Sunday, April 24, 2016

New Wine Report - Spring 2016

You might be wondering what is happening at New Wine in Flint.   Flint made the national news again last night as 3 officials were indicted on charges of negligence of duty that has resulted in the lead contamination of our water supply.  

Several of our church members have been affected by the water crisis which requires them to use bottled water for consumption.  Thankfully there are many “free bottled water” distribution cites in the city.  (One at Riverside where we meet on Sundays.)   Each of our families’ homes have had the house water tested and all show no signs of contamination.  But until the whole system is made right (which may take several years) they may be needing to use bottled water to drink, while washing and bathing in city water is fine.  

Pray that responsible people are held accountable, but that a “witch hunt” does not over reach true justice.  Pray that financial help reaches the families that have been affected but that the worldly spirit of “blame” and “litigation” does not fill the pockets of the greedy, undeserving and the politically motivated.  

It does feel like just when good things seem to be happening in Flint (new business, growth in higher education, the ridding of blight and establishment of new growth) that this water contamination hit the city and will cause the community to take another bad hit to its reputation as a good place to live, work and grow a family.    

When asked the other day “How is Flint doing?”   I replied, feeling like the poor soul who is being kicked after they had fallen down, “Well, I think we definitely have the potential for winning next year’s the ‘most improved city’ because it cannot get much worse.”  So please pray for those who are discouraged, frightened and even desperate in our midst.  Above all pray for “Spiritual Revival” that can give hope to a hopeless place.

New Wine had a good but slow winter with several of our people heading  south for the worst of winter weather.  As of last week most had returned with reports of significant ministry opportunities while they were away.  I love the fact that we are a people who are always looking for a place to serve whether as Bible Study leaders or chaperones at  “Shine Prom” for special needs students.  We are a community of disciples who make disciples.   

Here in Flint we have continued to hold our small groups or house church meetings.  One of which discovered a new study method which we are calling “Flashback Bible Study” where we all imagine ourselves as someone in the Bible event.  It is a great learning tool as we imagine how we would have felt or what we would be thinking if we had been there and it all was happening before us or to us.  This method lead to really creative and productive discussions.  

The same group has now started a study based on John Ortburg’s book “Who is This Man?” They are examining how Jesus impacts our world today.  Another group which meets in a bakery and coffee shop has started a study around images of food in the Bible.  They started just this week with Jesus as “The Bread of Life”.  (It really works well with the smell of baked goods in the air and on our table.)

Dave+ and Deb just returned from a trip to the New Wineskins 2016 Missionary Conference.  This triennial event is designed to encourage and promote world missions and featured mostly Anglican Mission agencies.  Dave+ is pursuing joining a Mission Society called NAMS which stands for “New Anglican Mission Society”.   It is an order of  Church Planters both here and abroad that have committed themselves to planting Anglican disciple-making and multiplying churches.  

On the return trip they spent several days in Indianapolis continuing to help All Souls Anglican Fellowship develop a plan to call a church planter in the northwestern side of Indy, as well as help build a network of like-minded Anglicans who can develop Word & Sacrament congregations around the city.  Currently this project is entering its fundraising stage.  If enough pledged funds can be raised for a 2 to 3 year start up phase,  Dave+ & Deb can see themselves serving in this new position.

Continue to pray for New Wine,  All Souls and the other work we continue to do in Flint and beyond.  Pray for us as we seek the Lord concerning future work and service.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

New Wine Report - Nov 2015

New Wine Report - November 2015

Life at New Wine and the Kulchar’s has been less than routine of late.  Since we last communicated in this format, much has happened.  Since this time last year, I stopped working at the Market and put my full effort in ministry both at New Wine and helping Holy Trinity South Haven in their search process for a new priest.  

With New Wine we focused on small group and outreach efforts.  This took the form of reconnecting with Revive Flint Ministry, doing contact work and hosting a Bible Study outreach on Kettering Campus called “Project 52”.  We continued to look for social outings to meet and invite non-members  which included four of us participating in a “dancing club” for a couple of weeks this fall.  Starting last Spring I began a mentoring relationship with the local Inter Varsity staff member and helping him with some intentional faculty outreach.  This has been very rewarding though I can only give a few hours a week to this effort.  Most recently I hosted our first Christian Faculty Lunch at UM Flint which included 5 professors.  Though none have visited New Wine I see these relationships holding much potential.  

Sundays and Cell groups have gone well though Tim our music leader has left to explore joining the Catholic church.  He was such a blessing while with us and his absence is a great loss.  Though a smaller number now at our times of worship, sharing and the breaking of bread continue to be rich.  The cell groups at the Davison Senior apartments, a group that meets at the home of a family that is homebound, and our Monday evening cell which we have moved to Wednesday morning at a local coffee shop have continued to reach people beyond our core group and we are thankful.   We now have a regular Monday morning prayer group which focuses on intercessory prayer for our adult children who are in great need.  This support group has seen great progress in our work of prayer since we started.  The men’s group that meets on Thursday night has been a steady blessing though now being lead by a non-churchmen yet who regularly contributes to our support.  They are studying  Brother Lawrence’s book “Practicing the Presence” and the conversations have been challenging and deep.    So we can say thanks to the Lord for using us in various ways in the work of ministry.  

Two significant shifts have happened in the Kulchar’s life since we last wrote.  First,  in October I completed my work with South Haven and they now have a new rector;  Rick Turner (ordination picture above).  This represented about $900 a month reduction in our support.  Instead of taking on another part-time position I am now seriously considering other full-time ministry opportunities.  Deb and I would prefer to stay in the midwest near family and in the Anglican communion.  However, I am finding there are very few new opportunities that seem to meet our  financial needs and make a good ministry match.   The second event that arose this fall was that my name was placed in the process for consideration as Bishop of ADGL.  I was not selected for consideration  by the House of Bishops, but it was a great honor to be considered at all.  Now that this process is done I have returned to looking for other ministry opportunities which is very time consuming.  This past weekend I went down to Indianapolis  (picture left of downtown vet memorial) .   There is only one Anglican work in the city and it is under Nigeria and filled with Nigerian immigrants.  A group has organized called the Indy Anglican Network and I am considering entering into a short term coaching relationship which could develop into a full-time Network Leader and Church Planter position in the Indy area.  

Keep us in prayer both as we lead New Wine and search for where God may be calling us next.        

Monday, July 20, 2015

July 2015 - New Wine Report

New Wine Report - July 2015

In July 2005 our core team launched New Wine Anglican Mission. Our hopes and dreams were centered around a vision of building a church around authentic Christian community. Our motto has been “Love God and Love People”. We have said it so often it is almost humorous now, but it has been our foundational thought - “It is all about relationship”.

After 10 years of relationships, we can celebrate many lives being touched near and far. Our hope was to build relationships around “house church” gatherings we called “Cell Groups”. These small groups would be incubators where we could grow spiritually and numerically. In these groups, located in homes, coffee shops and senior apartment complexes, we have studied, prayed, served and tried to reach out to invited family, friends and neighbors. Some of our groups have multiplied but some have served their purpose and folded. Relationship building takes work and it takes time. Being Anglican also required that we gather at the Lord's table. At one point we were pushing 25-30 on a Sunday, but in recent times only about 12-15.

I have shared with the congregation and now with those who have supported New Wine, for Deb and I specifically, our financial needs have grown as we try to prepare for retirement. The current level of support has been a blessing up to this point meeting our day to day expenses, but it has not allowed us to save for the senior years. This year we are seeing the church constantly falling short of our current budget demands. This has resulted in our bi-monthly support having to be reduced at the time of payment. For us, but not necessarily for New Wine, this represents a closing of a door. I worked bi-vocationally beginning last summer at the market selling cheese 2 days a week. I tried to work part-time as a Hospice chaplain in January, but it was not a good fit for me. Both did, however, remind me that my calling is to pastor a church and to reach out to the lost and hurting world.

Hence, as of the beginning of July, I have begun to search for new ministry positions that meet our financial need and will allow me to serve full-time. It could take a year or longer to find a new placement or it could be by the end of the summer. We ask for your prayers as we seek the Lord in these matters. If you know of opportunities first in the Anglican world, but even in other churches, I am open to these opportunities. We would prefer to stay in the midwest, even in Flint if the door opened, but if we dreamt of a perfect location at this moment in relationship to family members, Indianapolis area would be ideal. I would like to be rector, but am open and capable of being in a staff roll in a larger church focusing on discipleship, leadership development, outreach and evangelism.

Currently we are pressing on at New Wine. The kingdom work is never done. I have re-connected with the Revive Flint ministry which prays over the city and does contact evangelism 2 times a month. I am meeting Christian faculty for Inter Varsity at U of M in Flint in order to support the wider work of this campus wide ministry. We are still meeting in House Church groups looking for ways to connect with and invite new people to share in our life. I have also been blessed to be part of a food distribution chapel where I preach once a month to over 200 people. My partnership with Holy Trinity Anglican will soon come to an end with the calling of a new rector, hopefully before the end of the year.

As you can see life has been very much in flux as of late. The church, Deb and I, and the wider church need your prayer support.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Listening Day Summary - April 2015

Listening Day 
April 18, 2015

Summary Statement: 

 “A Call to action and perseverance resting in our identity as sons and daughters of the King.  Pray boldly, Act with mercy, and Trust Him always.”

Key passage:  Jude 1:17-25  (Note: Judy, Rob and others were directed by Spirit to this passage)

17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. 18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.” 19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.  20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, 21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.   22 Be merciful to those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them from the fire; to others show mercy, mixed with fear—hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.  24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.


(The Daily Readings:    Dan 3:19-30 “Furnace Test”  Luke 4:1-13 “Jesus Testing by Satan”)

We are in trying times at New Wine and testing times in our world.
We live among the pagans & scoffers -  (Like Daniels friends) 

1 Peter 2:12  Live among the Pagans so “they may see your good deeds and glorify God.”
The church and individuals sense a time of spiritual warfare and testing.


Isaiah 61:3b  We will be the planting of the Lord, oaks of righteousness, for His display
Jude 1:20  “Build yourselves up”  How?  In love by caring for each other.  But also 
        reminding each other of God’s goodness in times of testing (like Daniels friends)


Jude 1:20  We are to pray “in” the Spirit, informed by the mind of Christ, taught by Word

            As Children of the King we can speak with authority against spiritual warfare. 

Isaiah 61:1-2  In the Spirit we can bind up and proclaim release in the spiritual.


Isaiah 58:6  “True fast” do justice, aid the oppressed, clothe the naked, feed the hungry

James1:22   Do not just be hearers of the Word but doers of the Word.

                   example:  Follow the Riverside brother who spent his life “sharing the Word”
Jude 1:23  “Snatching them (the lost) from the fire”

Isaiah 61:1f  Bind up the broken hearted, proclaim freedom,  release captives, comfort 
those who mourn, proclaim the good news 
(Note June & Judy P were lead to James1:22 once again)

   “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.”


Jude 1:24  We are not to ‘stumble” but to persevere   

A word spoken:  “Do not falter when we do not see fruit from what we plan, but seek 
God’s plan and pursue after it!”

Matt 5:48  Be “perfect” in loving the hard to love.  

“Keep loving, O people my people, keep loving!”

1Peter 5:6-7  Humble yourself and He will lift you up in His time. Worry not He cares for you!


Luke 4:1f  Like Christ we are tested, but our victory is found in TRUSTING the Lord.

              Prophetic Word:    “I will BE There”   Again I say  “I will BE There”

Psalm 20 our appointed psalm is a “Psalm of Victory” & reminds us in the end the Lord wins!

Jude 1:24   In the end He will present us “perfect” without fault and with great joy.

Despite the times of testing and hardship the victory is assured!  PTL

Follow Up Questions:  

What will we, New Wine Mission, do in the weeks and months ahead in response to this day?
How will we work at going deeper and resting in the Love of God?  
How will our times of meeting with God change?
How will your language of prayer change as you battle the enemies of God?
How is God calling you to action?  What new level of doing will you commit to?
 How will we encourage each other & remind each other of His promise to “be there”?

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

New Wine Report - Feb 2015

Several of our fellowship have gone to more warmer climates this time of year. Florida and Arizona seem to be the favored locations. Some may see this as a flight from the snow and cold, but we prefer to see them as missionaries to the South.

Seriously, it does a pastor's heart good to hear reports of ministry happening from those who travel afar. We do feel their absence. Unfortunately our average Sunday attendance of 2015 is only around 16. But we are also encouraged to hear reports of how our traveling folks are constantly encountering “God-moments” on their journeys. One person is involved in leading a Bible study while others find witnessing opportunities while staying with friends and family on the way. One of our folks even helped in a project to create a “baptismal font” for a new Anglican church.

For those left to hold down the fort amid the cold and snow we still find many ministry opportunities here in Genesee County. One of our cell groups has changed its location this winter to accommodate a couple who due to aging issues cannot get out much in the winter. They have now brought a “house church” to them and all are blessed. Another group has gained a new person who after being very active in their church had recently been rather isolated and uninvolved. They now have joined the group and report a freshness to their spiritual life. Yet another our cell groups which has been lead by our church members is being lead by non-members while they are away for the winter. We will hold our Ash Wednesday Service with this group in which over a dozen participants who are not from New Wine will be joining us as we mark the beginning of Lent.

It has been a difficult season for the work and me personally. Last year I returned to bi-vocational work by working 2 days at the Flint Farmers market selling cheese. Time away from direct ministry is hard for me when I know so much more can be done for the Kingdom. (“The harvest is plentiful...”) We have also seen several folks leave the fellowship for various reasons which is sad and their absence is deeply felt. At the beginning of the year I quit the cheese shop and a unique opportunity presented itself in the form of a Hospice Chaplain position. I applied and was accepted, but soon into the training it was apparent that the demands of the work were just not going to allow me to do Hospice, New Wine and my work with South Haven. After much soul searching and prayer, I have chosen to focus only on New Wine and Holy Trinity. The combined income from these two churches will allow us to meet our living expenses. We are grateful and I have found a renewed passion and energy towards focusing only on parish ministry!

Just last week a parishioner shared a sense of seeing some long awaited fruit about to spring forth. A young couple has recently started attending and a few other relationships are showing promise. The work with South Haven is entering a new busy phase as they are accepting applications for their new rector. I have already started the vetting process while coaching them through the early interview stage. This is an exciting time.

Please keep New Wine and Holy Trinity in your prayers. We need discernment concerning what will be ahead once our ministry with South Haven is completed. Pray for a season of growth and renewed health and wisdom to the right things at the right time.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Listening Day Summary - Nov 2014


THE TABLE - by Calvin Miller

In this secluded place I meet a King
He comes alone to drink reality
With me. Sometimes we talk, sometimes we sit
And sip a life that passes by the crowd.
As inwardness is born--a felt thing
Of power--a commonality of grace--
A union where untended hopes are knit
Where silence roars as quiet sings aloud.
Oh Christ, I love it here! It is our place.
Speak loud or not. Touch me or not. Show then
Your will or bid me wait in patient grace.
Fill all my hungry need with joy again.
With simple loaves of bread and chaliced wine
Heaven, earth, and all of God are mine

As most of our New Wine fellowship gathered together on a late November Saturday at Mt. Zion Center for a quiet day retreat we gathered around the Lord’s Table to start the day.

This was the third Listening Day of 2014.  Each day  carried its own theme as set by the Spirit.  The first was a word to “walk” with the Lord as we engage the culture and attempt to be agents of healing and restoration.  The second to “love deeper and work harder” as we keep our relationships with Him first.  At Saturday’s gathering the Spirit seemed to be saying “be present” with the Lord.  It seemed to be an invitation to “come to the table of presence” and just rest in Him.

A prophetic word was shared in our debriefing time was:

“The time has come -Pray.  Pray with Me.  Seek My face.  Hear My voice that you may do My bidding.  You are My beloved children.  I am with you and will not fail you.  Go out now with My blessing”   

17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength  20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.  (Eph 1:17-20)

“Now is the time to pray” seemed to be the message of the day.  Come to My table not just occasionally but regularly.  This is not the time to get lax or to think just because your time seemed none productive to give up.  The Father is calling us to the table.  “Sometimes we talk, sometimes we sit.”    

When Dave+ first sat down in quiet the words that came to mind in a very strong way was “Sit down we need to talk”.   This was not just a one time imperative,  this is a call to a season of intense and disciplined meeting, will we be obedient?   Will we heed the call to come to the table?   Not just literally each Sunday morning but regularly, daily, perhaps even more than our current habit.   If we want to hear God we need to be listening?  What does that mean for you?

We read several texted about gathering at the table.  Exodus 25:23-30 which was a description of the Table of Presence located at the heart of the Tabernacle.  Psalm 78:17-22 an account of Israel’s rebellion or resistance to meeting with the Father, doubting if God would be faithful to His promise  to be near.   Luke 14:12-23  reaffirmed the Father’s desire to invite not just Israel but all who believed to His table which includes us.  Then a picture of our final destination in eternity of being at the Table of the Lord was read from Revelation 19:6-9.

Are we really serious about meeting with the Lord.  “Sometimes we talk, sometimes we sit…Speak loud or not. Touch me or not. Show then Your will or bid me wait in patient grace.”

There was a power demonstration of the significance of our gathering around the table together when we literally engaged in the Eucharistic Prayer around the altar at Mt. Zion.  All pressed near, some even touch the altar and held tight.  As we prayed our voices seem strong and united much more than our normal experience of worship.   There seemed to be a very real sense of His presence and our presence together as His children.

During our sharing time after our time of quiet retreat.  There seemed to be consensus that  we need to be particularly intentional about gathering together in the weeks and months ahead.  (As Pat suggested:  “To-Gather To-Gether”)   Hence we will try to be intentional about increasing our opportunities  to gather.  Someone has since suggested we have “Prayer and Feasting” gatherings to pray and break bread together perhaps on Sundays or even at peoples homes.  Also it was suggested  when we gather that we try to “worship in the beauty of holiness” which may get work out in being intentional about what our worship space looks like.   

Some felt like this time was a very sweet time. Others were distracted or unable to focus and felt like they “heard” very little.  Perhaps the lesson or the invitations from our day is “I want you to just come”!   Do not neglect the gathering of the brethren which is the habit of some, and make it a regular habit to come to His table in your quiet daily devotional time or on Sundays with the brethren of New Wine.  Or even when you meet with brothers and sisters in your small groups.  The word of the day was “Come”.  If we are obedient we may be surprised to see what happens.   


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New Wine Report - Aug 2014

The summer is flying by at New Wine Mission. The work at the Farmer's Market is still providing many new opportunities for connecting and reconnecting with people I have met through the years. I work two 9 hour shifts on Tuesday and Thursday. I have served local politicians and many long lost friends from days as soccer-dad in the bleachers. Each encounter allows me a chance to update them on family and ministry. I have had several significant lunch break conversations with unfamiliar guests at the market. All three of my co-workers have been connected with New Wine in some way over the years. (Remember it is all about RELATIONSHIPS!) This work is currently helping fill the financial gap in our support in the church budget this spring, but I can see its strategic value as well.

We had a wonderful visit from Bishop Roger Ames this month. We had a dinner in which we shared with him our joys and challenges at New Wine and heard his excitement about new work being done around the diocese. A highlight was to hear how moved he was in participating in the selection of the Anglican Church in North America Archbishop. Archbishop Foley Beach has already stepped into service and recently called us to a season of prayer for the suffering in the Middle-East, especially the persecuted Christians there, some of whom are dying for their beliefs. Roger sees Foley as being the right person, at right moment, for our new Province.

This summer one of our members and I have been led to put together a Sunday afternoon chapel service at her senior apartment complex in Clio. We call it “Roxbury Abbey” and we have been having between 6 and 12 people in attendance. Our hope is to continue through the fall. Peggy will lead an Evening Prayer on weeks that myself or Fr. Pat Self can not administer the sacrament. One resident remarked “I am 93 and people do not realize how hard it is for me to get out. This service is such a blessing to me on Sunday afternoon.” Our emphasis is engaging them in prayer and thanksgiving, and providing a chance for anointing with oil and healing prayer.

Our Monday Cell group has suspended our regular gathering for the Summer and have been gathering for special activities like “Flushing Concerts In the Park”. We are currently thinking about how to reconfigure for the fall and ways we can connect with new people. One of our couples is considering offering a 6 week gathering to talk with couples about how to strengthen their marriages. Again our hopes are to connect with people beyond our fellowship to help them grow closer to each other and the Lord.

Our Wednesday Cell hosted a summer picnic at Taecken's Terrace Apartments where they meet. They have since seen some new people involved in their study on Paul's letter to the Romans. One gentleman lives in the area but not the apartment. This is the kind of expansion we have been hoping and praying for.

Our small music team is very thrilled to add another musician to the mix. Elise, who has come and visited several times over the year, has joined our team adding both her voice and viola to the mix. She just finished her associates degree at Mott Community College and is considering her next move. We are grateful she is willing to contribute her beautiful gifts to the worship experience of our Sunday Celebration.

This fall is a critical period in our ability to continue the work here in Flint. Please pray for significant numerical and spiritual growth this fall.