Starting in early December, Mary and I will be transitioning into a new phase of our lives. I will begin a church planting residency at Emmanuel Covenant Church in Roseville, MN. After leaving Highrock Covenant Church in Boston, MA more than two years ago, we look forward to our time at Emmanuel with excitement.
We moved out to the Minneapolis area because of a possible church planting job with Wooddale church, a large mega-church in the western suburbs of Minneapolis. After things didn’t work out with Wooddale, I pursued church planting with another denomination. They were agreeable to move forward, but I didn’t feel ready to plant yet and I wasn’t sure the denomination was a good fit for me. I returned to the Evangelical Covenant denomination last January. After meeting with some of the staff of the denomination, it was determined that I should go through a church planters’ assessment last May (read about that here). Both Mary and I have been surprised by the love and support of the ECC. They seem to do church planting well, and I feel very much at home within the denomination.
Throughout the last four years, I’ve worked for Gordon-Conwell as a Web developer, first for Ockenga and then for the IT department. I’ve worked on a variety of their web applications, and I’ve helped design a number of their pages. It has been a positive work environment, and I’ve learned a lot about teamwork and leadership from watching my co-workers there. It has also been a fun place for me to work. Weird as this may sound, I like programming. There is a creative element of putting all that code together to accomplish a task that will make the end-user’s life just a little bit simpler and more efficient that gives me satisfaction. I will miss my job at Gordon-Conwell.
Working at Emmanuel is the next step in the journey for us, and I believe it’s a good one. I’ve met with the lead pastor there, and I’ve gotten a feel for their church culture. I think it’s a great fit for me, and I’m eager to be a part of the ministry of their church. They are a one year old church plant that seems to be healthy and thriving. The duration of the residency is six months. The goal is to get me back into vocational ministry, help better connect me to the Covenant church in Minneapolis, and provide a hands on church-planting learning environment. During the residency I will be gearing up for planting a church, so that upon the completion of the residency we can hit the ground running.
Thanks to everyone who has supported and prayed for us through this transition. I’m starting to recognize that we aren’t really transitioning from an uncertain place to a certain place, but that this is just the next step in our faith journey–certainty about the future is elusive. We know what the next six months look like, and for now that’s good enough for us!