I don’t know about you, but I am eager to enter into all the drama and wonder of Holy Week this Sunday. We will begin with the special experience of reenacting Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, before following Jesus through the Last Supper and to the cross on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Then, we will celebrate together the wonder and joy of Christ’s resurrection and the first taste of God’s renewal of all things on Easter morning; I can’t wait!
I’m also excited to let you know that this week Paul Van Allen, a beloved member of the COTC community, has joined our staff team as minister of mission and discipleship.
In this part-time capacity, Paul’s primary role will be to lead us to grow in our service to Austin as we grow to see the whole of our lives as participation in God’s renewal of all things. He will help us to proclaim the Gospel in action — meeting the practical needs of our neighbors — and in word — proclaiming the good news of what God is doing through Jesus. Additionally, Paul will support and grow our efforts in discipleship as we seek to press into the value of transformation in the likeness of Christ. Finally, Paul will continue to be the point person for the development and use of the Parish House.
Many of you will know of Paul’s extensive service at COTC, his love for Jesus and commitment to the people of God. As a longtime Austinite and former missionary with considerable experience in leading teams and connecting with mission efforts here in Austin, Paul is ideally suited for this role; I’m excited for how God might use him in it.
Paul has also begun the process of ordination to the diaconate with Churches for the Sake of Others, our diocese. I’m delighted that as a church, we can support the Van Allens while Paul goes through this process of discernment and equipping.
Please join me in praying for Paul and Lisa, and their three kids, Ava, Layla and Henri in this time of transition. Please continue to pray with me that COTC might grow as a community of “kingdom fruitfulness” — announcing, embodying and demonstrating the reality of the Easter Gospel.