Wednesday, January 30, 2013

January 2013

January 2013
Brie Church New Year's Card


First some great news: we finally received our permit from the government! We "exist" and can proceed with official renovations and parking lot construction!
Also thanks to generous donors, among them several of you, we have ordered the chairs required by french building code for the Sanctuary!
BEST OF ALL we celebrate the church's first ever BAPTISMS in January and February!!! Thank you for being part of all of these ways God is working and moving in the suburbs of Paris!!!!
Where are the photos?    December Photos Click HERE
January Photos Click HERE


This is the year of Strategic Service at Brie Church. Many of us are in key roles based on where we need leaders and volunteers most! We try to match gifts and passion to roles but sometimes we just fill a role because we have no other choice with so few leaders and so many attenders who are just getting started on the road towards faith! And often we each have 2 or 3 supplementary roles where we serve because we just don't have a large volunteer base. That is particularly true of my involvement as I serve and assist the French leaders to free them to do what they do best or cannot delegate.

That sounds complicated huh? Add in the French school calendar and its overabundant vacations!
We quickly realized there is no break in the first 6 services of 2013!
The schedule follows this pattern each month:

1st Sunday-Bi'Dieu'Dul (Family/Kids Show Service)
2nd Sunday-Celebration #1( Worship Service)
3rd Sunday-Celebration #2( Worship Service)
4th Sunday-Family Sunday at Home and Online

In 2013 we began meeting every Sunday except one. The vision is to leave ONE Sunday for the Family in the supercharged schedules of all our leaders and volunteers Every Month. But we intend to have a message available the "Family-Sunday" Off Sunday to watch online.
Another benefit of and miracle in the scheduling is that we were able to get most people on a rotation. See, some of our key leaders in the children's ministry have served every Sunday for 1 year and  have never been able to attend the worship service that happens at the same time! They will finally be able to attend one Celebration per month!  We pray it will be refreshing to be able to worship and learn TOGETHER with colleagues and guests from the community!

I would love it if you would be praying for Brie Church from 4:00pm when volunteers arrive until 5:00pm when the Bi'Dieu'Dul and Celebrations start. All services last about an hour  and 15 minutes. So we end about 6:15pm but people hang around to talk sometimes for up to an hour!
We are 6 hours ahead of NY Eastern standard time. So when it's 4:00pm in Brie it is 10:00am in NY.

MY ROLES in 2013
I started full-time in January after first observing and then getting my feet wet a little in the Fall. At Eglise de La Brie I am involved in 4 areas officially:
1-Building Preparation Point Man -I organize volunteers to clean the building every Sat 10-12, to Set-Up for Services the next day, and I make sure all materials are stocked.
2-Worship Team ("Celebration" worship service) I was surprised how much more work it is to learn songs in French and to not stumble over the words. BUT I so needed the time to be musical and unite with my church family in song. It is all welcome work!
3-Parking Team (during the Bi'Dieu'Dul (Family Kids Service) One person stays on duty until 20 minutes into the service. I decided at the BDD this should be me so all the other Parking team members can enjoy it with their kids. (Yup. I'm the only single guy.)
4-Preschool Team Leader (Kiddiboum) (Preschool ministry team) that meets during Celebrations for our 3-5 year olds. Lesson preparation which includes gathering and translating songs and materials from English to French. We usually have 12-14 kids per Sunday (mostly boys!)
We are a team of 4: Kirsten, Ricardo, Jennifer and Valentin.
Let me tell you a bit about them so you can pray for me as I mentor us thru developing a yearly curriculum for this ministry AND hopefully apprentice Jennifer to co-lead next year.
Kirsten Furr (American missionary also with UWM) who planted Brie Church along with the Monges and her husband Chris). She led Kiddiboum mostly by herself in the Fall. Sometimes she had another set of hands on the day of but she did all the planning and lesson prep. She will continue to help develop lessons but she is so grateful to be ale to hand this planning responsibilities off to me and concentrate on being a mom to her 3 kids and a wife to Chris (my UWM colleague) who just began working as an Area Director for Europe in the Fall. They have had to scale back their involvement in Brie Church in order to accomodate his new travelling schedule. They both still act in the monthly Bi'Dieu'Dul as well! She and Valentin are Team 1 during the first celebration each month!
Jennifer L'Arribou -Public Preschool teacher who also majored in English. She's French and immediately offered her gifts in this ministry and to translate parts of the curriculum we are re-working. The curriculum was donated by a US partner church but has to be translated and sifted to compress the main points into an hour of culturally appropriate Kid's Lessons. Jennifer is a gem! She and I will serve as Team 2 (during Celebration 2 each Month)
Valentin DosSantos-French. University student who got connected thru Sandrine. In her home region (Alsace in northwestern France) there is a rich Mennonite heritage. The young people involved come from around the country at least once a year to meet there. Valentin met her there and accepted her invitation to give a little more. See he already attends a church Sunday mornings in Paris and is a Full-time student. But he decided to assist our church plant twice a month. He's amazing with the kids. When he's not with Kirsten (Team 1 celebration 1 in the Kiddiboum) he is corraling all the volunteer kids from 4:00-5:00 and assisting in parking. I've seen him singing and telling stories to 20 1-12 year olds and keep them all mesmerized. He's a strong believer and skilled mentor to children. We are so glad to have him for this season! (And his friend Elizabeth who volunteers with the younger children.)

SEE our 2013 CALENDAR to the right.
So 2013 is flying by. Especially for the church leaders and volunteers at Eglise de la Brie (Brie Church). The Church has no paid staff. All our French staff and volunteers have a full-time job in the secular world. Except the Pastors Lorenzo and Mary-Alice Monge and a new recruit from their sending organization who is Leading our Small Groups Ministry and developing its curriculum.
She, Marian Artuso raised some support, like the Monges, but she also works 15 hrs a week as a tutor to make ends meet.
It's amazing to me that we have people giving full-time service to church when they also have families and full-time jobs.

Especially since the church just went full-time in terms of services!

Our Small groups are the real focus for the 90% of the FOCUS and LIFE of the church. The Services are a buffet but the regular meals are in small groups together. That is where our mature members and new christians and seekers are walking through The Word and Life together. And oh my the transformations!
2013 CALENDAR !!!

Jan 13   Bi'Dieu'Dul
Jan 20 Celebration 1
Jan 27 Celebration 2 and First Baptisms!!!

Feb 3   Bi'Dieu'Dul
Feb 10 Celebration 1
Feb 17 Celebration 2 and 2nd Baptisms!!!
Feb 24  Family Sunday-OFF

Mar 3   Bi'Dieu'Dul
3/5-15  Team Training at International Conference
Mar 24 Celebration 1
Mar 31 Celebration 1

Apr 7   Bi'Dieu'Dul
Apr 14 Celebration 1
Apr 21 Celebration 2
Apr 28  Family Sunday-OFF

5/4-13   American Missionary Team arrives for Building Renovations
May 5   Family Sunday-OFF
May 12 Bi'Dieu'Dul
May 19 Celebration 1
May 26 Celebration 2

Jun 1     MY Birthday : )
Jun 2     Family Sunday-OFF
Jun 9     Bi'Dieu'Dul
Jun 16   Celebration 1
Jun 23   Family Sunday-OFF
Jun 30   Celebration 2

7/6-15   French American Camp
July 14  Celebration
As always...THANK YOU. These miracles happen because you are praying for and with us...and because you are directly supporting this mission thru your missionary! Merci for your faithfulness and generosity!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment