A new church for the community begins!

Its on…God willing!

Do you have a green thumb? I’ve never been much of a gardener – though I’ve always wanted to have my own fruit and vegetable garden that I start, maintain…and hopefully enjoy the fruit thereof! I’d never say I have much of a “green thumb,” but I love the idea of lush plants, growing things and enjoying their beauty. My wife and I have the joy of being first time home owners – what a blessing from God that is! Though the never-ending “to-do” list isn’t exactly the highlight of my free time. I am also not much of a “fixer upper” kind of a guy (though that’s a story for a different blog post).

So what abou385d201bc0ae51b59213159c6563a738t my “green thumb”, or lack thereof? Our favorite room in our new home is a sun room on the backside of the home. Not original to the home, a subsequent owner had it added on at some point. Regardless, it was a definite selling point for us when we viewed the home throughout the search process. As you would expect, its full of windows, allowing beautiful sunlight to flood the room at all angles. It’s a cozy sort of room because of the presence of the sun. It’s also a great room for plant life to bloom also because of all the life-giving sun flooding its space. So when we closed on the home and I moved in ahead of my family who were yet to be in Maine, one of the first things I did was to purchase some plants at the local Home Depot, expressly for our beautiful sun room. I’ve since given over their care to my talented wife. We love to see their green lush leaves flowering because of the sunlight, adding beauty to the entire room.

Makes me think of Zechariah 4:10. Most of us would probably need a little extra time just to find that more obscure book of our Old Testaments while we probably scratch our heads, wondering why we should even go to that obscure place deep in the Old Testament. Well, this verse will help you understand why the investment of time would be worth it. That verse is encouraging. Its inspiring. It “gives life” to the weary soul who stumbles across it. It will fill your soul with beauty and life – just as those beautiful plants in our sun room, soaking in the life of the sun, fill our hearts and souls with the overflow of their beauty! And if that verse flows with such life for us,  I cannot begin to fully comprehend just how beautiful and uplifting it must have been for God’s chosen people – the first recipients of that ancient prophesy. God’s people were used to small beginnings. If you’ve ever read any parts of the Old Testament of the Bible, you’ll quickly get that idea. Its as if God had some intention of creating small things, seemingly insignificant things. Small things are just the beginnings of things. But things get watered. They get fed. They prosper and then, with just the right amount of nurturing, they bloom into something BIG. Something beautiful and meaningful. Then, and only then, do you get to look back and understand that out of meager beginnings come significant things!

That is a great analogy of what church planting is all about. Not much to see at the beginning, to be sure. Hence the idea of “planting”. All things planted need time to grow. They need to be nurtured, fed, watered, given plenty of sun light. If cared for the right way though, beautiful things will come. Significant things. Things that begin to give life to all those who behold what God has done.

And so it is with Renew Community Church. We are starting small, but don’t despise us for that. Its the best soil for God to do the cultivating and to grow something beautiful in His timing. Like our lives. We’d love to invite you all out to be a part of that process as Renew Church gets started this coming Thursday night, February 9th. Come, be a part and let God cultivate your life (renew it – hence, our name). As many of you know, we have our Informational Fellowship this coming Thursday at our home (see website and our Facebook page). We start at 7pm and we’d love to have you!

Let us know what you think about that verse, about the way God delights to bring beauty our of small beginnings…The Lord rejoices to see His work begin!

What the New Year Holds for Renew Church

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Whether you want to admit it or not, and whether your ready for it or not, the New Year is here to stay.

For Renew Community Church the New Year holds some exciting potential! After an unexpected Fall season, we are praying and preparing ourselves for a good start in 2017. We are beginning to fill out a calendar of events in the first quarter of the year that will, Lord willing, allow us to begin to gather together, to reach out and engage. As most of you are aware of by now, we start off with our Informational Fellowship on Thursday evening February 9th from 7-8:30pm at our home. We are excited to have a worship leader with us that evening who will lead us in “Behold our God”  and “The Power of the Cross.” I can’t think of two better songs to get Renew’s life started off than these two! As God’s people we should seek to always keep our gaze on Him! For as we look to Him we find our strength to engage in life with one another and as we then behold our God together in a corporate context, we find strength to reach out with the Good News of Life in Christ to the lost.

Want to get ready for our informational fellowship and set your heart ablaze with a vision of our God? Click on the two songs above and they will take you to where you can listen to each one of them. I am providing this so that if these songs are new to you, you can come on Feb. 9th prepared to worship! So what can you expect on February 9th? We will have an intimate gathering at our home where we will have some food, fellowship, vision-casting, worship and prayer for the lost. I want to encourage you each to consider who you might bring to that event who might have an interest in being part of Renew Community, or who might go out and share with others about our new church.

Beyond that evening, here is just some of what you can expect to see coming:

Renew Community Fellowship Meals and Prayer: A regular gathering beginning approximately a week later (stay tuned for exact date/time)
“Ring in the Spring” Block Party: We did one of these in the Fall but we thought moving it to Spring would be a nice touch!
Hosting Mission Teams: Renew has just formed a relationship with an out of state church that will begin to send mission teams this coming summer

Where do you fit into all this? I’d love to explore that with you but in the meantime, let me personally invite you out to our Informational Fellowship where you will worship with brothers and sisters in Christ, hear what God is up to in expanding His kingdom and get a vision of how you can be a part of what God is about to do.

Go Hard after God in All Things!

 

Informational Fellowship Meeting February 9

Third Times’ the Charm (We Hope!)


Happy New Year! We hope you had a wonderful holiday season and are ready for a new year in the Lord. It’s been a bit of a unique time for our family and by extension the church planting work that we feel God has called us to here in Southern Maine.

God has been faithful and used family illness and even the loss and grief of Ron’s Mother’s passing to deepen our understanding of Him and His work as we embark on this journey. You can read more of Ron’s thoughts on this season of life on his blog post here.

Finally, we wanted to let you know that we have rescheduled our Informational Fellowship to Thursday, Feb 9. We are praying the weather will hold for that day and we won’t have to reschedule AGAIN. They say three times the charm, right?

We’d love to see you at this gathering to learn more about what we feel called to do and to find out how you might be able to help expand the Kingdom of God here in the Kittery, Maine area.

If you would be willing to invite a friend, and forward this page to those who may help to help get the word out, we would be very grateful. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Sincerely,
The Plocinski Family


New Date

Thursday,
February 9

7:00pm-8:30pm

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Location
The home of our church planter
Ron and Melissa Plocinski:
2 Ledgewood Drive
York, ME 03909
(Just off Rt. 103)

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RSVP

Please call Ron and Melissa at home or sign up using the form below.
(207) 606-0421

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Informational Fellowship RSVP

Lessons learned

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Happy New Year!

It’s about two weeks late but I hope that greeting finds you all getting off to an encouraging start for 2017! So…how is the New Year shaping up for you? It’s probably kind of hard to tell at such an early point – right? After all, our typical new year’s resolution attempts are not only woefully pragmatic and short-sighted, but they are also very individualistic. Not that any of those are without any merit. After all, as Americans, we have within us that engrained individualistic, independent spirit befitting a country birthed out of a spirit of independence. But that individualism can certainly be a hindrance, especially when it comes to spiritual realities. Spiritual lessons can often be interpreted incorrectly, not seen or ignored altogether because of that streak of independence within us. After all, it can be difficult, even if you are a Christian to submit ourselves to the lessons God brings our way as he seeks to more fully conform us to the image of Christ.

What lessons can you look back on in 2016 that now have the benefit of a different vantage point? For me, the last half of 2016 was certainly not what I had planned! Melissa and I were supposed to have the Informational Fellowship of Renew Community Church (our “kick-off” event). I had planned for this event to go well, giving us the “boost” we need at the beginning of this ministry endeavor. As is often the case, God intended something different. He intended, and intends, His glory to be revealed in all things as He works out His will in our lives for his glory and for our good. So, how did God do that in my unexpected end of the year? I had no idea we’d have to cancel the Informational meeting, not once but twice! Not a good start for any church plant. Perhaps that’s the result of my prayer that God would go before us and do as He pleases in my church planting endeavors. Maybe that was a dangerous prayer, but I can’t help to continue to pray it even as we make plans to reschedule that event. I can now better understand that God was seeking to teach me that I need to release my “control” over our church planting activities and allow Him to lead, even when it’s through twists and turns and not a straight path.

So as we take that first big step into the unknown of 2017, I hope that under the kind, providential hand of God, you will have an over-abundance of “life, liberty and happiness”. But more than that, I hope that your soul will have greater longings, insatiable longings to draw closer to the God of the Scriptures who has seen fit to give us another year of life on this earth. I hope that this year will see you growing deeper – like that tree in the first Psalm – that because it is planting by streams of water, its roots grow deep and strong, giving much life and beauty above for all to behold. I hope that you become more beautiful in Christ!

So, happy New Year! Let me know how it is going for you, and how you hope to grow closer to God in this New Year. What lessons did you learn in 2016? What are you hoping for in 2017? Please post some comments, thanks!

I will leave you with my favorite quote: “It’s not great talents God blesses so much as it is great likeness to Jesus. Oh God, make me as holy as a saved sinner can be!” (Robert Murray McCheyne).

The Long Goodbye

enrica-plocinkskiLosing a loved one to death is never easy and I don’t know that there is ever a good time to discuss such a topic. After all, who really wants to discuss it? We’d much rather discuss something “positive,” we might say. But death really is a part of the experience of life. We know in Scripture that death was not part of God’s original design. Rather, once sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, death was the just consequence meted out as a result of their sin of pride and unbelief when tempted by the Serpent in the Garden. So this simple fact should not be forgotten – death was, and is, not part of God’s original design. It’s something unpleasant, to say the least, that we must learn to come to grips with in this sin-cursed world; at least until Christ returns to finally vanquish sin and death. In this “in between” time, we are forced to come to grips with the reality of death and how it rips our worlds apart. And that is never an easy thing to come to grips with, is it? In fact, it’s a very painful thing.

One I’ve had to come to grips with over this holiday season. Instead of a picture perfect holiday season filled with family traditions, turkey and stuffing and all the likes, my holiday happiness was shattered when I got that dreaded call by my sister just two days after Thanksgiving, “mom has been given 24 to 48 hours to live”. So I dropped everything and flew to be by my 80 year old mother’s side. It was so sad to see my mother wasting away from the effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

Diagnosed roughly eight years ago with this tragic disease they call the “long goodbye,” I sadly watched the strong and independent woman I knew as my mother slowly waste away; dreading that time when I knew I’d have to make just one more trip – the trip to bury her. In the midst of so much sadness, I am grateful that God was merciful in granting two prayers.

First, when I got word of her pending death, I prayed that God would allow me to get there fast enough to be by her side; in hopes that she would know I was there comforting her, holding her hand, telling her that I was thankful for her and what a good mother she had been.

Second, I prayed that God would make her passing as physically peaceful as possible. By all appearances, God seemed to graciously grant that request also. I was able to spend roughly 24 hours or so at my mother’s bedside before she passed on the evening of Sunday, November 27th and during most of that time she seemed as comfortable and free of pain as one could be at such close proximity to passing from life to death. I am writing this blog post partly as an expression of gratitude to God who knew we’d need a feisty mother to get us through those early years after my parents’ divorce. And fight for her family she did. In fact, she did a pretty darn good job of it. It seems right to fight tooth and nail for those you love. But I am writing this also as a eulogy to a woman who loved me enough to fight for me to help me make my way in this world.

Thank you mom, I made it!

Thanksgiving Blog Post

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There is something to be said about reflecting on life – where you’ve been, where you’re going and what it all means. Though we might often shutter at the thought of being so introspective, there is nothing like reflecting on life’s lessons and accomplishments, sorrows and triumphs to light the match of gratitude in our hearts. Though many of us don’t like the idea of reflection, no doubt many of us can find something to be thankful for. A kind word timely spoken. A distant memory that holds much value. A spouse who faithfully loves and serves. A child who seems to be responding well to the tutelage of a loving parent. A good job in an unsteady economy. Health. Whatever it may be for you, I hope you spend time this Thanksgiving season reflecting on those gifts and the One who so graciously granted them.

I believe it was the founding father, Thomas Paine who once said, “The real man smiles in trouble, gathers strength from distress, and grows brave by reflection”. Spoken like only a man’s man could say! Forged in part by the revolution and the masculinity of his age, we can learn much from Paine’s words in guiding us through life’s ups and downs in our own age today. It seems that as I am reflecting on all this I am learning I have far to go in following Paine’s recommendation. Don’t get me wrong. I do have much to be thankful for. God’s wonderful ways have allowed me to travel a lot in life, for which I am very grateful. Whether traveling throughout Europe while in the military, mission trips or vacations, I am thankful for the places I’ve been and I often look back fondly at those opportunities.

But life is not always just those positive experiences. I’ve also learned to be thankful for a mother, though now wasting away from the ravaging effects of Alzheimer’s, who had such a strong and independent spirit that I could have imagined no other woman to guide me and my siblings through the difficulties of divorce. A woman who gave herself away to her children by working long hours to make sure we had what we needed. I am also thankful for the course correction in my life that came from God’s sovereign hand – calling me to himself from the ways of this world. That showed me love on a completely different level than I could have ever imagined. In his continued kind providences in my life, I am now married to a wonderful wife and Melissa and I have the joy of watching our two sons begin to blossom from those early seeds sown in their lives in hopes they too one day will know Jesus as their Savior. It seems that God’s work in our lives continues to grow exponentially – for now our entire family can be thankful for the ways we’ve seen him work in getting us from Long Island to Maine in our quest to start a new church.

So as you celebrate Thanksgiving this year, I do hope you have many things to be thankful for; granted to you by a loving heavenly father who, though his ways often seem mysterious, has it all under his control. And that is something truly to be thankful for!

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