Thursday, May 29, 2008

Oh Yeah... There was this:

Yup, I am now officially the Reverend Gregory Rather Gentry Jr.
And I have the photos to prove it!

taking my vows...

They are laying hands on somebody...

aw man, who is it? Can't ... see...

Still no luck... It's me, I assure you it is!

See, my name is on the cake and everything!

I thought this was so cool...
II Timothy 4:1-2 if you can make it out.

Here is the article that we wrote up for PR:

On May 18, the Presbytery of New Jersey ordained Gregory R. Gentry as a minister and installed him as the Assistant Pastor of Church of the Covenant, OPC in Hackettstown, NJ. He joins the ministry of Senior Pastor Rev. Ron Pearce, whose ministry Gregory has sat under since his youth as a member of Church of the Covenant, where he was married in 2004 and where he and his wife Natalie baptized their daughter Abigail in 2006.

The Rev. Ron Pearce led the service and The Rev. David Harr Preached from 1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5, asking why Church of the Covenant would possibly want “Another Preacher?” He focused on the centrality of the ministry of the Word in the Worship of our God. The Rev. James Cassidy, moderator of the NJ Presbytery, administered the vows to Mr. Gentry and to the congregation, followed by the laying on of hands. Rev. Pearce followed with a sobering charge to Mr. Gentry from 1 Timothy 4:15-16 and Rev. Stanford Sutton charged the congregation from 1 Thessalonians 5:9-14.

The glorious day of worship ended in celebration and fellowship as the many who gathered shared a light dessert reception after the service. This was a joyous day in the life of Church of the Covenant, to the glory of God and for the proclamation of Christ Jesus.

(from left to right): Elder Gerry Cruz (CoC), Rev. Tom Foh (Reeders, PA), Rev. Ron Pearce (CoC), Rev. Stan Sutton (Westfield, NJ), Rev. Jim Cassidy (Ringoes, NJ), Rev. Jeff Waddington (Ringoes), the Ordinand Rev. Greg Gentry(CoC), Rev. Mark Stewart (Newton URC), Rev. David Harr(Medord, NJ), Rev. Andrew Graham (Knowlton PCA), and Elder Keith Cuomo(CoC).


Dancing Baby

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Self or Christ?

“Self has no claims upon us, for it has done nothing for us. It has been a wall of iron between us and Christ. Is that a reason that we should serve it? It has been a mountain of ice between us and the world to come. Is that a ground of claim over us?

No, brethren, self has done nothing to make us either live to it or die to it. It never can do anything; shall we then bow to it; shall we serve it; shall we do it homage?

We ask on the other hand—What has the Lord not done? What indissoluble, innumerable bonds are there between us and him, as the living, the dying, and the rising one.

The whole of our life is to be his, as his life was for us. Surely he has earned this, if he has earned anything at all. The least that we can give him is our life; the undivided service of our being, in every part; in our doing, in our speaking, in our planning, and in all our daily round of business, so that every part of our life shall be a witness-bearing for him.”

—Horatius Bonar, “Self or Christ; Which Is It?”

The above is, in my mind, one of the clearest statements of one of the most important truths the church needs to grab hold of in order to become what it is meant to be - Both corporately, in caring for one another and meeting diaconal needs, (which are incredibly important) and also individually, in marriages, in child rearing, friendships... the list goes on and on. If there is one word that ought to be able to be used to describe the Christian man or woman, it is the word "selfless."

Unfortunately, it is not only one of the most important concepts to realize, but it is also one of the hardest concepts (the hardest?) to actually manifest, and only by God's Spirit working in us.

May each of us pray hard for a more selfless spirit and truly desire to give up our "rights" for the sake of the others around us and the church. The Lord knows I need to pray as hard as anyone...

HT - Of First Importance

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Rosa May Flowers

The following post is meant for our Missions Trip team.

Here are some pictures and commentary for what we will be working on for at least the first few days down in Fairmont.

Our host is Rosa May Flowers, she is a 76 year old single woman who loves the Lord.
Starting today, she is your newly adopted Grandmother.

This is her home... Starting today, this is our home. Her prized possessions will be our prized possessions. We will love and care for them as she loves and cares for them.

Most of us will be spending much of our time on the roof. But a bad roof also leads to indoor damage, so I will start on the inside and work our way out...

The roof has been leaking for some time. These pictures show the damage...

Best case scenario, we're looking at one or two replacement sheets of drywall, puddy, and then do our best to match the ceiling, which is painted with texture paste/paint as you can see below.

This is in the kitchen, not nearly as bad as the living room. After we fix the roof, we can probably just put some primer on the spot and paint it.

Now we head outside to the roof... We will be stripping and re-shingling the entire space, including both porches. We estimated it to be approx. 1300 square feet.

I'm guessing we will find some wild life in that insulation.

The shingles are literally crumbling under our feet. Rosa May has been here for 25 years. Who knows how long the roof has been here. There are no trees or shade on the house itself, so these are pretty weather beaten.

The pitch on the rood is not bad at all. We should not need to worry about roof jacks or anything like that.

MTW has already put a tarp on the roof to keep it from leaking any further.

Here is the fascia work that needs to be done. This is the back porch, which has almost no pitch at all. We were surprised there wasn't more internal damage under this section of roof.

We will have to contend with a family of buzzers before we start the job...

Mark climbed up into the attack to see if there was any hidden damage, so there will be no surprises. If you look into the corner you can see the black water damage. One or two rows of ply wood will likely need replacing.

She also asked us to fix this electrical socket which apparently has no juice. Hopefully we can figure that one out.

That's the tour. It doesn't look all too daunting, and if we get a good rhythm going, we may be able to finish pretty early and help other teams finish other jobs as well. It will be the end of the summer at MTW, so there will be lots of loose ends to tie up, so be preparing yourselves mentally for just about anything!

Start praying now for how God is going to use you on this trip, and how He is going to change you on this trip. Be praying for Rosa May, and how we can minister to her, or how she may minister to us. Be praying for the unexpected, for safety, and most of all for God to be honored and glorified in our work, and for him to give us many opportunities to show and share Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Abby and Friends Play the Piano

My parents got Abby this cute little piano for Christmas, but we have not been able to set it up until today, because out apartment is about the size of a postage stamp. :-)

But we finally got it out and wanted to share (mostly with my parents) that she is finally able to enjoy their very cool gift.

After getting it situated in the bedroom, Abby gave her first concert to a group of fine stuffed animals, whom she quickly employed to help her complete her concerto. I'd have gotten more, but my batteries died... my bad.

This comes on the heels of another very special gift...

My dad, who is extremely gifted, made Abby a little desk.
He called me when he began the project and told me he was getting Abby a dog.
I must admit that I took him seriously and was not entirely pleased since, a) we live on a postage stamp, and b) our postage stamp does not allow pets! :-)

I was relieved when I saw this:

As you can see... not a real dog. But a cute one! Abuelito loves his nieta.

She took to it right away.

And even tried to take off with it! But it's pretty stable front to back... it's side to side you have to worry about.

And just because she has a cool new desk does not mean we have to be any less watchful of her eating crayons... she's chomping on the blue one here... That's a crayon-eating-grin.

Thanks Lito and Grammy!!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Not sure if I mentioned this...

But, by God's grace and to His praise, I did finally pass my ordination exam before Presbytery on April 22nd.

So, unless the Lord returns, (Which would be so much cooler) I will be ordained and installed by the PNJOPC as the Assistant Pastor of Church of the Covenant on May 18th at 3pm.

If you are reading this, YOU are invited.

There will be a luncheon after morning worship and a reception after the ordination service. You should come spend the day honoring God's faithfulness with us.

Please let me know if you are coming so we can be adequately prepared.

Can I get a woot woot?

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Let nothing divide you...

I don't think this is a huge issue in my own church - at least not as much as it may have once been. But there is so much in this short clip that goes beyond the main point and focus of Josh Harris' talk that I think every believer ought to watch this.

I think he is getting at something so vital to the life of the Church - it is so vital, and yet we so easily miss it. The life of the Church IS LIFE IN CHRIST. All of life is meant to happen in the Church, and we are meant to be united in that life. Josh is focusing on a particular aspect of that life, but the same things could be said about any and all aspects. WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER!

Amen Mr. Harris, Amen.