It Wasn't a Sabbatical

It is hard to believe that it has almost been six months since my last blog entry. Nevertheless, in that time period I stepped out of my position at Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando (though I remain guest faculty and assist with the Doctor of Ministry Program), and moved to Cherry Hill, New Jersey to assume the role of Senior Pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church.  For those of you who don't know, Cherry Hill is across the Delaware River from Philadelphia.  For a matter of perspective the church is less then a 10 miles from Independence Hall.  I can drive or ride a train.  Between the two of us lies several small townships, including Collingswood the home of the infamous Bible Presbyterian Church, and most significantly the city of Camden.  My friend Doug Logan is planting Epiphany Fellowship Camden in one of the roughest neighborhoods in North America.  He regularly brings a group of guys up here to play Basketball in our gym.

My wife and I rented a post WWII cape cod style house in Haddon Heights township.  My drive to the office takes me up Kings Highway through beautiful Haddonfield. There are great coffee shops like "Jersey Java," classic dinners like "Poncio's," pizza parlors all over the place, and "Del Bouno's Bakery" where you can grab some of best rolls you have ever tasted (sorry mom) rolling out of the oven on a large conveyor belt.  Literally, you grab a bag and fill it up with the rolls you want.  And their pretzels are to die for!  Good stuff!

View from my church office window
But more importantly are the people.  The people that make Covenant a church are generous and gracious.  Not only have they embraced us as part of the family, but they care deeply for one another.  There is clear desire to live out the Gospel.   God has placed us in a county of over 500,000 souls and Doug Logan and I are the only Senior Pastors that represent the PCA.  My wife and I have already met a lot of lost people.  Most are totally astounded hat we would leave Florida to move here, but have welcomed us and we are beginning to build relationships with them.  I am totally convinced that "the fields are white for harvest" (John 4:35) here in Southern New Jersey.  

Oh yeah, it is cold here . . . it is supposed to get down to 10 degrees tonight . . . slightly colder then Orlando  . . . but I will take the cold, because God has entrusted me with an incredible task in a strategic region!


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