Paul & Amanda Bartel (lead church planters/above) along with Jason & Nancy Phelps (associate planters/bottom) have targeted the 'Waldo/Brookside' area of Kansas City, MO for an MB church plant. This plant is a joint project of Mission USA, the Southern District MB Conference (CEEC) and Fairview MB Church (Oklahoma). Fairview MB Church's investment in this project is quite significant.
A recent update:
• Villages: (These are geographically determined groups of 10-15 people—all calling Watershed their church home). The Villages are moving full speed ahead, three especially, one struggling a bit. One of the most exciting pieces is to see several non-Christians participating in the lives of the Villages, and people outside of Watershed getting involved in them.
• Sundays: The atmosphere at the Sunday gatherings has changed tremendously (for the better) since moving to South Broadland (Presbyterian Church) in August. The rented space there (chapel, nursery, 2 classrooms, locked storage closet) is so much more conducive to the gatherings than the huge auditorium they were in before. This has been a great change. Attendance at gatherings has been fairly consistent, but has grown a bit in the last 4 weeks, with at least 16 new local people gathering with them for the first time in the last two months.
• Justice Feast/Gathering for mission: The gathering for mission in September was Watershed’s third annual Justice Feast. Nearly 100 people shared a meal (or were given food) at Tower Park. All in all, it was a great success.
Watershed has mission involvement at Hope Care Center and Veronica’s Voice (mission to young women caught in the world of prostitution). Each month has seen more Watershed folks attend the gathering for mission.
• Community Partnerships: Paul Bartel continues to serve on the steering committee for Hale Cook Elementary, the Beautification committee for Southtown Council, tutoring with Literacy KC, and has started to help a class with a project at Kansas City Art Institute. These continue to be fruitful ministry opportunities, and times to build relationships with those who do not follow Jesus.
The Bartels and Phelps have seen God working through them recently in making contacts with people, whether that be at a park, coffee shop, gym, store or the local Hartman Elementary School. Hartman Elementary has been a special focus as the church has provided hours worth of physical labor, including painting and landscaping. This has resulted in a very healthy relationship with this school's teachers and administrators.
• Bi-vocational: Both Bartel and Phelps are now bi-vocational, providing financial relief for the church plant, but more importantly providing natural ministry opportunities.
About the Villages:
The couples wrote recently: "A core tenet of Watershed is the deep belief that "church" is synonymous with "community." This focus on community is an underlying principle that led to the concept of Watershed Villages. Villages are proximity-based small groups that do life together. As the Lord has provided growth in our church, we recently multiplied from one to two Villages. Each Village will develop a communal rhythm centered on a shared spiritual journey and mission in their neighborhoods. Please join us in prayer for these two Villages, and the continued growth of Watershed."
A Project Team, consisting of members from the Southern District's Church Extension and Evangelism Commission (CEEC), a member from Fairview MB Church, Mission USA rep, and the church plant couples provide direction and governance for the church plant. Please pray for these planters and the people they encounter with the message of the Gospel.
Mon, September 17, 2012
by Don Morris