Go Tell It On The Mountain: Pandemic Presents Opportunity in the Form of an Influx of People

Go Tell It On The Mountain: Pandemic Presents Opportunity in the Form of an Influx of People

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Rev. Darrell Goodwin, Executive Conference Minister, chats with the Rev. Jeff Lukens pastor of the Lordship Community Church, in Stratford, CT. Video at end of article.
In another episode of Go Tell It On The Mountain, the Rev. Darrell Goodwin, Executive Conference Minister, chats with the Rev. Jeff Lukens, pastor of the Lordship Community Church, in Stratford, CT, on the eve of the church's 100th Anniversary celebration, and the 10th anniversary of Rev. Lukens' tenure there.

Rev. Lukens said that he grew as part of the Middlebury Congregational Church in CT, where he was confirmed, married and ordained. His first sense of call to ministry, he said, came while he was an attendee at the Conference's Silver Lake Camp and Retreat Center in Sharon, CT.  He said after college and a few years working in business, "God reached out again, and I remembered that sense of call that I had completely forgotten about. It was eye-opening to me 'oh yeah, this is what I'm supposed to be doing.'"

After attending Andover Newton Theological School, he served as a student ministry in Windsor, then a Christian educator at Center Church in Hartford and then as a chaplain at Yale New Haven Hospital. His first church call as a pastor was in Pennsylvania, but after two years there he decided to come home to Connecticut. His call to Lordship, he said, was "truly just a God pairing."

"I felt God saying 'this is where you need to be,'" he said.

Rev. Goodwin praised Lordship for its social media presence, in particular on Instagram, and asked what Rev. Lukens finds exciting in the life of the church.

"I'm really excited because there is so much opportunity in our community. With the pandemic came an influx of new folks into our community," he said. "Stratford, Connecticut, is on the train to New York. We're right near I95. We are the last beach community in Fairfield County, which makes us still very affordable and commutable to Stanford and New York City. And since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been this huge influx of new folks in our community. And I'm excited to be able to bring this good news of the love and justice of Jesus to our community and to serve them. Because there is a spiritual hunger, I can feel it. And I am excited to bring this vision to our community and to spread this good news."

Rev. Goodwin said many communities in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are likely to see similar growing populations because of what is happening politically in other parts of the country.

"As some of these unfortunate nefarious laws are cropping up all over the country, that actually are anti-people and anti-justice and everything else, ... people are starting to ask themselves: 'do I relocate?'" he said. "So what a gift to have a pastoral leader who's thinking about how to connect with the new folks."

The church is celebrating its 100th Anniversary with a barbecue on the front lawn on Saturday, July 23, and will have a celebration during worship on Sunday morning at 9:30 AM, with Rev. Goodwin as a guest. Find out more at https://thelordshipchurch.org/
 








 
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