Coracle News

A big (actually amazing) announcement from Coracle

Dear Friends,

It gives me great joy to let you know that God has been and is doing “more than we could ask or imagine” (Eph. 3.20) in the ministry of Coracle!  Read on about that, but first let me say thank you again for your faithful support of this ministry.  You make God’s work through us and the formation of many possible, while much has been happening and more is coming.  I want to tell you about a few (and maybe more than a few) things that are happening.

In December 2022, we let you know that the fruit of Coracle’s corporate discernment the prior summer gave a clear vision for a ministry center in south Arlington focusing on offering hospitality and material services (ESOL, food distribution, computer access, after school programs, and prayer) for people for whom this is not their original country.   It felt like an impossible vision and then God miraculously provided when in June 2023, we let you know that God had led us to a perfect space for us in the perfect location—4,000 square feet on the entire third floor of Greenbrier Baptist Church.  Some of you have been here and been excited by the potential, and we’ve gotten started by building relationships in the community, recently offering our first ESOL class, partnering with others for community service, and making our space available for a number of local ministries.

Now, we are delighted that a new partner (and old ministry friend) Central Union Mission is moving into the second floor of Greenbrier Baptist to open a “Comprehensive Family Resource Center” It’s too long of a story to tell here, but after 140 years of ministry focused on Washington DC, last year the Mission discerned a call to northern Virginia.  After many conversations, a lot of research, and much discernment, the Mission recently decided to locate that ministry in the same building we currently occupy.  From the press release (read that here!), they will, as they have in DC locations, provide “food, clothing, addiction support groups, after-school programs for children, Christian discipleship and fellowship, computer access, education and computer training, ESL classes, job training and placement, legal aid, parenting classes, and access to social workers”…beginning in August, 2024 – just a few months from now.

We couldn’t be happier about this, about the partnership and volunteer opportunities this creates for Coracle to do ministry that we’d want to do but on a scale we wouldn’t be able to do.  Central Union Mission is excited that we are here because of our emphasis on discipleship and spiritual formation, something they are deeply committed to but which is not their focus.  Joe Mettimano, the President and CEO of the Mission, told me that he sees Coracle as “the go-to partner for spiritual offerings”, which is actually the stuff we do really well.  We, along with other partner churches and ministries, are excited to do this together.

For our part and as it relates to Coracle’s desire to create a ministry center in south Arlington, Central Union Mission is going to enable in months what it would have taken us 10-20 years to do only half as well as the Mission can actually do it.  I’m in awe of God around all this, friends.  We moved in with a vision for a ministry center, and then with Greenbrier Baptist Church, Memorial Baptist Church and Central Union Mission, it’s going to really happen, and we get to be a part of it, and so do you.  Stay tuned…

And while I have your attention…

**Corhaven is now open to receive guests who want a place for spiritual retreat and be with God – themselves or together with others.  This is also a fruit of our season of corporate discernment that you’ve made possible.  Kevin and Denise Goertzen are living on site as our host couple, and you can book a spiritual retreat for yourself or small group or leadership team here.  More soon on that too.

**You’ve seen the online conference we’re offering on Saturday, June 8 “‘Do You Want to Be Well?’ Diagnosis, Treatment, and Healing for the Church in America”.  I really hope you’ll join us for this important conversation and help spread the world.  See a special video about that here.

**Lastly, thanks so much for your financial support of the ministry of Coracle!  For all these amazing things going on and in spite of our efforts, we’ve been surprised to recently be experiencing significant financial strain.  We are not immune from the broad trends impacting non-profits for the past two years. We are addressing that by reducing our expenses while we increase our fundraising efforts and focus our energies on what we do well.  If you’ve been planning on donating to Coracle this year or wanting to make a special gift, right now would be a great time to do that if you’re able.  God’s been so faithful to provide (sometimes miraculously!) thus far, and we’re excited to see how God will continue to provide for the vision for 2024 that has been given, making it possible through your generosity.  Thank you for your support! And please pray about this need with us.

In the story of when Jesus’ fed the 5,000 (Mk 6.30-44), which sparked this direction for the ministry and which I unpacked here, Jesus took the little that the disciples had been given, just 5 loaves and 2 fish, and multiplied it abundantly far beyond their capacity and blessed many.  With this great development with Central Union Mission moving downstairs and getting to partner together, we feel like we’re actually re-living that story, and you’re a part of it.  Thank you.  Pray for us.

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