Ecclesia pastors, leaders and friends of the Network,
Summer is upon us which, of course, can be great in some ways, but as pastors and church planters, can also be difficult in others. In an attempt to stay connected, I wanted to keep you informed about what is happening within the Ecclesia Network as well as offer a few resources and points of encouragement.
A few years ago, a pastor-friend of mine said, “Summer is the church’s winter.” For pastors, ministry can seem to be a slow season – attendance is spotty, relationships can feel disconnected due to travel schedules, giving can be down, momentum can be hard to generate and the calendar of church events activities can feel lighter. For years I felt great angst over the summer and tried hard to fight it. Recently I began to see this slow time as a gift to rest. Sure, I worked, but I took it down a gear and spent time dreaming, praying and preparing for the fall (when things go up a few notches). My encouragement to you: make sure you are resting and slowing the pace down over the summer months as you prepare to ramp up for the fall.
Here are  practical ways to rest, dream, prepare and enjoy the next few months:
 Think about visiting other Ecclesia churches – or meet up for lunch or coffee – some time this summer.
There is a list of churches on the Ecclesia website here. Feel free to join one of them for a service/gathering. Maybe consider bringing some of your leaders and having lunch with other church planter in the region to ask them questions and pick their brains. It’s a good time to learn from and with other churches in the region.
 Join us for a day away in prayer.
Every few months, a few pastors and leaders spend the day on silent retreat and prayer together. This is a time to refresh, get away in silence and stillness, hear from God and just “be.” We find it be a healthy part of our rhythm. On Wednesday June 20th a group of us will be heading to Daylesford Abbey on the Main Line in Philly for a day away in prayer from 9am to around 430pm. There is no agenda and is a very informal but purposeful time. The cost is $5 (lunch is not included). If you (or anyone from your church) would like to join us, let Doug Moister know by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org
 Listen to this podcast.
Geoff and Cyd Holsclaw, Ecclesia church planters in the Chicago area, talk about what ministry is like in their context on the most recent installment of the Ecclesia podcast.
 Mark your calendar for these future Ecclesia events.
Part of the vision of Ecclesia is to provide relational connection and support among churches and church plants, as well as to equip and train people (pastors, staff and lay leaders). These events are designed to do both.
• Our next Ecclesia Regional Meet-up will be September 13 from 10am to lunch. We will meet again at Church on the Mall (Plymouth Meeting, PA). Topic TBD. Feel free to stick around and join us for lunch in the various locations in the area.
• Saturday October 13th Ecclesia will be hosting an all-day training at The Well (an Ecclesia church in Feasterville, PA) with author, church planting coach and Ecclesia church planter JR Woodward based on his new book Creating a Missional Culture. This event is will explore the APEPT model (Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastor and Teacher) based on Ephesians 4. This is designed to equip both pastors and lay leaders. This would be a great opportunity to bring elders and leaders from your church. (More information to come).
As always, these emails and events are open to anyone interested in connecting with other missional church planters, pastors and churches in the Northeast Region of the country. Feel free to pass this along to anyone else who may be interested in being involved in Ecclesia events and relationships in our region of the country.
If I can be of help to you this summer in any way, let me know.
I’d be glad to help.
Grace and peace,
Ecclesia Network Northeast Regional Coordinator
P.S. Ecclesia church planter Bryan Long and his wife Molly welcomed their first child, Mia, into the world this week. All are doing well. The Longs will be in Boston for the summer and officially move to Rochester, NY to plant a church starting in the fall.