Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Diversity: Overcoming Differences

Are you in a hurry?

Despite our best intentions, we often find ourselves rushing to get everything done that needs to be done.  As we've all experienced, being in a hurry can lead us to overlook things that are important in favor of the urgent requirements of the moment. 

Over the last months, Roberto Miranda has had a series of conversations with Christian leaders around the region.  These conversations are not urgent.  However, if you're interested in seeing God's presence fill the New England region, in seeing greater unity in the Body of Christ, and in understanding what we can do to cooperate with God in these things, I think you'll find these conversations important

So, set aside an hour when you can, sit down with a cup of tea, and savor this conversation with John Eckhardt and Kevin Kidd, two Maine pastors with years of experience overcoming differences in the Body of Christ.  I don't think you'll regret it!
The conversation continues as Roberto
interviews two men from Maine,
 John Eckhardt and Kevin Kidd.
John and Kevin have both spent years
attempting to overcome differences in the Church
and are starting to see success as never before.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Video Episode 2: "Unity"

Have you ever had a good conversation?  

Perhaps you are just making small talk with friends over coffee.  Someone asks a question.   Then, all of a sudden, you find yourself caught up in something profound.  You may leave the table with more questions than answers, but something has happened in the interim.  A good conversation can change your life.

Over the last months, Roberto Miranda has had a series of conversations with Christian leaders around the region.  These interviews are substantive and rich.  These are not made-for-the-nightly-news sound-bites; they’re thoughtful and real, occurring at the speed of authentic human interaction. 

Each episode is an hour in length and filled with experiences, stories, and insights on issues that Christian leaders around New England are grappling with today.  If you want to be encouraged by stories of what God is doing in the region, strengthened with fresh insights, and formed spiritually, I think you’ll find these conversations valuable.

As a technical note, click on the link marked "Click Here" and not on the video image itself. You'll be redirected to a page where you can watch the videos and leave comments

In this week's video, Roberto talks with Keith Tolley, Vision New England, Danvers MA;
and Jonathan Friz, Wisdom Way, Beverly MA,  about "unity" in the New England Church.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New Video Series on Revival in New England

Brandt Gillespie
For the last year, we’ve shared stories about God’s movement around New England.

From Cape Cod, to New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Maine, Boston, and even Cambridge, God is bringing believers together for prayer and partnership in unique and spiritually dynamic ways. For the next several weeks, we’re going to be sharing conversations with Christian leaders from around the region hosted by Dr. Roberto Miranda.  Producer Brandt Gillespie introduces this new video series.

 As a technical note, click on the link marked "Click Here" and not on the video image itself.  You'll be redirected to a page where you can watch the videos and leave comments

Click Here to Watch the Video!

Dana Baker, Director of Multicultural Ministries, Grace Chapel,
Lexington MA; Roberto Miranda, Senior Pastor,
Congregación León de Judá, Boston MA;
and Dick Germaine, Barnabas Ministries, Hopkinton MA

What is the Spirit of the Lord saying to us?

Many speak of a stirring in their hearts to come along side one another, cooperate effectively, hear and understand what God is doing as clearly as possible. Some believe He is bringing sustained revival to our region and in our time. So in obedience to that still small voice, we take counsel in one another and seek Him in wisdom and truth.

Our prayer is simply: "Lord, let the conversation begin."

Dr. Roberto Miranda has hosted several high value conversations with some of the most thoughtful Christian leaders from the New England area to tackle some of the more difficult challenges standing in the way of forming partnerships to harness our diverse styles and unique personal callings.

By starting the first video, you will begin a significant conversational journey with fellow believers. It leads you to the first conversation entitled “Partnering” with Dr. Miranda, Dick Germaine of Barnabas Ministries, and Dana Baker, Director of Multicultural Ministries at Grace Chapel. However, this is only the gateway to other equally important interactions that we believe you will find valuable.

I am asking for your helpful feedback. There is a place provided for you to write your comments. Our production team will honestly read each one with interest and forward them to Dr. Miranda as well.

Thanks for your interest, comments and suggestions. If you know of other guests who you believe may be able to add something unique to these conversations please let me know.


Brandt Gillespie, President PrayTV

Monday, January 16, 2012

Is 2012 God's Year for Boston?

Rev. Ralph Kee
Emmanuel Gospel Center
Greater Boston Church
Planting Collaborative
Fifteen Cambridge churches joined together in praising God on New Year’s Day 2012. About 800 people attended, standing, if necessary, around the edges of the main floor and balcony, even jamming the foyer. I could hardly contain my emotions: in today’s service, I saw with my own eye what I have been praying and working toward, for forty years.

In my mind my wife Joanne possibly gave her life for Cambridge. In 1982, a tiny church remnant invited us to begin a new church. Even though church planting there would put further stress on her while fighting ovarian cancer, my wife said, 'Ralph, we need to accept the invitation. Cambridge desperately needs a gospel ministry and gospel preaching churches.' Joanne died in 1984.

2012 is here. I believe I am witnessing God’s moment for Boston. One by one, and then in unity, God’s people are believing and siezing this moment. Let us pray that twelve months from now we will be astounded by what He has done in this needy metropolis. A year from today I want to praise God that 2012 the Gospel has been spread more than any other year in our lifetimes.

By Ralph Kee, Greater Boston Church Planting Collaborative

UNITY is stirring in Cambridge!

Kelly Steinhaus
 "One Kingdom Warrior"
Desires to inspire unity
among Christians
throughout greater Boston
On New Year's Day at the historic First Baptist Church in Central Square, the Cambridge Unity Sunday Morning Service marked the first time in the city's history that fifteen different congregations representing various Christian denominations assembled for a single Sunday morning worship service. (See participating ministries at end of article.)

The presence of God that filled the room was one of the closest things to revival that I have experienced. Before 11:00am, people of all denominations and cultures streamed in the doors to worship Jesus, until the church was overflowing.
Bishop Brian C. Greene
Senior Pastor, Pentecostal Tabernacle
Cambridge MA
Bishop Brian Greene of Pentecostal Tabernacle played an instrumental role in organizing this gathering. He believes that “Revival cannot come, unless the church is one.” I echo his belief, and the presence of God that filled the room was one of the closest things to revival that I have experienced. At 11:00am, people of all denominations and cultures kept streaming in to worship Jesus, until there was no more seats, and then barely any standing room. I was ushering at the service, but we all agreed that this was a good problem to have. We even had to bring in TV monitors so people could watch the service in the lobby.Pentecostal Tabernacle’s choir led us in worship as they sang chords which rang with heaven’s sounds.

Denominations, cultures, church identity fell to the wayside as we worshipped our one true God, Jesus Christ, together with one voice. It made me think of Revelation 7:9, where it describes heaven as “a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.” Words honestly cannot describe this gathering, so I recorded video so everyone could see and experience it.
My friend Megan explained that, in ethnic congregations, there is a particular emphasis on the pastor’s first sermon in the new year. Congregation members wait in anticipation to hear what will be 'The Word of the Lord' for that coming year. Personally I was inspired by Pastor Larry Ward's message [senior pastor, Abundant Life Church]. He spoke on seeking the peace of our city – with prayer, equipping, assisting the poor, caring for the sick, and educating the next generation. Even more than that, I sensed how powerful it was for the churches in our region to have a collective vision to bring us into the new year.

Yes, God says that He commands a special blessing in unity (Psalm 133) – and every single person I talked to after the service said something to the effect of, 'That was really cool.' My friend and fellow ministry worker Ralph Kee said, 'I could hardly contain my emotions,' explaining that 'the many components of today’s service fulfilled my forty years of hopes for Cambridge (and all of Greater Boston)' Rev. Kee believes this service was a sign that 2012 will be the most productive year in our lifetimes for the gospel in our city.

Above all else, I came away with the sense that, 'This is the way it’s supposed to be.'

As the Church, each part of the body has a unique function, but we also must have opportunities to come together and remember that we are part of something larger. I see this type of regional worship gatherings becoming more and more common in the coming seasons and years. Jesus’ dying prayer is that the church would be one, 'in order that they may become one and perfectly united, that the world may know and [definitely] recognize that You sent Me and that You have loved them [even] as You have loved Me.' (John 17:23, AMP) Gatherings like this – shared experiences that we have together as the body – break down the denominational and cultural walls and allow us to be the Church that God designed us to be."

By Kelly Steinhaus, Unite Boston

Read more from Kelly on her blog:  http://onekingdomwarrior.com/2012/01/10/unity-is-stirring/

Participating Congregations:
A Place to Heal Ministries
Abundant Life Church
Bethel Assemblies of God
Calvary Praise & Worship Center
Cambridge Community Fellowship Church
Cambridge Church of the Nazarene
Cambridgeport Baptist Church
Christian Mission Holiness Church
First Baptist Church
First Holiness Church
Pentecostal Tabernacle
Journey Church
RUSH AME Zion Church
Spirit of Power Living Word Ministries International
Union Baptist Church

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Secret Place: Celebrating 70 weeks of 24-hour Prayer in Boston

24/7 prayer at  3 Times Church at the Swedenborg Chapel
and NE Korean Methodist Church at Union United Methodist
(see end of article for details)
At 10 pm on a cold January Friday evening, an unexpected sound rises from the New Jerusalem Church on Harvard's campus. Around 20 people, mostly of Korean descent, are lifting up choruses of worship in both Korean and English. As the crowd grows, so does the worship, soon filling the seats in the small church basement. Joshua Hungsoo Park, a mentor to Korean students at Gordon-Conwell Seminary, exhorts those gathered to pray for God's purposes at Harvard University. As he does, what feels like a wave hits the room as it erupts with prayer, "Korean Style".

The room rumbles and roars with the sound of many waters, a cacophony of voices in many languages, of cries, of tears: the sound of fervent prayer. Contrary to what you might expect, the roar of prayer creates a space of immense quiet where each soul is intimately poured out to God. The palpable power of God released in the room by the prayer demands attention; the noise can be better than music and I feel privileged to be in the same room with these people. And they’re just getting started. This prayer meeting will go on for another 23 hours, finally ending at 10pm the next day. Perhaps most telling is this: the 24 hour prayer meeting has been going on every week for 70 weeks.


In the summer of 2010, God was stirring in the hearts of Joshua Park and Steve Kim to begin weekly prayer for God’s purposes in the city of Boston. As students at Gordon Conwell seminary, they were leaders in a daily prayer meeting that had brought many students at the seminary into a new experience of God. God had been moving on their hearts for several years, impacting them with the history of revival and awakening in the New England region. Together, they began to dream with Seminary Mentor Joshua Hungsoo Park, prayer organizer Miwon Oh, and professor and international speaker Daniel Pak about what this weekly prayer might look like.

Initially, the idea was to simply do two or three hours a week somewhere on Harvard’s campus. Joshua relates what was on their hearts at that time: 'We had a strong sense that we needed to start praying for the city of Boston, especially for the campuses.' Dr. Daniel Pak, former professor at Michigan University and itinerant speaker, suggested, 'Why not pray overnight—when you pray overnight, there will be breakthrough.'

Praying overnight weekly is difficult enough, but Miwon felt the Lord was looking for even more. 'In my heart I felt like Holy Spirit challenged me that if I wanted to see 24/7 prayer in the city of Boston, why not start with one day for 24 hours?' From the start, this journey has required a radical dependence on God. 'God gave us a heart especially for the Harvard area. At that time, we didn’t even have a place to pray. God opened up a location in Harvard to bring us into the heart of that area for prayer.'


Friday night, September 10, 2010 was the first night of prayer. Initially, there was not even a place to host the entire 24 hours. The first twelve hours were hosted at Harvard and the second twelve hours were at the prayer room at Gordon-Conwell, almost 30 miles away in Hamilton, MA. The organizers divided the entire day into three-hour segments and assigned a coordinator to each three-hour segment. At first, it was difficult to fill the entire 24 hours. Joshua relates the struggle of the first few months: 'Sometimes we would have slots that had no people or only one person. Initially, we were not able to fill the entire time because we didn’t have enough people.'

In December of 2010, a location in Allston became available so that all 24 hours could be in the city. A group from the Korean Methodist church began to engage and carry the prayer on Saturday during the day. The new location and participants were a turning point, and from that time on, all 24 hours have been covered.


People often wonder about others who pray a lot. It seems to them that nothing happens in prayer. The reality, of course, is quite different. Miwon shares, 'In prayer, we’re not trying to store or build anything, but just trying to bring up the water and soften the ground. I felt that God spoke to me, ‘When other people try to plant on the soil [of Cambridge and Boston], they will see the difference from your prayers.’ The prayer is not unto our ministries—it goes continually as water to bless the entire Body.” Since the weekly prayer began, five American churches and one Korean church have been planted in the Harvard area.

The prayer has also had a powerful impact on the participants. Miwon relates that 'as we pray, God gives each one of us a heart for specific ministries. Each one of us has a specific role and we discover that role as we continue in prayer. The ministry vision that is birthed in the prayer room is then expressed in the wider body of Christ.'

 'In these times of prayer, we felt that God gave us individual restoration. He also gathered individuals who prayed individually together in one vessel and one body. Our individual prayers were able to come together—so many people were praying individually but praying together had more impact.'


"The last year and half of prayer has impacted the participants and strengthened the body of Christ in ways we certainly cannot quantify. However, many of the participants see this as just the beginning of something much larger that God is doing in Boston, and their vision extends far beyond the Korean community. Miwon’s original vision of 24/7 prayer in Boston is still very much alive. Joshua puts it this way: 'We believe God is going to raise up an army of prayer to make Boston a City of Prayer.'

"Although their prayer meetings have always included both Korean and English, this year they’re beginning to intentionally engage with English speaking leaders and even leaders from other ethnic communities in Boston.
"Miwon shares, 'Our goal is really simple, not just the Korean community praying within their own boundaries. Instead, we want to merge with other praying people in the city of Boston. We don’t want to start a ministry and say “Come and join”. We really want to join as one Body in the city of Boston, to join with various groups who are praying for the city of Boston.'

Article by: Jonathan Friz, NE Alliance

Friday-Saturday Weekly 24 Hour Prayer:

Hosted at: 3 Times Church at the Swedenborg Chapel
50 Quincy St.
Cambridge, MA 02138

Then moving to: NE Korean Methodist Church at Union United Methodist
485 Columbus Ave.
Boston, MA 02118