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.