Dear Friends of The Antioch Partners (TAP),
One reason I enjoy Advent is the opportunity it brings to focus again on the incarnation. And, since incarnational witness is one of the core values of TAP, the Advent Season challenges me to think again about what this means for us as a community of cross-cultural servants. This statement in The Shaping of Things to Come (by Michael Frost and Alan Hirsch) is right on target for us as the TAP community, “For us the Incarnation is an absolutely fundamental doctrine, not just as an irreducible part of the Christian confession, but also as a theological prism through which we view our entire missional task in the world” (p.35). But, not only is this true for all of us with TAP, it’s also true for each of us as we seek to be Christ’s witnesses here in the US or anywhere else in the world. So, as we move towards celebrating the wonder and joy of Christ’s birth, I pray God will use the “theological prism” of the incarnation to give us all new insight and understanding into our call to be Christ’s witnesses!
Will You Help Us Fill the Gap?
As 2017 comes to a close, I want to thank all of you who are partnering with TAP, or who are supporting a missionary serving through TAP. Your partnership in ministry is essential and I praise God for each of you!
As many of you now know, as a result of Hurricane Harvey, we cancelled our annual dinner fundraiser event scheduled for September 28 here in Houston. We wanted people here to be able to focus on serving those who were impacted by Harvey. God gave us peace in making this decision, and we continue to believe it was the right decision. Cancelling the fundraiser has had financial implications for us, and we estimate we need to raise about $35,000 in operating funds to fill in the gap. If God leads you to help with this by including TAP in your year-end giving, that would be a wonderful blessing for us! You can give online by clicking here, or you can send a check (note on memo line “Fundraiser Donation”).
Partner Focus: Stone Family in Guatemala
In order to help you better understand TAP, I want to continue introducing TAP Partners to you. Eric, Debbie, Eric (Jr.) and Danny Stone are serving in Guatemala. Carol Friesen (TAP’s Member Care Coordinator) and I recently had the privilege of visiting TAP Partners in Guatemala, and that included the Stone family.
Eric is from the US and his home church is First Presbyterian Church, Winston-Salem, NC. Debbie is Guatemalan and they met when Eric was serving in the Peace Corp in Guatemala. They live in Zacapa which is on the east side of the country near the Honduran border. As TAP Partners serve the global church, they work with a broad spectrum of global partners, and that’s certainly the case for the Stone family. Eric and Debbie are working closely with the Church of God denomination there. Our brothers and sisters in the Church of God are Pentecostal/Charismatic, and God is using them in amazing ways throughout Guatemala. Eric helps provide training to pastors serving in rural areas (most of these pastors have limited formal education), and together Eric and Debbie are equipping local churches to be agents of transformation in their communities. It’s beautiful to see how God is working in and through the Stones, and I was inspired and humbled to see the creative/transformational ways some of these Church of God congregations are engaging their communities. Thanks for your partnership which helps make it possible for cross-cultural servants like the Stones to participate in God’s mission in Guatemala!
An Invitation for Our ECO Friends... Join Us Here in Houston
TAP is excited to be serving Presbyterian churches in the PCUSA, EPC and ECO. In terms of our ECO friends, the next ECO National Gathering will be here in Houston January 23 – 25, 2018. In addition to having a booth in the exhibitor area (come see us at the booth!), TAP is helping sponsor the global engagement pre-conference workshop on the afternoon of January 22nd. This workshop will call us to connect with, and commit to, global & local mission partnerships that will catalyze Kingdom mission in every corner of the world. In addition to the workshop, there will be an evening event focused on how we can reach out to our refugee neighbors (the dinner is open to anyone, whether or not you’re related to an ECO church). Thus, if you will be coming to the National Gathering and want to know more about these opportunities (or, if you’re here in Houston and want to know more about the Monday evening event), click here.
On behalf of the entire TAP family, know we praise God for your partnership in ministry and we are grateful to God for sustaining and growing the TAP family (both the missionaries and those who are serving as senders for them) over these past 10 years!
Advent blessings to you all,
W. Andrew Adair
Executive Director, The Antioch Partners