Three Memorable Events in 2008
October 15, 2010 | Posted by Doug
"A funeral home, the Holy Spirit bee, and a pre-Christmas blizzard"
New Day Church has been quite a ride so far with plenty of twists and turns along the way. We held our first worship service on October 19, 2008. It was the first of five monthly preview services we held leading up to our official launch in March, 2009. These preview services were a way to get the word out, to let people know what we were about.
We wanted to do everything we could to make a positive impression on people. One decision, of course, was where to hold the service. I tried Bronx Science High School, but they were having a big test that day, I tried other schools, churches, restaurants, none of them were available and the time was drawing near. I kept walking past this funeral home, it was right near a subway stop, right on the Grand Concourse, but I said, no way. I could just hear it: “Hey we’re starting this great new church Sunday, why don’t you come out.” And people saying, “Ok, where are you meeting.” “Um, that funeral home up on Grand Concourse.” And people saying, “That’s pretty creepy. What kind of church is this?”
So finally one day I stopped in, just to inquire. And they were so welcoming. They would be happy to have us worship there, they would not charge us anything. So we had our first worship service at the Fox Funeral Home. It turned out to be a great place - just right for burying the traditions of the past and starting a New Day.
Holy Spirit Bee
The next month we met at Bronx Science High School. Channel 12 News and the NY Times came out to the service to do stories about us. Things were going along fine. I was in the middle of my sermon. And I saw this bee, a yellow jacket, about 30 feet away flying right at me. It was surreal, like everything went into slow motion. I kept preaching and I was just watching this bee, making a bee line for my neck. I tried to duck out of the way but it stung me right on the neck. I’ve been stung a few times, and it always really hurts for a couple of hours, but this time it didn’t hurt. It just kind of injected me with energy. Jorge said the sermon got a lot better after that, more energized. So we joked that it was a holy spirit bee.
Our December service was held just four days before Christmas. We planned an elaborate celebration with power point and some very interesting Christmas carols. A couple days before the service it started snowing, and snowing. I went out on Saturday and it was well over a foot. But they were ploughing and had made a path down to the entrance to the school. So I sent out an email to encourage people to come out. Late Saturday night it started snowing some more. On Sunday morning it was still snowing. My daughter Nora and I were hanging up the big New Day banner outside the entrance to the school. My fingers were numb, the wind was howling, the snow was blowing. I wondered if anyone else was coming out in this blizzard. But more than 20 people showed up including several first time visitors.
All three of our 2008 worship services were highly memorable and provided a great foundation to launch New Day Church!