Ben & Christy Spalink – City Grace Church, NY

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Jeri and Dorothea at leaders' gathering

 

Leadership

I apologize for the long delay on this newsletter! The summer has been surprisingly busy.  We're glad for God's continued provision for this summer.  We've witnessed:

* men from the local homeless shelter continuing to visit worship
* God sending us a summer intern who has been helping in our communications department (He just graduated from NYU and is currently looking for work as a journalist)
* leaders gathering to discuss the vision of City Grace
* the birth of our 3rd child, a girl! (Maya Marielle)
* new volunteers stepping in to help lead worship
* a move to hire a part time associate for one year with the help of a generous donor
* a couple volunteering to host a regular prayer meeting at their home
* and much more!

Worship in Tompkins Square Park


The challenges our members face are disparate. One man shared on Sunday his struggles of being in the shelter with open hard-core drug use happening right in front of him constantly. The spiritual forces at work here are intense. Others face loneliness and the endless cycle of disappointment on dating-apps (dating is especially challenging in NYC for various reasons).  Others are being laid off and looking for jobs that could easily land them in far away places (like the Bay Area). This is our unique mix and is evidence of the Gospel at work, welcoming one and all to experience peace and love in Jesus' kingdom. The Gospel creates diversity because the rich and poor, near and far, are both welcomed by God's grace.

Maya Marielle _born June 30_


Maya has been a blessing! We're so thankful for our third, though struggling to wrap our minds around the logistics... Gus affectionately calls her "maiasaurus" (that's a real dinosaur).  Eli loved her so much he immediately asked for another one (not joking).

As with most churches, we struggle to maintain attendance during the summer months, but, we've welcomed a number of new-commers and a handful have become regulars.  One man recently started coming when he was impressed? by the loud prayers of one of our members which drew his attention at a local eatery. (I've never advocated loud prayers in public places - he just does this on his own.)

We desperately need your prayers! Pray for:

  • Stability among our leadership and a longing to maintain a faithful incarnational presence in NYC
  • Energy for tired parents!
  • Increased giving
  • Direction as we think about focusing our ministries for the Fall

I continue to practice 20 minutes of silence in the presence of God each day. This has been my practice since my sabbatical last summer, and I find that it is a way to keep me grounded in God's love and continually aware of him. Of course yoga and other kinds of meditation are hugely popular right now, but this is different. This is just quieting the busy-ness in my mind and heart long enough to simply be before the Lord and appreciate his love for me despite anything I have to offer (or not offer). It was difficult initially, but now it's easy. Hugely helpful for fighting against stress. I recommend trying it! If you want to learn more about this type of thing, check our Ruth Barton's Invitation to Silence and Solitude.

 

God bless and thank you for your continued support!  

 

Sincerely,

 

Ben Spalink 

 
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