A Letter from Father Ben

Dear Christ Church Family,

Looking Ahead to 2016
There is so much to unpack as we look forward to 2016. And so, I wanted to fill you in on some of what to expect as we move ahead under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Refuge, Restoration, and Mission
We go into this year with the theme of “Refuge, Restoration, and Mission” as the backdrop for what the Holy Spirit is doing among us. Refugees have been in the headlines over recent months and our hearts are particularly broken for Christian refugees who are fleeing ISIS and other militant extremists. In many cases these refugees are members of Christian communities that trace their roots directly to the Apostles. Pray that God would make a way for us to receive Christian refugee families at Christ Church in order to grant them a new start free from persecution. God also had in mind that Christ Church would be a place of refuge for folks much closer to home. Several families who have felt compelled to leave churches that have abandoned orthodox Christian faith and practice have found a home with us. We are so thankful to God for their presence in our midst and we pray that they realize how much they are loved and appreciated.

The Foundations Project
Another development this year is what we are calling TheFoundations Project. If you have been around Christ Church for any length of time you know that we offer systematic discipleship training in classic Christian faith and practice called the Foundations Course. This course has been highly effective in bringing people to faith in Jesus Christ and in taking believers to the next step of discipleship. As such, other churches and even bishops have requested the course for their own use. In order to prepare the course for publication, I will be leading a year-long research project here at Christ Church with the purpose of finding out how God is using the Foundations Course in people’s lives. This will be an intense season of study and reflection and I will be asking former and current participants in the Foundations Life Group to spend some time with me one-on-one to hear their stories. In fact, these interviews will constitute the bulk of my pastoral visitation for much of this year. Which leads to the next item I want to share with you: Shepherd Team responsibilities for 2016.

Shepherd Team Responsibilities in 2016
At Christ Church we call the clergy and lay staff who are responsible for the day to day operations of the church the “Shepherd Team.” You need to know the different areas of responsibility of each of the Shepherd Team so that we can more effectively serve you. Here’s the division of care for 2016.

The  Revd. Ben Sharpe, Rector:  The Ordinal defines my role as being Word, Sacrament, and Discipline. Here’s how that gets worked out this year.

  • Preaching and Teaching: Along with weekly preaching I will be concentrating on researching, revising, and teaching the Foundations Course.
  • Oversight: This includes the ordering of worship, direction of staff and volunteers, leading the Council of Advice, administering church discipline, and other activities pertaining to oversight.
  • Refugee Initiative: Like many of you the Lord has burdened my heart with the plight of refugees, particularly our Christian brothers and sisters, who are fleeing persecution in the Middle East. This will continue to be an emphasis of my ministry in 2016.
  • Pastoral Care: The bulk of my pastoral care, visitation, and interaction for this season will focus on current and past members of the Foundations Life Group in relation to The Foundations Project. Due to this, in most cases, I will not be directly dealing with emerging pastoral situations and visitation until The Foundation’s Project is completed. Instead Fr Keith Huffman will be the point of contact for emerging pastoral care needs.

The Revd. Keith Huffman, Associate Rector:  Keith’s main emphasis this year will be leading “Christ Church, Lewisville Parish” as it begins to take shape. Keith also has responsibility for:

  • Pastoral care and visitation not connected to The Foundations Project.
  • Overseeing Servant Teams and leading the Ministry Council
  • Leading Lewisville Life Group
  • Council of Advice assistance and assisting with some ministry budget items
  • Preaching once a month

The Revd. Dn. Jim Reed: Jim Reed will continue to lead Christ Church’s music ministry as well as being responsible for:

  • Audio/Visual capabilities
  • Some pastoral care and visitation
  • Leading Youth Ministry
  • Shepherd Team representative for Food Bank

The Revd. Dn. Jesus Dominguez

  • Senior Simeon Fellow
  • Duties as assigned.

Mrs. Lisa Breeding

  • Church Administration and Communications

Mrs. Dana Huffman

  • Children’s Ministry

Mrs. Nicki Carpenter

  • Nursery Coordinator.

Would you please pray that all of our ministry together would be fruitful for the kingdom of God and that Jesus Christ would be glorified. I can’t wait to see what God will do among us in 2016!