By Justin Clemente
Here at New Creation Church, people from all over the Diocese joined to pray for Hagerstown and to again “pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers.” It was a powerful time of ministry both to our community and to our budding church family. I know everyone present came away with the sense that the Lord provided encouragement, refreshment, and direction to us in our mission here. I want to share with you two specific reflections from the Day of Prayer.
First, I was reminded of the missionary stance that all Christians are called to take. During the prayer walk, I led a small group of people into the environs of South Hagerstown. As we quietly prayed for the neighborhood and the people, my mind drifted to Venezuela and the time I spent there with a missions agency. I recalled what a joy it was to be there for no other purpose than the gospel. If we are going to reach our communities for Christ, we must take this same missionary stance. We are a people who are called out to partner with God in his ongoing mission through Christ. We cannot relegate mission to something done “over there.” We must believe we are a people on mission!
Secondly, I was again reminded that church planting is the work of the Holy Spirit. After prayer walking, we met back at my home for lunch and reflection. We talked about the community and what the Lord impressed upon us about the people of Hagerstown. One person noted that the town is one sense “rigid” and in another “ripe.” This was a great confirmation of what all of us here at New Creation have sensed as we have labored over this church plant. There were several other “words” that were spoken concerning the kind of church New Creation will grow into. I have to admit, it was like having my own prayers and my own vision told and prayed back to me. It served to confirm for our people that God is indeed in our midst, leading and guiding us by the power of the Holy Spirit. It is his work we’re engaged in!
I’d like to end by saying how thrilled and grateful we are that New Creation has been provisionally received in as a mission of DOMA. Week in and week out, we get to meet so many wonderful brothers and sisters in Christ. We feel your support and we are blessed to call you family!