From time to time, the NJ District's church planters will be sharing updates from their ministries. This time you will hear about the church plant in Bernardsville, but before I share what has happened this past summer, let me give you a quick recap.
Our Spanish speaking church plant in Bernardsville, NJ is called Camino de Fe (FaithJourney). We started a Wednesday gathering with prayer, fellowship and study of God’s word on November 1, 2017. We started with one family and today Camino de Fe continues to meet every Wednesday with 20 people.
Camino de Fe exists to share the love of God with the Bilingual/Spanish community in Bernardsville, NJ so that they can share the love of God with others. We also offer the tools and resources necessary to help the community be part of, and engaged in, the American way of life.
In May, we had a Bilingual worship service at Somerset Hills Lutheran Church with our first two baptisms and 70 people in attendance. In April, we hosted our “First Time Homebuyers” seminar with 30 people in attendance. We partnered with a realtor from town and they did the entire seminar in Spanish. We were able to provide information and resources regarding homeownership.
Part of our dream is to own a laundromat that will serve as a worship and outreach center for our congregation. After listening to our community we found out that people were driving 25 minutes each direction to do their laundry. So, what if we own a laundromat and provide for the need of the community, hire people within the community, use the space for worship and workshops, and the laundromat can support the church financially. This is what God has put on our hearts.
And now to this Summer . . . This was an awesome Summer!
In August, we had a BBQ in which we played games, enjoyed time together and talked about our plans for the future. We re-iterated our vision. In addition, each member agreed to start leading our Wednesday gatherings (this summer we had two members leading our gatherings), and we will start some Preview Worship Services this fall. A preview worship service is a worship service that shows the community a sample of what our worship would be like.
This was also a busy summer! We applied for a grant to the Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF) – Kaleidoscope Fund for the amount of $250,000.00. This amount will cover all the equipment necessary for our laundromat. The Kaleidoscope Fund is a grant program designed to support eligible Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) ministries with outreach and expansion, education (K-12 Lutheran Schools) and church worker wellness. LCEF is always looking for opportunities to support the Church in fulfilling its mission of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Camino de Fe submitted a grant proposal in June. We were one of 41 proposals (out of 400) that were invited to apply for this grant. This past September 1st, we submitted our final application and now we wait and we pray.
Help us in praying for Camino de Fe, that if it’s God’s will, this grant will be approved for us. If not, then God will show us other ways to make our vision a reality. We will find out the LCEF decision regarding the grant on November 9, 2018.
I want to give a big thank you to Cheryl, the Somerset Hills Lutheran Church office Administrator, for helping me through this process. We could not have done it without her! Thank you also to Jack Baron, Pastor John, our district President Anthony Steinbronn, Elaine M. Schleifer, NJ District’s Office and Business Manager and LCEF Eastern District President Rick Porter for their wisdom and guidance. I am forever grateful!
Here are some ways you can continue to support us:
You can write your checks to:
LCMS New Jersey District
1168 Springfield Ave
Mountainside, NJ 07092
Attn: Bernardsville Church Plant
You can also give safe and secure online at this link.
Follow Camino de Fe on Social media to see pictures, videos and much more.
Email Pastor Dan Fenco for more information.
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