Tag Archives: New York City

Interview with Trinity Grace Church Part 2

In this second video, Guy Wasko and Caleb Clardy of Trinity Grace Church continue to explain the Parish Model, which is becoming increasingly popular among church planters in urban contexts. Spanish River Church has partnered with Jon Tyson to start three of their now five parish churches.

In this video, Caleb and Guy explain and answer the discipleship structure of Trinity Grace Church, including:

  • Sunday Gatherings – Weekly traditional Sunday Service
  • Missional Communities – Groups serving their neighborhoods
  • Life Groups – Neighborhood centered small groups
  • Core Communities – Same sex groups consisting of approx 3 believers
  • City-Wide Worship – Collection of all the TGC family to worship Jesus
Look out for the next two parts to be released in the coming days. For those with longer attention spans, you may watch the full video here.

Interview with Trinity Grace Church Part 1

Have you asked the question, “What is the ‘Parish Model’ of church planting?” I have, and in late 2010, I had the pleasure of sitting down with good friends and Spanish River Network church planters Caleb Clardy and Guy Wasko to examine in depth the increasingly popular church planting movement known as the Trinity Grace Church network of churches.

My hope was to unearth what has made them uniquely successful in the urban church planter cemetery of NYC. Where others have come with lofty dreams and fallen by the wayside, this spirit filled, prayerful and motivated team of planters has persevered, grown, and even thrived in territories New York churches have poorly reached in years prior. Jon Tyson, originally from Australia, has led Trinity Grace from a single church to five, with more launching nearly every year.

They have parishes in:

Trinity Grace Church utilizes the “Parish Model“, as many describe it, to surface church planters, create neighborhood missional communities, and ultimately start new churches. Each of these church plants are highly connected, yet distinct as the neighborhood they are reaching. This vision of having gospel centered neighborhood church plants in New York is shared by many, including Redeemer, who is beginning to transition their main parish church into several sites throughout the city.

In this first of four parts, Caleb and Guy explain and answer:

  • Who is Trinity Grace Church? (1 min 12 sec)
  • What are the benefits of the Parish Model? (1 min 51 sec)
  • Warnings about choosing the Parish Model (7 min 30 sec)
Look out for the next three parts to be released in the coming days. For those with longer attention spans, you may watch the full video here.

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.

Ron on the Road: Steve Wolma and Peter Armstrong

Steve Wolma and Peter Armstrong

Ground Zero New York City

Ground Zero New York City

Saturday, Miriam and I had lunch with Steve Wolma of City Grace Church and Peter Armstrong of Dwell NYC. These churches are a part of the Christian Reformed Church. Spanish River is partnering to plant these churches in NYC. City Grace has been worshipping for about 4 years and is averaging 100 in attendance, while Dwell NY will start with core group that will begin meeting tonight in a home. They are expecting about 30 people to show up at the Armstrong home this evening.

Steve and his family live in the Battery Park area of the city, while their church meets in the Greenwich village area. They are currently meeting in a facility owned by the Children’s Aid Society, but will be looking for a new location soon. They have outgrown this building, and need your prayers to help locate a new spot for worship. City Grace has a great outreach to college students and has a lot of young families.

Ground Zero

After lunch with Peter and Steve, we walked around the area surrounding “Ground Zero.”

There were so many people gathered there to remember the awful events that took place ten years ago. Please keep all the churches in your prayers as they serve this community and preach the Gospel.

In the evening we met up with Sam Rine and Gary Lewis (good friends from Boca Raton and members of Spanish River Church) who were in town for the Yankee/Red Sox game. We enjoyed a great meal at Carmine’s Italian Restaurant and then crashed into a food coma.

Ron on the Road: Guy Wasko and Caleb Clardy

It is has been a very busy visit to New York and we still have one more day. We arrived on Thursday evening and we were able to go see “Jersey Boys” that night. It was a great show, I found myself wanting to sing along, but Miriam kept me in check.

Guy Wasko and Caleb Clardy

Gusy Wako | Trinity Grace East Village

Guy Wasko

Caleb Clardy | Trinity Grace Park Slope

Caleb Clardy

On Friday we spent some time with Guy Wasko of Trinity Grace East Village and Caleb Clardy of Trinity Grace Brooklyn. Spanish River has been able to partner with both of these churches the last few years.

Trinity Grace is actually a network of New York City churches that is planting what they call a parish model of churches. Each church has their own Pastor and small staff, but they work together on certain ministries.

One of the events that they worked on happend on Friday evening, it was called Citywide Worship and brought together all the Trinity Grace Churches as well as 4 other churches in the city. These churches gathered together to hold a huge praise and worship service that was attended by hundreds. Their purpose was to praise God and pray for their city. It was a great evening.

Please keep the pastors of Trinity Grace Church in your prayers. The challenges of doing ministry in this city can be overwhelming. But, the opportunities are endless. Trinity Grace now has seven neighborhood churches and plans to launch more in the future. Spanish River Church has a great partner in New York City, and looks forward to being a part of this movement in the future.