I have had the honor of being the pastor for First Baptist Church of White Plains for a month now and it’s been a whirlwind. Looking back, I can see God’s hand guiding us as we went through the candidating process and planning the move … packing … loading … moving … unloading … unpacking … and finally settling in! Yes, there are still boxes left to unpack and pictures left to hang … but we feel like we're home. It will continue to be an adjustment for us and so I ask for your prayers as we get acustomed to life in NY and uncover more wonderful things about White Plains. Honestly, it was a little scary for us to leave Philadelphia, where Doris and I have lived for so many years. And yet it has been a dream for me to be with such a poised and ready congregation for missional ministry. Besides, if your dreams don’t scare you a little, you aren’t dreaming big enough, right?
The adjustment challenge before us as a congregation is two-fold. In recognizing ourselves as a beloved community of Christ followers: WHO do we sense God calling us to become and HOW do we live that out? My initial goal is to catch–up with every active person in the congregation and hear your stories, learn of your gifts, listen to your hopes and ideas, as well as pray together as we begin this journey. I am here to listen first and in the coming months, we will fashion a compelling vision and mission for our congregation that seeks to nurture as well as embrace and engage those in the community around us.
Our slogan, “Come … Grow with Us!” is a good one because it conveys a an optimism and hope that First Baptist has something to offer people in our community and an understanding that we will only become a fuller expression of the Body of Christ when others outside the circle are welcomed in. So, with this blog, I hope to give voice to those things that God is churning within me, tell stories, and have a dialogue where faith can prosper and love can be celebrated! After all, Sister Mary Lou Kownacki, a Catholic Nun and spiritual teacher, said it well: “Engrave this upon your heart: there isn't anyone you couldn't love once you heard their story.” It is my sincerest hope that all will know that their story is welcome here at First Baptist as we gather to learn how the grand narrative of Christ can shape, hold and inspire us throughout our lives!
Telling the Story –
I'm a follower of Christ, husband, father, friend, pastor, story teller, asker of questions, inspired by biblical narratives, social justice advocate, sports enthusiast, drinker of over priced coffee and general seeker of God's redemptive possibilities. Yeah, that about covers it. (If you discover something else, let me know!)