Reeds & Borquists at ABCNJ Pastor's Academy
October 2, 2015
Dear Friends and Family,
On this rainy afternoon in Philadelphia, we wanted to send you an update about what’s been happening with us over the last month!
Regional Missionary Role Begins
On August 1 we officially began our fourth term of ministry with International Ministries. And we stepped into our new role as Regional Missionaries to Iberoamerica and the Caribbean! Our ministry focus is Spiritual Renewal, Spiritual Formation, and Vocational Calling.
ABCNJ Regional Meetings
Mid-September we were invited to participate in the American Baptist New Jersey Regional meetings. On Friday, September 18, we participated in the Pastor’s Academy. Four seminary presidents addressed theological education from a variety of viewpoints. Then a missionary panel that included us and the Borquists (Regional Missionaries to Asia), and a pastor’s panel responded. It was a lively dialogue! The next day, Saturday, over 600 people gathered at the Hyatt in New Brunswick, NJ to celebrate the theme “Testify!” We had an amazing response to our presentation, and are thankful for how God is partnering us with American Baptists in NJ.
Here’s a You Tube video link of what we shared: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEl0nzKGV4I
We are still catching up with visits to supporting churches that we couldn’t squeeze in last fall and this past spring. Most recently we visited Mountview Christian Church in Columbus, OH. You might recall that this was the church that sent 45 people on a mission trip to La Paz last June! We had a great time reconnecting with them and sharing the new vision God is calling us towards. And we also connected with Crossway Community Church in Harrison, OH. Pastor Mark Larimer and his wife Susan have also led mission teams numerous times to La Paz, as well as having spent one year as volunteer missionaries with us way back in 2004. It is so awesome to be connected through the family of God!
When missionaries come home for their year of U.S. assignment, they are required sometime during that year to have a two day debriefing with home office staff. We had our debriefing September 21 & 22. This gave us the opportunity to debrief the last four years in Mexico, and to express any concerns. We also shared how our new calling as Regional Missionaries is beginning to unfold. IM staff were extremely excited and supportive of not only what we’re going to do overseas, but also how our new skills may assist with Member Care among IM personnel.
We each just completed our latest paper on Discernment. What did we learn? Discernment is different than decision making. Discernment is a following, a seeking, an invitation to listen and follow God’s heart. It undergirds your decisions. It is a process that involves waiting. One needs to create space for silence—to quiet the distractions and disruptions that constantly surround us—so that the Spirit has room to move. That’s just a snippet! We also took a one-day silent retreat which is a requirement as part of our program. (We have 3 of these over the course of a year.) We found a beautiful Quaker retreat center less than an hour from our house called Pendle Hill. Thankful for how God is growing our hearts and minds for our new ministry role.
Ian flew out from CA and was able to spend Labor Day weekend with us. It was great to reconnect with his life. Aaron is in his last semester at Eastern. He’s running cross-country. In fact, he has a meet this afternoon in this yucky, cold rain. As for us, we hope to actually go on date tomorrow! We were going to visit a Renaissance Faire, but Hurricane Joaquin and the present weather system is derailing that idea. So Plan B is the Philadelphia Art Museum. Looking forward to a taste of culture!
Thank you for your prayers, love, and support!
David & Joyce