A First Step for a New Community

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

— Chinese philosopher Lǎo Zǐ

We had our first TDC East Side launch team meeting this last Sunday, and had over 30 people show up! We worshiped together, we sang together, and we prayed together (see below for one of my favorite pictures of 2013 so far), and so the exciting journey to launch a new District Church community and, more importantly, to impact another neighborhood for Christ, begins!

Please continue to pray for us as we come together as an East Side community, that:

  • leaders would step up and folks would get involved;
  • we would have wisdom and discernment to know how to be who God has called us to be in the places to which we’ve been called;
  • we would be able to find a location to begin meeting in (as you can see, we’re already pretty tight in the Shultzes’ living room!);
  • I would know the presence, peace and purpose of God as I step into leadership in a new way in this exciting, daunting, amazing adventure.

TDC East Side prayer

In other news, I said I was hoping to raise the remainder of the support I needed for 2013 by the end of this month. Well … not only did we meet the target, but we blew through it with a week to spare! So thank you, thank you, and thank you again, for your tremendous generosity and for backing up your words and prayers of support with your resources. I’m truly humbled.

Exciting News, #3: New Campus, New Pastor

The news keeps coming. And today you get not one, not two, but THREE exciting announcements!

1. A NEW CAMPUS
As I shared a few months ago, we’ve been praying since the beginning of this year about where God might be leading us to plant a new church–in continuing fulfillment of our vision to be a network of neighborhood churches. And as God led, we sensed that this would be in the H St/East Side of DC, about four miles southeast of our current location.

Well, in the three months since that email, momentum has continued to grow and energy within the community of folks living in that area has continued to build; and after much prayer and seeking, we’ve decided to start preliminary launch meetings at the end of January (yep, in two weeks!), with this campus beginning more like a third service (in a different location). (Listen to Aaron share about it at the beginning of yesterday’s message.)

2. A NEW PASTOR
You know the old adage about how God sometimes uses us to be the answer to our own prayers? Well, in response to that prayer request for a leader for the new location that I shared in October, it appears that … it’s going to be me! The leadership of the church, the leaders living in the H St area, and myself, all came to a place where we realized that this was the route that made the most sense and generated the most  enthusiasm–and peace, too.

So I’d ask for your prayers as I continue my steep learning curve in pastoral ministry–I’m excited to be taking on more responsibility, to continue growing in what God is calling me to, and to face the challenges ahead in and together with the community that God is entrusting to me and the other leaders there. I’m also fully aware of my own inadequacies–God’s going to have to really step up (again)!

3. GOD’S PROVISION, AS USUAL
Two weeks ago, I asked for your support and your prayers to raise the remainder of the money I needed for 2013, which at the time amounted to about $7,000. Well … as usual, God answered and you stepped up, and gave generously to the tune of $6,000!! Which means that, with two weeks before the end of January (my deadline), I have less than $1,000 left to raise. So …

Will you partner with me to raise the $1,000 I need for 2013?

If you’d like to help support me financially, you’re welcome to do so:

  • by check, payable to “The District Church” with “For the Ministry of Justin Fung” in the memo, and mailed to The District Church, PO Box 3116, Washington, DC 20010;
  • online here, selecting “Ministry of JF” from the dropdown menu.

[All gifts are fully tax-deductible.]

As ever, grateful for your friendship in this adventure called life,

Justin.

Exciting News, #2: Speaking & Support

Happy New Year, friends!

I hope you were all able to get some rest over the Christmas season. On Day Three of 2013, you get Part Two in the “Exciting News for 2013” series. (Yeah, there’s still more to come!)

First, I’m eagerly anticipating more speaking opportunities these first few months, in addition to preaching at The District Church:

  1. I’ll be guest preaching at Downtown Baptist Church in Old Town Alexandria, just across the Potomac River, this month (Jan 27); and at New Journey Church in Centreville, VA, next month (Feb 17).
  2. lstIn March, I’ll be back in the UK for a couple weeks for a friend’s wedding, and I’ll be returning to my alma mater, London School of Theology, seven years after graduation, and I’ll get to give the message at chapel.
  3. MA-Logo-Horizontal-300x225And in April, I’ll be co-leading a couple of workshops at the inaugural conference of Missio Alliance, a gathering that explores that church’s mission in the 21st century. One workshop will be on ministry in the city, and another on the church’s call to justice.

Second, I’m already so grateful for how you’ve given: I’ve already raised over $3,000! I’ve set the goal to have the rest raised by the end of January, so …

Will you partner with me to raise the remaining $7,000 I need to meet my 2013 budget?

You’re welcome to do this:

  • by check, payable to “The District Church” with “For the Ministry of Justin Fung” in the memo, and mailed to The District Church, PO Box 3116, Washington, DC 20010;
  • online here, selecting “Ministry of JF” from the dropdown menu.

[All gifts are fully tax-deductible.]

And if you’re part of The District Church and you’ve been supporting me, thank you first of all–I’ve appreciated your focused giving so much–but let me now encourage you to give directly to the church, with the reassurance that they’re working toward fully supporting me financially.

Praying your 2013 begins well with grace and intentionality,
Justin.

Exciting News, #1

As 2012 draws to a (busy) close and 2013 begins to peek over the horizon, I’m excited to share some great news with you all:

Recently, the church’s Executive Team met and agreed unanimously to increase their support of me by $10,000 (for the year) beginning on January 1, 2013. They also affirmed their support of my role in the church and reaffirmed their commitment to get to the point where they’re completely covering my salary (with the increase, the church will be covering about 75%).

Which leads me to ask:

Will you partner with me to raise the remaining $10,000 I need to meet my budget for 2013?

God has been so faithful–through the gifts and support of over 50 people, including many of you–over the last couple years; and I’m so grateful for your partnership in this adventure. If you’d like to help support me financially, you’re welcome to do so:

[All gifts are fully tax-deductible.]

And if you’re part of The District Church and you’ve been supporting me, thank you first of all–I’ve appreciated your focused giving so much–but let me now encourage you to give directly to the church, with the reassurance that they’re working toward fully supporting me financially.

Praying peace, hope, joy, and love for you this Advent season,

Justin.

P.S. The observant among you will have noticed that this email is labeled “#1.” Yes, there’s more exciting news for 2013, and I can’t wait to share it in the coming weeks!

2012: Two weeks in

2012 is not even two weeks old and God has already begun his work in and around me. About a week ago, as I prayed about what God had in store for me this year, my mind was drawn toward the word “intentionality”–a theme I talked about in my New Year’s sermon (“In the beginning … rest”) and also in a recent blog. I got the sense that this would be a year of big decisions and big choices, with big consequences. At the time, I had no idea what those would be, but even in the last week, I’m beginning to see what God might have in mind.

This weekend, The District Church’s Leadership Community will be heading on its yearly retreat, for a time of spiritual renewal and re-visioning for the coming year. Last year, we had about thirty people; this year, our church having grown now to a community of around 250, we have over 50 people coming–and several other leaders weren’t able to make it this weekend! Please hold us in your thoughts and prayers as we get involved in helping this toddler-aged church learn to walk and talk.

As for myself, I’m learning to fill out my role as Associate Pastor at the church, moving from a manager and task-completer to a vision-casting, proactively-investing leader, with the remit to create, to innovate, to make space for other people to grow into their God-given potential. It’s, in equal parts, exciting and challenging, and I can’t wait to see how God does his alchemical work with what I have to offer. Discerning where and how to invest my time and energy is definitely a matter of prayer, and I’d appreciate yours for my continuing development in the calling God has for me.

Finally, I’m so stoked to inform you that–through the generosity of many of you getting this email–I’m now at over 50% of my target support for this year, after only two months! That’s not even including those of you who’ve said you want to support my work at The District Church but haven’t yet given! What an amazing testimony to your love and support; I’m so humbled, and glad to have you along for the journey. I count you as part of the ministry team without whom my work wouldn’t be possible! And as a reminder of how I ended up where I am, here’s a video produced by Lindsay, one of the storytellers (she’s a writer and photographer) at our church, from an interview we did last summer: