Summer Update

Here are just a few things that have happened since we wrote last:

  • The first of our opportunities for service with the youth, building a fire pit for some of our elder members, went well. We also began taking meals to our home-bound elders after fellowship meals. We look forward to more opportunities to serve our elders in our community this fall!
  • We had a fun and successful end-of-the-school-year party for the kids with Kids Club at Great Plains Gathering. We saw lot of new faces. We also enjoyed the opportunity for enjoying ourselves and celebrating a good school year.
  • We have had several BBQs and dinners at our home this summer (yay for the summer break!) and enjoyed the chance to get to know the people of GPG better and hear how the Lord has been working in their lives.
  • The first GPG summer picnic was a blast! The next is Sunday, July 30th.
  • Anthony has continued to work with the MSUB Office of American Indian Outreach and has been helping them transition to a new location on campus for the fall. The new location will include room for childcare and mothers. The ribbon cutting ceremony is in September and GPG is a sponsor of the room.
  • This year’s Vacation Bible School with Rocky Mountain Community Church was a huge blessing! They had 140 kids registered including many from GPG. It was a blessing to see our churches work together for the Lord.
  • Anthony was blessed to preach at GPG this summer. It is always a joy to bring the Word and minister to the people here. His sermons are available here and here.
  • Rowan turned 3!

 

 

This month we ask that you please pray for: 

  1. Fall Kids Club – We are putting the final touches on the program planning for Kids Club that kicks off again in September. Please pray for the gathering of volunteers, the reviewing of curriculum, and the students who will join us. Please pray that God brings kids to GPG and that they will learn about Him and love Him. Please pray for the upcoming Women’s Bible Study that runs parallel to Kids Club.
  2. Discipleship Opportunities – Anthony has had the chance to deepen some discipleship relationships over the summer. He’s teaching one man how to read the Bible. He’s also reaching out to others to meet for prayer. Please pray that God will continue to grow these relationships and the love of the Lord in all involved.
  3. Continued Fellowship Opportunities – We have enjoyed the chance to have many families in our home over this summer break. It’s been a joy to know the people God has called us to and to understand how to better serve them and pray for them. Please pray for continued chances to meet with people over meals and play dates. Please pray for our family to stay well during this season so we may be hospitable.
  4. Upcoming School Year – As Tamasin heads into Kindergarten this fall, we’re looking at the various accommodations we’ll need to make to help her do well in school. Please pray for us as we work together with her and her teachers. Please pray for the students at GPG who will be starting the school year, too. Pray that they will be witnesses to God’s peace and hope in their schools.
  5. Apprenticeship/Residency Update – As we move into the last half of the year and the conclusion of our residency at Great Plains Gathering, we have begun to look at opportunities for planting a church. Pray for wisdom and discernment for where God wants us to go. Please pray for the transition for our family and the church. Please pray for the support of our ministry partners as we look into our next steps and seek to help advance God’s kingdom through church planting.

(Belated) Spring Update

It’s my fault. I meant to post our emailed update here back in May but completely forgot so while I’m here prepping our August update, I wanted to be sure and upload the one from May. Apologies!  – Rem

Update mailed in May:

Spring has sprung and there are TONS of updates!

Here are a few things that have happened since we wrote last:

  • Anthony was installed as Assistant Pastor at Great Plains Gathering. Praise God!
  • Kids Club hosted their first paint night and nacho bar. One of the members of the church teaches painting and graciously offered to teach the kids. We all had a blast!
  • Tamasin had her developmental assessments and all is on target for her to start kindergarten in the fall. A few of the things we were concerned about cannot be properly screened until later.
  • The MSUB powwow went well and the booth for changing and feeding that GPG hosted was a success! We had many mothers thank us for the service and take the information cards about the church.
  • The Rocky Mountain Community Church missions conference was great. This year they featured Montana church planting and Josh and Katie got to talk about GPG and church planting. You can watch the video they made at GPG to welcome people to our open house. (Remley made the logo for the conference this year)
  • Anthony oversaw the first end-of-the-year pizza party hosted by GPG in partnership with the MSUB Office of American Indian Outreach. They had 19 students come and it was encouraging to see GPG members sharing the gospel with their peers.

Thank you all for praying!

Prayer Requests –

This month, Anthony took over the keyboard (😃) and wanted to ask that you please pray for:

  • Summer Program Planning – With the regular school year activities dying down, I’m wrapping up the planning for the summer activities. Please pray that the events and studies planned would be beneficial to the people involved and would make God’s word come alive in their hearts.
  • Relationship Building – Since my outreach at the local campus, I have encountered many people. There are three men in particular that I want to connect with better. Please pray that God would give me opportunities for these connections to grow so that I might be able to share the gospel with them on a deeper level.
  • Growth in Christ and in Skills – This summer will mark a year at GPG for us. It has been a tremendous blessing and catalyst of ministerial growth in my life. Working at this church plant has given me a great sense of the importance of community. Please pray for continued growth in this season so that I can be better equipped to plant a church in the future.
  • Trust in God – Thank you so much for praying for us! This calling that my wife and I have to plant churches is a great blessing and it does put us out of our comfort zone to trust God for provision, gathering people, and relationship building. Please pray for me that my faith would always continue to grow stronger in our loving faithful God! Pray that my family and I would trust him more and lean not on my own strengths.

I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; Incline your ear to me;
hear my words.”
– Psalm 17:6

February Family Prayer Update

Anthony is an Ordained minister!

Great news! On January 26, 2017, Anthony was Ordained to ministry in the PCA by the Rocky Mountain Presbytery. We’re grateful for God sustaining us through the grueling study and examination process. We are also excited that Anthony has had the opportunity to spend time in study under great tutors and that God blessed his efforts and was glorified.

With Ordination completed, Anthony will be Installed as the Assistant Pastor of Great Plains Gathering on February 12 and looks forward to stepping up his responsibilities in that position. The prayer items below these photos will give you an idea for the types of ministry work he and Remley are involved with in Montana.

This month, please pray for:

  • Children/Youth Program. While Anthony has been teaching at our Kids Club (for kids 6 and up) every Monday evening, he will ramp up the program this spring and needs to develop a philosophy for the church’s ministry to that age group. He will also be developing a calendar of teaching and activities to support this philosophy. Please pray for Anthony to have wisdom and creativity throughout this process. Please pray that the program will be biblically sound, culturally relevant, and engaging. Please pray that Anthony and the students to continue to learn, love, and live out the gospel in service and respect to others inside and outside the church.
  • Assisting with Campus Native Outreach. One of the new roles Anthony will take on is volunteering a few hours a week to the Native Outreach department at the local university. He’s been helping there sporadically since we arrived in Billings and seen much fruit in relationships and trust. Please pray that God will continue to give Anthony favor in the eyes of the Native peoples on the campus. Please pray that Anthony’s time there will be helpful to the Outreach Coordinator. Please pray that he will be an ambassador for Christ and His Gospel, a good liaison for GPG, and that God will bless this work so that a prayer group might take root.
  • Family/Church/Work Balance. Remley has recently taken on several exciting new work projects. We thank God for these amazing opportunities and ask that you pray that God will be honored in her work. Also, please pray for her continued work at GPG, that she can be a helpful member of the church. Please pray that, in all of this, Remley is able to serve the Lord well and balance her responsibilities effectively.
  • Special Attention for Tamasin’s Education. We have recently discovered that Tamasin shows many of the early warning signs for some learning disabilities. Since Anthony has several, we knew she would be at higher risk and are familiar with many of the coping skills and techniques. Please pray that we are able to finish the enrollment process for Tamasin in a local school that will complete the screening process and provide the needed therapies. Please pray for Tamasin, that she has patience and trusts God through this process. Please pray that we continue to trust in God’s good plan and lean on Him in prayer for peace.
  • Prayer and financial support. We’re excited to announce that we are 76% funded for the next year. That’s 22% more than the last time we wrote! God is so good to us and we are thankful for all who have donated to support this ministry. Please pray for people to partner with us in prayer and funding.

I call upon you, for you will answer me, O God; Incline your ear to me;
hear my words.”
– Psalm 17:6

funding-progress-022017

If you’re interested in donating to help fund Anthony’s apprenticeship with Great Plains Gathering, you can donate online by clicking through here. Any amount is appreciated. All donations are tax-deductible and 100% of your contribution goes directly to this project.

Quizlet Cards for PCA Ordination

I’ve compiled all of the Quizlet decks I’ve been using over the last ~4 years (through seminary and internship) to prepare for Ordination in the Presbyterian Church in America. This information has come from a combination of sources including TE Brian Chapell’s guide for Ordination, TE Shane Waldron’s guide for Ordination in the Rocky Mountain Presbytery, On Being Presbyterian by TE Sean Lucas, various guides used by TE Alfred Poirier, and feedback from TE’s in my Licensure examination. Feel free to share with anyone you think might need them.

Some of these are rushed so you’ll very likely find spelling and syntax errors. In order to edit them, select the “Copy” option in the upper left-hand corner on the Quizlet page and Quizlet will copy everything over to a new deck that is editable. You will need a Quizlet account to edit these or save them to your decks. I used these on my tablet but you can also use the flash cards on your phone or desktop.

Happy studying and may God bless you!

December/January Family Update

Even though it’s January (of 2017! Wahoo!), I still wanted to be sure and cross-post our December update here since the prayer requests are all still in play. Want to get these delivered to your inbox? Subscribe here.


Happy New Year!

Since we last wrote, a lot has been going on. Anthony preached his first 3 sermons at Great Plains Gathering, he turned in his final written PCA Ordination examinations (only one more step until Ordination!), he also continues to teach on Monday nights and that kicks back up again in January, GPG held another successful Family Night and a special Christmas party, Tamasin turned 5, Remley opened an Etsy shop, and God brought us many opportunities for discipleship, fellowship, and evangelism.

Oh! We also had The Great Polar Vortex of 2016 come through. It left us with almost two feet of snow and a weekend of frigid temperatures but we had no accidents and had a warm home.

We thank God for all of his good gifts.

We wanted to share a few pictures from the last months below. Under that are our December/January prayer requests.


This month, please pray for:

  • Anthony’s last month of Ordination preparation. Only one month until Anthony goes before the Rocky Mountain Presbytery for his final oral examination in order to be Ordained int ministry in the Presbyterian Church in America! (YAY!) All of us are excited to see this step in the process completed but thankful for all that God has taught us in the journey. Please pray that God would sustain Anthony and the rest of our family over the next month with patience, joy, and diligence. Also, please pray that this final examination would go well and God would be glorified.
  • Anthony’s preaching. Anthony preaches again at GPG in February. Please pray that God will help him prepare well for preaching, that he will teach the people at GPG to the best of his ability, and that God’s message would be heard.
  • Prayer and financial support of planting. We’re excited to announce that we are 54% funded for the next two years. That is more than the last time we wrote! We are thankful for all who have donated to support this ministry and have been moved by how God brings a little bit more each month. We now just need 16 people to give $100 a month to meet our fundraising goal. Please pray for people to partner with us in prayer and funding.

Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
  Romans 12:11-12


We need your help.

We are over half of the way to reaching our funding goal!

If you’re interested in donating to help fund Anthony’s apprenticeship with Great Plains Gathering, you can donate online by clicking either the button below or through here. Any amount is appreciated. All donations are tax-deductible and 100% of your contribution goes directly to this project.

Know someone who might be interested in supporting this ministry work?
Please share this update.

Buy a book, support a planter.

Rowan reading

When we started making announcements about how our family is moving out to do church planting this summer one of my dear friends, Ashley, reached out and offered a super creative and kind way to help out! She graciously offered to host an Usborne sale to help us raise funds for the transition and the needs on the field. I’m so thankful for her thoughtfulness and desire to help us raise funding — She’s setting all of this up and ALL the profits that usually go to her will be going to us!

Here is the information that she passed along for anyone interested in buying books and supporting church planting in Montana:

If you are not familiar with Usborne books, you are in for a treat!  This children’s literature publishing company produces books with an educational mindset.  Focused on the development of young learners and readers, each book seeks to take a topic and present it in a wonderfully accessible, appealing, and illustrated way in book form.

You can help the Gorsuch family raise the funds they need for their move and transition onto the mission field, simply through purchasing books for your kids or grandkids…or neighbors, nieces, and any one in between!  These books make great gifts – think birthdays and Christmas too!
25% of your total purchase will go directly to the Gorsuch’s MNA fund.  On top of that, they will also earn free books for their kids based on the total sales!  So as you shop, know that you are helping them get to Montana to spread the Gospel AND supplying Remley with books to teach her little ones.

Shopping is now open: https://f5713.myubam.com/326961

If you would like to purchase any books specifically for the Tamasin or Rowan, then please send your order to: ashleyhbelknap@gmail.com  I will send you a special invoice and shipping will be free!

Browse through the links below to see some sample books!  Happy Shopping!

https://f5713.myubam.com/


Note: I (Remley) have catalogs and order forms if you’d prefer to look at the books and purchase offline. Just let me know.And again: a huge, HUGE thank you to Ashley for managing all of this!

What’s next?

Edited_Anthony

Anthony graduated in May and, since right around then, the question started popping up in various different forms: What are we doing now that Anthony has “The Degree”? That’s a good question!  I haven’t been trying to dodge it, we’ve just been praying and working a lot behind the scenes and I’ve forgotten to post anything here. Sorry!

That’s okay. So what’s up?

Last summer Anthony and I went to England to explore the possibility of helping with church planting there. While we aren’t going to England, we did learn a lot about church planting there and got a chance to observe how a passion for reaching the lost through the gospel, a conviction that the body of Christ grows best through the work of the local church, and a vision and love for the local people make a powerful combination. It was that conviction that led Anthony and I to begin to pray for God to open doors for us to be a part of church planting in Montana.

In September of last year, we began the lengthy prayer, research, and application process to be assessed by the Presbyterian Church in America’s (PCA) Mission to North America (MNA) Church Planter Assessment Center. We were accepted to the center and, in February, we attended and received a provisional recommendation for church planting in Montana. The “provisional” part is because they recommend that Anthony gets some training in some particular areas before breaking out as a planter alone. In the PCA, this training is usually provided in an 18-24 mos. apprenticeship.

A what? 

An apprenticeship. It’s a fancy word that means Anthony will pursue ordination, shadow and serve an existing church planter, and prepare to launch a new plant. It’s done in these phases and is sometimes called a residency. Sort of like how people in the olden days would train under someone who was really good at something to learn from what they’re doing. But instead of blacksmithing or cobbling, it’s church planting.

Josh Charette at Great Plains Gathering, a plant of Rocky Mountain Community Church, has kindly volunteered to be the planter who Anthony will serve under. We have a flyer outlining more information about the whole thing. You can look at it here.

The short version?

We’re moving to Billings, Montana in August. While there,  Anthony will apprentice under Josh at Great Plains Gathering so that, Lord willing, he’ll be equipped to plant a church in Montana in 2 years.

I didn’t actually ask for a short version. Is there a long version?

Hopefully, Anthony and I will be updating this place more often with longer bits about the why we’re going to Montana, why planting, why Billings and more but this was a quick-ish update so you could get an overview on what God is doing.

Cool. How do I pray for you guys?

For now we’re not going to use this space for updates on how to pray for us. Rather, I’ve set up an email list that’s easier to keep up with where Anthony will regularly post ways to be praying for our family and the ministry in Montana. If you’re interested in receiving email updates on how to pray for us, you can sign up for that here.

In the meantime, please pray as we seek God’s will with this new and exciting step, look for committed prayer warriors, and find people and churches who want to financially partner with us as we spread the gospel in Montana.
1024px-Billings,_Montana_the_Yellowstone_River