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Fall 2013 Volume 1, Issue 2

The GreatHeart A newsletter from the Chapel of The Bowery Mission

Bearing Fruit for the Kingdom By Jason Storbakken

In this issue: • Inaugural Ministry Partners’ Retreat •Leadership Transitions • Ministry Spotlight: Skate4Jesus • Chapel Themes for August, September, October • Mack’s Corner • A Dedication and a Wedding • Important date to remember

Jesus said, “Every good tree bears good fruits” and “by their fruit you will recognize them.” (Matt. 7) There are many in this world who may not have heard of The Bowery Mission, yet they are witness to our good fruit. Apart from the thousands of people whose lives have been transformed by our ministry, the Mission has deeply influenced the Church (big “C”) in North America. And each of us are heirs of that legacy. Louis Klopsch, visionary and early director of the Mission, came up with the innovation to put Jesus’ words in red, which we all know today as the Red Letter Bible. Charles Sheldon, former minister at TBM, wrote In His Steps (also called What Would Jesus Do?), a book ranked as one of the best-selling books of all time.

(Clockwise, L to R): Fannie Crosby, Original And Fannie Jane Crosby, who authored location of the Mission, Red Letter Bible, Blessed Assurance and Pass Me Not, O WWJD. Gentle Savior, and thousands of other hymns, ministered here for nearly 20 years fruit for the Kingdom of God. Although we and wrote many songs on the piano we may not write a best-selling book or pen a famous hymn, we are each called to have in our conference room. something more: to preach the Gospel and We are in the lineage of doers of the Word, rescue the perishing, to follow Jesus and men and women who were influencers for bring glory to the Father through the power of the Gospel. Let us, too, bear abundant the Spirit.

Ministry Spotlight: Skate4Jesus is one of our newest ministry partners, and they have shown themselves to be a dynamic, Christ-centered group that truly values incarnational ministry. Diana Rodriguez is the founder of Skate4Jesus, a ministry consisting of young people who skateboard or appreciate skate culture, and all of whom love Jesus and seek to promote his message of love and redemption. Skate4Jesus, a monthly ministry at The Bowery Mission

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The Inaugural Ministry Partners’ Retreat All of our ministers are invited to attend the Inaugural Ministry Partners’ Retreat. This low-cost retreat is for ministry volunteers who share the Gospel in the chapel at The Bowery Mission. It will be a time to fellowship, “sharpen iron,” and worship the LORD in the beauty of the Poconos at Mont Lawn Camp! We are blessed that Mont Lawn Camp & Retreat Center is a sister site (that is, it is also under the umbrella of the Christian Herald), which allows us to offer this retreat at the extremely affordable price of $50 per person (includes lodging and meals). Please register at your earliest convenience by clicking here.

Retreat Info: When: September 6-8 Where: Mont Lawn Camp & Retreat Center ( Who: All Ministry Partners (and families) Purpose: We retreat so that we may better advance the Gospel, particularly in our work at The Bowery Mission! If you have any questions about registration, please call Pastor Jason at 1-212-674-3456 x113.

Retreat Itinerary (Sept. 6-8) “…so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” – 2 Timothy 3:17

Friday 3-5pm 6 730 Nightfall

Arrival and check-in Dinner Word and Worship Fire circle (time of sharing and testimonies)

Saturday 830am 10 12pm 1 6 7 Nightfall

Prayer breakfast Session 1: Preaching Good News to the Poor Lunch Free time (rock wall, pedal boats, hiking, etc.) Dinner Session #2: Creating a Culture of Worship Fire circle

Sunday 8am 9 12pm

Prayer breakfast Session #3: TBA Lunch

**Have bags packed & ready before lunch.

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Leadership Transitions We’ve had two leadership transitions in 2013. After almost 20 years of faithful service to The Bowery Mission (and Christian Herald), Brian Johansson, has moved to Pennsylvania to take the helm of a non-profit in Pittsburgh where he will serve as President and CEO. His years of experience and leadership will surely serve them well. Brian began working as an Operations Manager at the Transitional Center and moved his way up to Vice President of Operations. Brian was instrumental in helping to start and oversee the development of new program sites for our men’s and women’s programs. He was also the visionary behind Don’t Walk By, an outreach to the homeless that sends volunteers to every street in Manhattan during the

coldest months. His vision and commitment will be missed by many staff, students and volunteers who had the opportunity to know him. A next transition is the arrival of Daniel Stoltzfus who is serving in the role of Chief Program Officer. He provides executive leadership to several sites in the organization, including The Bowery Mission, the new East Harlem men’s site, and Mont Lawn Camp. Daniel has many years of experience working with various ministries and non-profits. His faith, vision and leadership are sure to take The Bowery Mission to a new level of consecration. Please hold both of these men in prayer as they continue to transition into their roles.

continued Many of the members of Skate4Jesus grew up in and attend Christ Tabernacle, the daughter church of Brooklyn Tabernacle. The Skate4Jesus website says: “Once a month we serve at The Bowery Mission in Lower Manhattan, where we hold a chapel service. Worship is led by our very own worship team and then one of our leaders gives a word of encouragement. It is an awesome opportunity, because not only do we feed the homeless people spiritually, but soon after worship, we are invited to the soup kitchen where we get ready to give the guests a nutritious meal, prepared by The Bowery Mission’s Chefs.”

Brian Johansson

Daniel Stoltzfus, Chief Program Officer

After the young people from Skate4Jesus lead the chapel service, some of them stay to pray and fellowship with our guests while others go into the kitchen to see if they can help serve. We are blessed to have these young people commit their energy, enthusiasm, heart and faith to serving our community at The Bowery Mission. Please keep them in prayer as the Lord continues to grow their ministry. To learn more about Skate4Jesus (their other outreaches, clothing line, concert series, and more) visit their website

Serving in the kitchen after leading chapel

Chapel Themes

The GreatHeart August: “God is Calling You” (Luke 9:28-36) The Transfiguration When we encounter Christ we truth and power of God. Others, like awaken to the power and glory of Jonah, run from God’s calling. And still God. Jesus is the fulfillment of the others, like Peter, try to please God by law (personified by Moses) and acting hastily when they should rest in the prophets (personified by God’s presence and take the time to Elijah) (see Matthew 5:17). understand the glory that has been revealed. We may not always know how to respond to God when we Have you encountered Jesus in a way encounter Him. Some, like that awakens you to God’s truth and Samuel, need to be called several beauty and love? Have you responded times before they awaken to the to His calling on your life?

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We are transformed when we encounter God. The Word says, “[the apostles] were afraid as they entered the cloud.” To enter God’s presence can be a frightening experience. We may not feel good enough, and the truth is we aren’t. But Jesus is – and that’s the point; we can’t save ourselves, but through his power we are redeemed and transformed. How will you respond when you encounter the Living God?

September: “Through Christ We are Made New” “Be reconciled

to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. ” – 2 Corinthians 5:21

(2 Corinthians 5:17-21) When we look at the world, we see how broken it is, how evil destroys people’s lives in many ways. When we look at ourselves, we see how broken we are, how our sin creates distance in our relationship with God. We see how we hurt others by the bad things we do, say, and think. And we are reminded of how different God is from us and from all of

humanity. We remember that he is full of holiness and justice and love. We remember that he hates evil and rejoices in righteousness. But we don’t remain in a spirit of grief and guilt. We remember that part of His joy in righteousness is his joy in restoring the brokenness of people and the world. He has

always loved us, and he sent his son Jesus to die for us because it was impossible for us to become righteous ourselves. In the death of Jesus, “justice kisses love” in that he takes on the punishment for our sin and clothes us in his righteousness, healing the distance between us and God. And that allows us to rejoice.

October: “The Good News is for You” (Luke 4:16-21) Jesus begins his ministry by reading Isaiah 61:1-3, and proclaiming that this scripture is now fulfilled! There are spiritual and physical implications to this passage. Christ has come, his kingdom is entering in, and the gates of hell will not prevail! This passage from Isaiah is rooted in the Hebrew idea of Jubilee. The Jubilee is a Biblical regulation (Lev. 25:8-53) that restores homes to the homeless (that is, those who have lost their property due to poverty), slaves are set free, and debts are cancelled. It

is interesting to note that when Jesus read this passage from Isaiah he skipped verse 2b, which mentions the “vengeance of God.” A quote from an anonymous author states: “If it is not good news to the poor, it is not good news.” Each of us preaches at The Bowery Mission because we have felt a calling to “proclaim good news to the poor.” How do we preach the good news? Is the homeless community encouraged and filled with the hope that Christ is coming and brings with him his holy kingdom of peace and justice?

When we preach the good news, do those sitting in the chapel pews feel greater love toward God and one another, and do they have hope that another way is possible?

‘The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’ – Luke 4:18-19

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Mack’s Corner Bring the Mission to Your Church! We are always thankful when our church partners go deeper in the work of the Mission. There is much to do here, many service opportunities, and every person who contributes to this important work is greatly appreciated. We encourage our ministry teams to continue proclaiming the Gospel in the chapel, and we challenge you to go deeper. The Mission needs tutors to work with the students in the program, skilled volunteers to help with maintenance projects and to serve in the medical clinic, and we always need help in the kitchen and clothing room.

By James Macklin We also encourage you to bring The Bowery Mission to your church! Share your rich experience of ministering at the Mission with your fellow parishioners, by inviting our team of students to share testimonies of life transformation with your congregation.

I have led teams of students to churches, schools and other places throughout this country for many years and it is always a time of blessing for our students and especially for those who listen to their testimonies. Our men will share their testimonies and also lead songs of praise and worship. If you’d like to schedule a visit from one of our teams, please give me a call at 212-684-2800 or send me an email at

A Dedication and a Wedding! The staff, students, volunteers and the homeless community forms a deep and dynamic community at The Bowery Mission. In many ways we are a family to one another. And like any family there are good times and bad times, we share stories and life experiences, sometimes we surprise and occasionally disappoint one another. Yet, throughout it all, it is Christ who is at the center of this community, and life transformation and ultimately salvation is our aim. As a community, we share milestones. Much earlier this year we celebrated

the wedding of Charles and Cheryl Reeves. Charles and Cheryl were together for more than twenty years, but personal struggles kept the couple from entering into holy matrimony. Charles joined the Bowery Mission Discipleship Institute in late 2012, and upon graduating the program he decided to marry his lifelong love. It was a beautiful ceremony, and I (Jason) had the privilege of officiating the service! Cheryl recently finished nursing school and Charles is continuing his work as a woodworker. Earlier this month my son, Elgin Melchizedek Storbakken, was dedicated to the Lord in the Mission chapel. Family and friends were in attendance. Prior to the dedication, the Atlantic Coast Conference of the Mennonite Church USA (to which I belong) had a meeting in the Mission. Pastor Kenn Thompson (of Friendship Mennonite) led the evening chapel service, and performed the dedication for my son. It was a time of blessing. Please continue to pray for the Reeves, my son Elgin, and the community at the Mission.

Important Date to Remember The inaugural Ministry Partners’ Retreat will be September 6-8 at Mont Lawn Camp. All Ministry Partners are invited to this low-cost/nocost retreat. Register online!

The Bowery Mission 227 Bowery New York, New York 10002 PHONE: 212-674-3456 E-MAIL:

Visit us online at:

An Anabaptist Hymn

Mont Lawn Camp is located in the Poconos, a 2-hour drive from NYC. Pictured above: the chapel at camp

My God, I ask and pray Thee with all my heart anew, Protect me from all evil; keep me devout and true, In all the love and blessings Thou hast bestowed on me, That I may be more zealous, submit and follow Thee; And consecrated by Thee accomplish all Thy will; O spare me not, my Father, let me Thy word fulfill, That I may then accomplish in Thy dear children here What is ordained for me, Lord, as Thou dost well foresee. (From a song written by Jorg Rack, a martyr of the radical reformation who was beheaded for the sake of divine truth in 1561 at Innsbruck, Austria.)

The GreatHeart  

The Fall newsletter from the Chapel of The Bowery Mission.

The GreatHeart  

The Fall newsletter from the Chapel of The Bowery Mission.