18 Apr Another Full Day
The conference yesterday was just as I expected – confirmation of this material being so right for the Church-at-large really, though particularly timely for NewHeart. I am excited to have our Staff, Church Council and Leaders process it this year. Yesterday’s Psalm in our Bible Reading was Psalm 90, which concludes with my prayer for this weekend and season:
“May the favor of the Lord our God rest upon us; establish the work of our hands for us — yes, establish the work of our hands.”
I am also excited to have breakfast with Pete Scazzero in the morning! It’s my hope that we’ll connect well enough to have him accept an invitation to come to Southern California. I have a couple of Pastors already willing to participate in bringing The Emotionally Healthy Church to our region of the nation and strongly believe it would be very beneficial. We’ll see what happens … if you read this post in time, please be praying. We meet at 8:30 am (5:30 am PST).
We attended New Life Fellowship this morning and thoroughly enjoyed the celebration. It’s a church of 800-900 people and they meet in an old Elks Lodge. They’ve been meeting there for around 10 years but just purchased it about 18 months ago.
It’s a building with significant history in Queens. Built in the 1920’s, nothing happened in the area politically without going through there first. That’s the kind of power the Elks had at the time!
New Life purchased it for A LOT of money (in the millions – I honestly don’t remember the price) and are raising funds to fix it up as they can. It was wonderful to sense the presence of the Holy Spirit as the congregation worshiped in front of a platform facade that included the masks of Indian gods and creatures that you know were not meant with the worship of Jesus in mind!
The entrance to the building has a huge concrete elk that we learned today cannot be taken down. Part of the agreement to purchase the building included the stipulation that the exterior would be granted status as a historical landmark, meaning that it can only be repaired or restored and not significantly changed.
The congregation is multi-ethnic and I just loved that! Simi Valley itself is not very multi-ethnic, but I regularly pray that the Lord would bring all races and colors and cultures and nationalities to make up who we are. There’s just something beautiful about that!
It was exciting to hear that each week, when the main teaching passage is read, it is first read in a language other than English, than read in English. Today it was read in Indonesian.
After church, we ventured back into Manhattan, where I enjoyed my first sidewalk hot dog. Not too impressive, but good and cheap, and what can you say … it was in NEW YORK! We hopped a Gray Line double-decker bus tour through uptown Manhattan, which included Central Park and Harlem.
After dinner at Spanky’s BBQ right off Times Square (where I thoroughly enjoyed “The Full House”), we caught the last Gray Line double-decker for their “Night Loop” . After tomorrow’s breakfast meeting, we hope to catch the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Station, gotta catch a cannoli in Little Italy, and grab a little something to take home to the boys, who we miss terribly. On to some shut eye ….