Dear CTR Family,
By now, you have probably heard that my family is relocating this September to Southern New Hampshire to begin a new mission there. Beyond that, unless we have spoken personally, the details may be a bit fuzzy. Here are a few more details.
Where in Southern New Hampshire?
Our goal is to move to Brookline, a town of about 5000 people. This is adjacent to the town where I grew up, and we expect to be within a ten-minute drive from my parents and siblings. Brookline and its neighboring communities are set back from all the major roads and populous areas. Because ministry energy is usually focused in populous and accessible areas, very little ministry is being offered to these communities. I have, for many years, been struck by the need for a gospel-proclaiming local Christian presence in these communities, and this work is our response to that need.
What is a “Mission”?
Jesus gave his Church the mission to go into all the world, to make disciples of all nations, to baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and to teach them to obey Jesus’ commandments. When we first go into a new place and start doing this work, we call it a “mission.” Because its focus is on bringing the Gospel into an un-reached or under-reached community, a mission often looks very different from “church” as we usually picture it.
When will you be going?
Pending the sale of one house and the purchase of the other, our intention is to move sometime in early September.
What will you be doing?
Let’s stick to the immediate future! I imagine we will be focused on three main things this Fall.
1. Setting up a Ministry House. Ministry Houses have proven to be an effective way of starting new ministries in our diocese. In this approach, our home would be a hub of hospitality and an initial headquarters of the mission, located in a visible and accessible location in the heart of this community. In addition to sufficient independent space for my family, there is ample room (inside and out) to let a ministry begin to grow in this space. Life in a ministry house means living a Christian way of life marked by rhythms prayer, work, study, and rest, and seeking opportunities to invite neighbors to share those rhythms with us. It will take some time and labor to prepare our home to serve in this way.
2. Integrating into the Community. As we prepare to establish a mission in this place, we will be seeking to understand what the true needs of this community and to discern if there is a particular way in which we are uniquely situated to serve our neighbors. I am imagining that the educational crisis that we are all facing this year will create early opportunities to serve and to build constructive relationships with neighbors. I have already taken initial steps to pursue these opportunities as soon as possible.
3. Building a Team. We believe that this is a moment of opportunity and call, and our family is moving very soon and beginning the foundational work listed above. However, we do not plan to launch a new mission alone. We are praying for a team to assemble, for God to prepare the way before us and bring people into our path who will join us. But we are also praying that a few families from Christ the Redeemer would be caught up in this vision and move to join us. We will also need the support of those who believe in this vision and can get behind it in a variety of practical ways that don’t involve actually moving. I suspect we will be back to CTR a number of times as part of that team-building work.
How can I help?
1. You can move to New Hampshire and come on mission! That would be the most intensive form of buy-in, and I am explicitly listing it because that option is seriously on the table. It is a huge thing to ask of anybody, and I don’t imagine that a large number of you will sign up. However, I believe that some will. If this invitation gets stuck in your heart and mind and you can’t simply set it aside, then I invite you to pray intensely, ask questions, and seek godly counsel. Perhaps God is inviting you.
2. In this initial phase, we will be doing some physical work on-site to prepare the house for mission. We will be inviting individuals and groups to come up and help with some of those projects.
3. If you can introduce us to people in this area who may be somehow interested in this mission or well-connected in these communities, we’d love to hear from you.
4. CTR now has a designated fund named “New Hampshire Mission,” for those who desire to give financially toward this work. *(see instructions for giving online below)
5. I am working on putting together a way of sharing updates with those who are willing to pray for us regularly—if you want to be one of those people, let me know!
As we prepare to go, I have been offering this prayer every day:
Go before us, O Lord, in all our doings with your most gracious favor, and further us with your continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in you, we may glorify your holy Name, and finally, through your mercy, obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
– Fr. Brian +
*Editor’s Note: If you wish to support the Barry’s with a financial contribution, click the button above and Select “New Hampshire Mission” in the drop-down menu where it says “General”