Resurrection Brooklyn is committed to loving our borough through planting and cultivating neighborhood congregations. It is our hope and prayer that we will be able to establish two new worshiping communities in the next 8-12 months.
We’re excited to share with you some details about the new works in progress.
Sheepshead Bay. Two years ago, none of the pastors and elders were thinking about establishing a congregation in Sheepshead Bay, but God had other plans and he used a natural disaster to awaken our imaginations. Following Hurricane Sandy, Resurrection Brooklyn has been a leader in disaster relief throughout our borough and one of the only institutions at work in Sheepshead Bay, where thousands of people lost their homes to flooding. Through the process of rebuilding these homes, we have developed strong bonds of trust and friendship with the residents and have been forced to answer a common question: “Why don’t you guys have a church in Sheepshead Bay?” That question has been asked by residents, volunteers, relief organizations and even by leaders in other denominations. Given the relative scarcity of church in Sheepshead Bay, when Brian Steadman, our “pastor of disaster”, started to ask the same question, we knew God was directing our paths toward such a work.
Brooklyn Heights. While the conversation about Sheepshead Bay was developing, God was also conspiring to bring about the circumstances that would lead to a new congregation in Brooklyn Heights. For the past five years, we have been praying and hoping God would raise up a minister with a vision for a church plant in one of Brooklyn’s most iconic and culturally influential neighborhoods. During that time, God was preparing Michael and Susan Subracko for that very task. Michael has been serving as the Associate Pastor of Grace Church in Seattle and has known the pastors of our network for many years. Last Spring, Michael and Susan participated in our network’s Ministry Assessment with 6 other couples and we recommended they consider planting a church in an urban context. After returning to Seattle, Michael called us and asked, “How about your urban context?” That conversation continued to develop throughout the year and we are thrilled that Michael and Susan will soon be moving their family across the country and joining our team here in Brooklyn.
What can you do? There is much to be done in preparation for these two new congregations and the hardest, most important work that you can be doing right now is praying.
Pray for people. Pray that God would establish teams of people who are committed to these congregations and willing to invite their unchurched friends and neighbors to get involved. Especially pray that those who attend Redeemer and other church in Manhattan would catch a vision and commit to a congregation that loves and serves their neighbors.
Pray for funding. Ask God to provide the resources needed for staffing, worship space and ministry. We estimate that, together, these congregations are going to require more than a million dollars of external funding over the next five years. While that is a daunting number, God has already begun raising up partners for both congregations. And we are confident that if God is leading us in this direction, that he will provide all we need.
Pray for the pastors. Brian and Michael and their families are stepping out in faith and taking on many new responsibilities. Please pray that God would encourage them as they raise money, re-locate their families and cultivate plant teams in their neighborhoods.