Please join us on March 18 for our Small Town Summit at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Posted by Stephen Witmer on January 16th, 2019

Over the past couple years I’ve helped to launch and lead Small Town Summits, which partners with The Gospel Coalition New England to serve small-town/rural churches, pastors, and laypeople throughout New England. On March 18, we’re hosting a New England-wide Summit at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with speakers Rick Lints, Donnie Griggs, and Brad Roth. We’ll develop a vision for what it means to be faithful and fruitful in small places. I’m praying this Summit will be encouraging for people throughout New England and beyond, and I’d love to have some of our PCF folks attend!!

Below is an invitation letter I recently wrote. You’ll see a link for more information and registration for the Summit. Please join us on March 18!

I’m writing to let you know about our upcoming Small Town Summit at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary on Monday, March 18, 2019. Our previous Summits have been regionally-based, targeted to specific New England states. This gathering is different: it’s for all New England small-town/rural pastors, laypeople, and ministry leaders. If you serve in a small place, we’d love to have you with us. We’re excited to be partnering with The Gospel Coalition New England, Small Town Jesus, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary for this gathering.

If you’ve been to one of our previous Small Town Summits in New Hampshire, Vermont, or Maine, please join us for this all-New England event, which will build on those Summits and develop them further. If you’ve not yet been part of a Small Town Summit, this is a great first Summit in which to participate. Over the course of one day, we’ll build a theological vision for small-place ministry. Our plenary speakers are a dream team: Brad Roth (a Mennonite pastor in Kansas and author of the award-winning God’s Country), Donnie Griggs (a small-town pastor in North Carolina and author of the popular Small Town Jesus) and Rick Lints (Professor of Theology and Vice President for Academic Affairs at Gordon-Conwell). In building his theological vision for urban ministry, Tim Keller has drawn on Rick Lints’ work. We’ll seek to do the same as we together build a theological vision for rural and small-town ministry.

We’ve got a tremendous group of breakout presenters from around New England, including Gloria Grell, Ben Ruhl, David Pinckney, Jim Harrell, Alasdair Groves, Jason McConnell, and Ian and Marci Shearer. Each will lead sessions on topics relevant to small-place ministry, including cultivating healthy marriages in small places, church planting in small places, church revitalization in small places, and much more.

In addition to plenary and breakout sessions, we’ll enjoy eating, singing, and praying together.

We’re praying that this gathering will bear rich gospel fruit throughout New England for years to come. We’d love you to come be part of it. Register now and please help us spread the word!

For more information, or to register, visit our website here.

I hope to see you on Monday, March 18,

Stephen Witmer
(Small Town Summits leadership team)

Does shame keep you away?

Posted by Stephen Witmer on January 12th, 2019

Here’s a piece I wrote for Desiring God, for all those who struggle with shame and the fear that Jesus and his church won’t accept them. If that’s you, please read this. If it’s not, please read it anyway — so you can encourage and help those who are struggling. Click here for the article.

Our upcoming Leaders' Training Day with Alasdair Groves

Posted by Stephen Witmer on January 8th, 2019

Dear PCF,

One of the things I love about our church is the many people who cheerfully serve. My heart is full of thanks to God for each one of you.

If you serve in ministry at PCF, I want to invite you to our 10th annual Leaders’ Training Day on Saturday, February 2, 2019. We’re defining ‘leader’ broadly, as anyone who serves in ministry in any way at PCF. If you greet on Sunday mornings, or serve as a Deacon, or teach a PCF Kids class, or make the coffee, or mow the lawn, or lead a Life Group, or shovel the steps, or…the list goes on and one…you’re invited!

Our desire is to say thanks by providing an enjoyable time together with other PCF leaders and excellent Bible teaching that will equip you for even more effective ministry.

Our Leaders’ Training Day this year will run from 9am – 2pm on February 2 (come a bit early for coffee and a snack). We’ll provide lunch and childcare. Best of all, these training days are always times of togetherness and laughter and joy. I’m excited about our time together, because Alasdair Groves, the director of counseling at CCEF New England, will be teaching us about ‘Engaging Emotions.’ Alasdair will help us to grow in dealing well with our own feelings (especially the hard ones) before the Lord, which will also help us in ministering to others. Alasdair is a wise counselor and gifted speaker — this is going to be good!

Our past nine Leaders’ Training days have been highlights of my year, so I’m looking forward to our time together. Please join us! I’m confident it will equip all of us to better serve God and his people at PCF.

Please RSVP as soon as possible to Amanda Johnson in the church office for planning purposes. Also, if you’re a parent and bringing a child/children, please pack a lunch for your child. The children will eat lunch together downstairs.

With anticipation,

Pastor Stephen

Read the Bible in 2019

Posted by Stephen Witmer on December 31st, 2018

The Word of God is rich and soul-satisfying and precious and keeps us from sin and trains us in righteousness and helps us grow in grace. Do you have a plan for how to read the Bible consistently, thoughtfully, and prayerfully in 2019?

Here’s a helpful response from John Piper to the question, ‘How do I make the most of daily Bible reading?’ You can either listen to it (it’s about 9 minutes) or read the transcript. Click here.

Take up this precious Book and read in 2019!

Where did Advent come from?

Posted by Stephen Witmer on December 11th, 2018

Have you wondered about the history of Advent celebrations? Here’s an answer from Ryan Reeves.