Sunday, June 15, 2008

Today From Coast to Coast

Having performed a meaningful wedding cermeony for missionarys, the now Mr. & Mrs. Michael and Abby Wheaton on the beach in beautiful Ocean Side, CA (San Diego), I now board the plane to fly home. Tomorrow morning I head-off with Adam & Aaron Wheaton to join the missions team from Crossroads & Christ EFC at Camp Fairhaven in Brooks Maine.

Pray for the 29 people on this trip and the other 50 from Eastern PA we will be joining.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Allegheny District Announces Pittsburgh Urban Director

We are very proud to announce the creation of the Pittsburgh Urban Ministries Director position arranged by the District Church Planting Team and approved by the District Board on June 7th.

CHARTER: Direct efforts to plant gospel advancing ministries in the city of Pittsburgh as part of the ministries of the Allegheny District of the EFCA and its churches.

• Seek opportunities to plant indigenous ministries in urban areas lacking vibrant gospel evangelism.
• Interact with city officials and non-profit organizations and ministries to assist in community improvement initiatives.
• Partner with other gospel evangelism efforts in the city as appropriate.
• Establish a multi-ethnic team to pursue these objectives.

We are also proud to announce the calling of Stu White of Canonsburg, PA to this position. Stu and his wife Fawn have three children, and reside in the South Hills of Pittsburgh. They are members of Waterdam EFC in Canonsburg, PA where they have been attending since 1991 when the three year old church was called the South Hills EFC. Stu was on the building committee for their current structure that was built in 1997. He has been a church board member, including chairman, for several terms; teaches adult classes; chaired the pastor search committee 2 years ago; and continues to fill the pulpit as needed. Stu has been meeting with "missionally-minded" pastors and lay people in the Pittsburgh area over the past 2 years, as he seeks to understand the Lord's calling for the church in the Pittsburgh area. As a ministry, Stu and Fawn have opened their home in McMurray, PA as a respite, a place to stay, or just a meal, to over 80 people from countries all over the world.

Stu brings to us significant networking abilities and a clear understanding of working with city officials and granting organizations which can open doors for ministry advancement. He has a monster heart for evangelism and TAKING the gospel into places it isn't going. Welcome Stu!

To contact Stu, you can currently contact him at 724-941-1219 or

Church-Planting Retreat

We will be holding a Church-Planters Retreat at the Keppler Lake House in Erie, PA beginning at 4:00p.m. on July 15th and concluding at noon on July 17th. If you are not a planter and wish to attend, please contact Jim at 814-450-3737 or at

Some of the coaching topics to be covered include:  Staying In Love with Jesus while Serving Him, Being the CRR for Your Ministry (Chief Resource Raiser), Best Practices of Gathering People, Building Teams, Developing Leaders, The Absolute Importance of Your Disciple-making Pathway.  While there will be a lot of discussion of best practices and some practical training, there will also be some time to hang-back, enjoy an outdoor fire, fish (if you'd like), sit in the hot-tub under the stars with the sound of Lake Erie waves.  While it is preferable that planters attend for the entire retreat, bi-vocational planters may choose to attend only part if necessary.  Members of the AD Church-Planting team will also be there on Wednesday to interact with planters.  There is no cost to planters, however, anyone attending may wish to make donations toward our costs.  This is a fantastic retreat location used for our November Bootcamp and by members of our National Leadership for their annual planning retreat. Towels and linens provided. You'll only need to bring personal effects, bible and notebook and any other CP hand-outs that have been helpful to you.

Mill Creek Church – Boardman Ohio

Nate & Teri Childers are on the ground in Boardman, OH. Nate is working full-time with Mathias Media as he and Teri begin to settle into their community and to get to know their neighbors. Two larger churches have shown direct interest in helping with this plant as they can: Pastor Jeff McNicol and Chippewa EFC, and Pastor Brent Allen and Old North Church in Canfield. Through a process of meetings in March and April, Nate and Mill Creek met the criteria and were approved as a planting project. In accordance with the vision of our NEO Initiative, they have located themselves in a very strategic location for several communities (Youngstown, Boardman, Canfield, and Poland). Please keep them in prayer as they establish this new ministry. You can contact Nate at 3915 Windsor Road, Boardman, OH, 44512. 330-883-9327.

Alex Ielase & Redeemer on the Mount

At our May 29th Allegheny District Church Plant Team meeting, Alex Ielase and Redeemer on the Mount Church were approved as an urban church-plant project for Mount Washington (Pittsburgh). Following a year of internship with Saleem Gabrill of The Pittsburgh Project and Mosaic Church, and in fulfilling much of what was recommended following his assessment, Alex is now taking great stride to form a gospel beach-head on Mount Washington with a vision of that work spilling into other Pittsburgh Communities. Already, Pastor Jack Wilson and Waterdam Church and their youth have begun reaching out to share in this ministry. Additionally, the National EFCA Church-Planting office plans to grant $5000 toward this work. Pray for Alex, Jennifer and Scarlet as they begin this new ministry. One of their mottos is to live in the community they minister in and to minister in the community they live in. What a great motto that we need to see implemented in thousands of other communities all across our land! You can contact the Ielases at 412-352-8876. 6 Soffel Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15211 or at