It was with great joy and a prayerful “OMG” that I recently accepted the role of Youth Ministry Director here at Redeemer. Though “officially” a new position, anyone who has spent time around Family Ministries can tell you that Cregan and Mindi Cooke have worked tirelessly in this capacity for many years to create a dynamic, Gospel-centered community that serves both the city and its sister community in Taost, Uganda. Redeemer will always be indebted to them for their vision, passion and joyful service to the Lord. Susan and I are thankful for Cregan and Mindi’s friendship and we’ll be leaning on them and their wisdom a lot this year. (A LOT!)
As for Susan and I, well, there has been plenty of awe-induced headshaking as we’ve considered how far God has brought us and how gracious he has been in allowing us to serve this community. Five years ago we were newly married. I was still tending bar trying to support an acting career while Susan worked as an architect at a boutique firm downtown. None of our friends were Christians. In opening our home to lead a small group, the Lord provided us with a community of New Yorkers that challenged us further. It was in this time that I began to consider seminary and vocational ministry.
At the risk of sounding like the ultimate “company man” the Vision Campaign of 2005 was a turning point for us with its theology for the city and plans to build a movement of churches. Like so many others we found the Vision attractive and sought to make it our own. Little did we know that it really would change our lives.
Since that time, we’ve had a son, Pascal, and three years ago Susan was hired as the project manager of the new building on W83rd St. In May I graduated from Westminster Theological Seminary and while a student acted as an Intern overseeing Beta Groups within the Fellowship Department for three years. This past year I had the great privilege of leading an interdepartmental team of artists to create The New Birth Portrait Series; a video portrait gallery exploring the “new birth” through the lives of New Yorkers.
There is a great deal of work to be done this year as we seek to further the Gospel in the lives of our youth. Please keep us in prayer. I look forward to giving you an update on all things “youth” come spring!