Plans to Give You Hope and a Future {a prayer request}

>> Sunday, May 22, 2011

I have mentioned a few times that we go to a really fantastic church in the inner city of Boston. The church meets in a lower income neighborhood called Roxbury in the auditorium of the Orchard Gardens Pilot School. It is a plant church. For those of you not familiar with plant churches, they are typically established by a small group of people who represent a larger group that has a vision to impact a certain location or demographic. They are funded by larger, more established churches and organizations who share that same vision. Those who lead the establishment of a plant church typically leave their homes, family, and home church, to live in unfamiliar areas and basically lead a very missional lifestyle. And just like farmers, they plant and pray that it will grow.
Have you ever heard a band or maybe read a blog that you have thought, "Oh my goodness, this is so amazing. How are they not the most popular band/blog in the world?" That is what I think every Sunday when I go to church. I am from the south where religion is part of the culture, not saying that is always a good thing. But when churches are planted in the south they grow, at least the ones I have been to grow. But Boston is different. Going to church is not so much a part of everyone's routine. And that in itself is not a bad thing, because the people that do come to church are so incredibly committed and intentional with their faith. We do not have passive participants in our church that sneak in and sneak out on Sundays just to check it off their list. We have Berkley students that represent over 6 different countries on our worship team. We have greeters who also balance the check book and teach in children's church. Our church is a ship and everyone on board is essential to maintaining the path. Our church is intentional. Our church is amazing.
Recently a couple of the larger churches and organizations that helped support our church have either decreased or decided to move their funds elsewhere. Not because our church isn't awesome, but because they pledged a certain amount for a certain amount of time and that time has expired. It honestly never occurred to me how much money it takes for a church to open it's doors, even a small one like ours. But when people decide to go and plant a church in a poor, under served area OR in an area that has a high volume of college students, congregational offering is not necessarily going to pay the bills. And unfortunately that has left my church consistently in the red over the past couple of months. The people who can give, give, but it's just not enough. If we cannot raise more support in the next month we are going to be forced to quit meeting in the school, which charges $2500/month, and to look for an alternative, less expensive option. And in Boston, that's not so easy.
God has blessed the church before and I know he will continue to do so, even if it means leaving the Roxbury community. But if you could, please pray for financial relief for our church. Pray for a donor, grant, or pledge from a larger church or individual. Pray that my sweet pastor never has to mention his name and pay cut in the same sentence ever again. Pray that someone who is reading this post is sitting on a pot of money just looking for something good to do with it:)

If you would like more information please contact me at stephanie(dot)sabbe(at)gmail(dot)com


"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11


Laciv May 22, 2011 at 4:49 PM  

Oh Stephanie, I feel so blessed and grateful to God that he brought you, Bryan and Remi to Heart Change. This post is exactly what makes our church community soooooo special. You're so right that many of the people at HCF have a genuine desire to seek God and His plans for our lives. I truly believe that God has a plan for our church and our lives, plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a FUTURE! I know that however God comes through in this situation, He has our future in the palm of His hands. You rock! God bless you! - Vicki

pve design May 22, 2011 at 5:56 PM  

What about having a fund raiser, you could sew or teach a sewing class, a bake sale? We go to a small church and are always amazed at when we need to raise funds, we pool our energies and our gifts and God somehow makes it easier for us...

Haven and Home May 22, 2011 at 7:39 PM  

I wish I was sitting on a pot of money, if I was I would send it your way. What I lack in money I can send your way in prayers though!

Lili May 23, 2011 at 8:01 AM  

I LOVED your church and am so thankful I had the chance to experience what you are talking about. Praying hard for all of it's needs!

As a side note: $2500.00 sounds really expensive for a couple of hours on a Sunday... What's up with that. Maybe the school needs to come down on their cost?

Katie May 23, 2011 at 2:15 PM  

What a great post! Thanks so much for sharing! God is certainly at work all around us... despite the general craziness!

Your comment about religion being part of the culture in the south... so true, so true. I moved from the west here to VA four years ago and still struggle with it. I recently read a very good book about the whole religion/relationship dynamic. It's called He Loves Me by Wayne Jacobsen.

reineayiti May 23, 2011 at 10:36 PM  

Stephanie, I truly that God for your heart, your love, your openness, your intentionality, and our gifts which you are so great at using for God's glory. I agree with Vicki, we are about to witness something amazing happen as God moves through this situation. I really feel God calling us to stand together in PRAYER & in FAITH together as one body through this so your prayer request really resonates in myn spirit. Thank you, God bless you!

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