(Westfield, New Jersey)
Pastor Chris Byrd leads evangelism and outreach efforts for Grace OPC in Westfield, New Jersey; Grace OPC is a church of about sixty members that would like to daughter a second church in the next 3–5 years. Byrd receives prayer support from the Committee on Home Missions.
This spring, Byrd served the church by organizing prayer meetings, Bible studies, an ESL ministry, Christianity Explored, a blood drive, and more. The blood drive was the idea of an elder at Grace who regularly donates blood. Byrd writes, “The NY Blood Center set up and ran the actual blood donation, but volunteers from Grace served as hosts, providing snacks and conversing with the blood donors while they sat in the recovery area. Altogether we shared the gospel with twenty-four people and gave them invitations to Grace.”
In 2021, Pastor Jeremy Baker and the congregation at Yuma OPC have put special emphasis on Yuma OPC becoming “A Welcoming Church.” This goal included updating their welcome table, setting up a greeters system, restocking their resource table, cleaning and painting, new signage, weekly coffee/refreshments, and creating a first time visitor welcome kit. Baker is interested in updating the church’s website this summer as an additional way to attract new faces.
Yuma OPC hopes to have at least one outreach opportunity or focus each month (inviting neighbors to an Easter or Christmas Eve service, fellowship meals, ice cream socials, game nights, etc.). Baker reports that the church is excited about these initiatives. He writes, “Often during the congregational prayer or at a prayer meeting I pray for growth in grace and in people. At Sunday prayer meetings others are beginning to pray along these lines as well.”
(Church Planter Training)
What’s on the horizon? CHMCE’s annual Church Planter Training Conference, scheduled for August 2–5 at Second Parish Presbyterian Church. This conference is designed for church planters (and their spouses) in years one and three of Committee support. This year’s participants will hear a variety of speakers, including Pastor Danny Patterson on ministering to the abused, Al and Laurie Tricarico on hospitality in ministry, and reports from Worldwide Outreach. Please pray for God’s blessing on this event, and for traveling mercies!