Mezzell in August, and last week we were able to attend our son Calvin’s marriage to Alexandra Werlinger (now Tobias). Calvin and Alexandra were married on Buttercup farm in Clayton, California, just east of San Francisco. It was a beautiful day and a wonderful ceremony. Our son Josh and daughter Hannah were able to fly to California and celebrate along with us in this joyous occasion. There were about 30 in attendance including SRC members, Pat and Jen Prater, who happened to be in the area for a business conference.
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John Qualtrough, Ron, Calvin, Alexandra
Ron, Miriam, Calvin, Alexandra and Dawn Werlinger
After the wedding, we resumed our trip by flying back to Denver. We spent an evening with Andy and Tina Kasanicky. Andy was on staff at SRC several years ago. They now make their home in Fort Collins and love the area and their lives in Colorado.
After leaving Colorado, we headed north to Wyoming to visit the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park. The scenery was spectacular and Miriam took lots of pictures.
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Andy and Tina Kasanicky
The following is a brief interview with Adam Flynt on his recent launching of The Crossing Church in Jacksonville, Fl. Adam, his wife Kristen, and the rest of his team launched Crossing Church on September 18th, 2011.
Q: How did your launch service go?
A: It’s hard for me to say that we’ve launched. I’d rather say “launching.” As my father-in-law says, “rockets don’t launch all at once. Every launch is really a series of launches.” So we say we are “launching”. And God has been really gracious to us as we are launching.
On our first Sunday, we had over 150 total people in attendance. Our launch team consisted of about 40 adults.
Q: Did anyone make a profession of faith?
A: Though we did not have any come to Christ on our first Sunday, I have had a number of follow up conversations with individuals who are not followers of Jesus or who invited friends who are not followers of Jesus. They have all expressed a real joy about coming to church and wanting to know more and talk more about Jesus. We are praying hard as we share the bad news/ good news of the gospel with everyone
Q: In what way did God move that excited you the most?
A: I was most excited about how many people who don’t go to church and who are not followers of Jesus came on Sunday.
Our first Sunday was a great day because God gave us a great team of leaders. They really took on so much our first Sunday and really owned it. We also did as much as we could well in advance. This meant that everything we could do the week before, we did. That left a lot of margin to spend with people the week of the launch. I loved that I wasn’t holed up with printing, folding, putting ProPresenter together, etc.
Q: How did you budget in rest after?
A: Knowing this is Jesus’ church has helped tremendously to stay rested and avoid burning out over the idol of working too hard. We had family in town who came to our house on Sunday and cooked lunch for us. I also took the following Monday off to just rest and spend the day with my wife.
Keep Up with Adam:
We had a very busy day in Denver yesterday. It started with a breakfast meeting with Shane Sunn. Shane is planting a church named Saint Patrick Presbyterian Church in the heart of the city of Denver, the planned launch date will be in November. Shane also serves as the director of the Western Church Planting Network. WCPN exists to assist western presbyteries in the planting of new churches and the establishment of Reformed University Campus ministries throughout the region. Shane and his family have recently moved from Greely, Co. where he planted St. Patrick Church. Please keep Shane and his family in your prayer as he carries on this important and needed work. Church planting has been difficult for the PCA in the west. There is a huge need for more reformed churches that preach the Gospel in the Denver area.
For lunch I met with Steven Reese. Steve is the senior pastor of Redeemer PCA in Parker Colorado. Spanish River partnered to plant Redeemer several years ago, and Steve has faithfully served this church. Redeemer meets in a local theater and averages around 120 in attendance at the worship service. Steve talked about the influence that David Nicholas had in his ministry, and how appreciative he was of the investment that SRC made in him and his church. Parker is a growing community , but also has one of the highest numbers of bankruptcies in the country. Parker is a beautiful community with near perfect weather, and a great view of the Rocky Mountains.
Ron and Miriam with Duane and Holly Cory
Miriam and I connected with Duane and Holly Cory in the evening. Duane was serving as an intern, when Miriam and I first came to SRC. He later served on staff for several years before heading out to Littleton, where he and Holly planted Deer Creek Church 25 years ago.
It was wonderful spending the evening with Cory’s, sharing some fun memories of SRC and hearing about great ministry through Deer Creek Church. Duane shared some special memories of David Nicholas, and talked about how much he learned from David.
Deer Creek has a beautiful facility and averages around 350 in attendance. They have a large and active youth ministry. They also have several international partners and have had several teams serve in foreign countries for short term mission trips. The church is also engaged in helping plant a church in a community close by Littleton.
Please keep the Cory’s, their 4 grown children and three grandchildren in your prayers.
Driving through Iowa and Nebraska involves looking at a lot of corn. We were able to break that drive up by stopping in Omaha, and having lunch with Ethan Burmeister of Core Community Church.
Ethan planted this church about 10 years ago with the help of Spanish River Church. The church has seen steady growth and has an amazing ministry in Omaha. Ethan and his wife Erin have four children, and have reached that important moment in their lives when the oldest child can babysit.
Core Community has an average attendance of around 350 on Sunday morning, and the church is very involved in serving the community. Ethan also has a heart for planting churches, he spends time coaching new church planters.
Probably the most exciting news about Core Community is that they are merging with another church in Omaha called Coram Deo. This merger will be a huge benefit to both staff and members of the churches. Ethan and the senior leader of Corem Deo have had a great and long relationship. This merger will give both leaders the opportunity to use their gifts in a more effective way. The merger just officially happened this past weekend, and as in any marriage, many details will need to worked out. However, both chuches are excited about the future and the opportunity to work together.
Please keep the Burmeister’s in your prayers as this new chapter in their ministry begins. After lunch we hit the road and headed towards Denver, but only made it as far as North Platte. Nebraska. Which is famous for trains, they have over 10,000 railcars pass through this city daily.