Hope friends, family, and Roosevelt Island neighbors
As many of you know our family has made the decision to take a sabbatical this summer (June 4th-August 27th). This is not the easiest decision for us because we love staying connected and we love having the honor of leading our church community. However, we long to be leading among you for decades to come and this means a sustained vision and continuous spiritual growth that often comes out of rest. For that reason Amanda and I will disconnect from leadership this summer, while our church continues on gathering weekly, worshiping, and reaching out the city to proclaim the way of Jesus over New York and her people. Our advisory team has crafted a letter that was shared to our partners this past month. If you have questions please either email them to Melissa@hopechurchnyc.org or join us on May 6th for our partners gathering where there will be time for Q &A. Below you will find a list of communicators who will join our Hope teaching team this summer to preach at our Sunday services along with our advisory team’s full letter describing our summer sabbatical
Excited for the season ahead and with you in prayer!
James is the Founder and Lead Pastor of Bridge Church NYC. James was born and raised in Westchester, NY. Though he grew up in church, his relationship with God was defined more by praying for wins in football and passing classes in school. It wasn’t until college, that he was introduced to a consistent lifestyle of living for God, through Campus Crusade for Christ. He met his wife, Natarsha, doing college ministry at a leadership conference. James and Natarsha have two daughters; Faith who is six and Leah who is five. James enjoys working out, listening to 90s hip-hop, and reading on social and political issues.
Matthew was born and reared in the Detroit area. In his teenage years, the Lord began kindling a desire for pastoral ministry in Matthew’s heart. That desire led to seminary studies and eventually a PhD in Theology. During his schooling, he met his wife Kimberly, a native of Ottawa, Illinois. Over the past season Matthew and Kimberly have served First Baptist of NYC that was built in 1809 on the upper west side of Manhattan
Jody is a loving wife and mother, who along with his husband Stuart are readying to start Hope Upper East Side in 2018. She and Stuart have been in leadership church planting for the past 16 years and in 2013 followed the call of God live and minister in NYC. She released her first book 'Make Mine Prada’ in New York City with a message that is deeply entwined into the heartbeat of God for women and girls everywhere.
Peter Ong- Peter has served in New York City for nearly 20 year. In 2011, he was a Redeemer City to City Church Planting Fellow, during which time he and his wife, Jamie, planted King’s Cross Church, a congregation of Living Faith Community Church, serving downtown Flushing’s immigrant families. He also served as City to City’s Catalyst Leader to network and coach new church planters. He now works for Hope for New York with a desire to continue bringing renewal to the city with mercy and justice through church partnerships. He hopes to bring a unique perspective as a former volunteer, affiliate director, and church planter. Peter graduated with a B.A. in English and a Minor in Philosophy and East Asian Studies from New York University. He received his M.A. in Urban Missions from Westminster Theological Seminary through City Seminary of New York.
Valerie Althouse- Valerie is the NYC Director for International Students Inc with the vision of allowing each international student to have the opportunity to know and love the Person of Jesus Christ.Valerie grew up in Hershey, graduated from Cairn University (formerly Philadelphia Biblical University) with a B.S. in Bible and a concentration in Christian Counseling also acquiring an M.S. in Biblical Studies . Valerie's goal is My desire is to see more Christ followers in NYC mobilized to reach the 70,000+ international students that study in our city every year!
Drew Jackson- Drew was Originally born in Williamstown, NJ, Drew studied Political Science at the University of Chicago, and went on to gain his M.A. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. During his seminary years Drew worked as full-time staff with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in the Greater Los Angeles area. He is also the Co-Founder and Executive Director of TR-BE, an organization whose mission is to resource and train local churches and the next generation to confront racially unjust systems and seek reconciliation through the lens of the gospel. He has spoken extensively on college campuses and at churches about God’s heart for the reconciliation of all things, and our call to partner with God in this work. Currently Drew Jackson is planting Hope Church East Village in NYC.
Full Partner's Letter
As you know, we have just celebrated four incredible, full years of Sunday services as Hope Church, Roosevelt Island. We have seen God do so much in our midst during that time, and we are in awe and totally grateful! Heading up this work diligently and faithfully, have been Dan and Amanda Sadlier. We especially thank God that they heard His call to NYC and followed His lead to Roosevelt Island where they have loved and led us well!
If you have been around Hope for any length of time, you have hopefully heard the value that sabbath is of utmost importance, and that we “work from rest” as opposed to working until we are ready to drop, and only then, collapse into rest. As we join God in the renewal of all things, we take our cues from Him and are diligent in keeping ourselves from idols (1 John 5:21). Frantic busyness and working to (or past) the point of exhaustion are NYC idols, and as the Church, it is important that we push back against that culture and declare that God’s ways are better. As the writer of Hebrews reminds us, “There remains therefore a rest (sabbatismos) for the people of God.” (Hebrews 4:9). Sabbath is so integral to who God’s people are, that He included it in the 10 Commandments. We would be in disobedience to disregard the need for sabbath rest. And while it is important to regularly rest from our endeavors, there comes a time when an extended period of rest and seeking the Lord is required. Dan and Amanda have sensed, and the pastoral advisory team is fully in agreement, that the time for Dan to take an extended break is this summer.
Dan is doing the hard work of planning and putting the final details together for his sabbatical time which will cover June through August. The Sadliers plan to be in the city for June, in Detroit with extended family for July, and in Pennsylvania for August. The purpose of this sabbatical is to get rest, while seeking God's voice for the next season of our church. Dan has already committed to a sabbatical director who will be checking in to see how he and his family are doing, making sure he is truly taking time away from the demands of ministry, while seeking God's guidance. In addition, Dan will regularly meet with both a therapist and spiritual counselor to pursue optimal health; as the lead pastor of this church he wants to give us the best of him and his leadership upon his return. In his stead, Kevin Douglas and Catherine Drenth will also be taking on greater responsibilities as community pastors throughout the summer. In addition, Hope Church RI will have the privilege of hearing from some of New York City’s most gifted preachers and teachers throughout the summer. We expect Hope not only to sustain the incredible spiritual momentum we have seen over the past 6 months, but to grow, as our lead pastor is renewed and refreshed for our next season of ministry.
Pastoral Advisory Member and Deacon