Phoenix Church Plant
I am both sad and excited to tell you that Josh Harp’s last Sunday at Via Church will be October 28, 2018. I am sad of course because Josh has served on our staff since 2008. He has served God, me, and our congregation well and will be missed by many including me.
However, this is also an exciting moment because Josh and Elizabeth are planning to plant a church here in the valley. It has been in the heart of our leadership for a number of years. In 2016 we cast the vision as part of our Hope Initiative thinking that it might be another Via congregation. Over time, we realized that Via was not in a place to tackle this alone so we turned to our local network of churches called Surge. Within this network is a church in Chandler called New Valley Church. New Valley is also connected to other church planting networks.
The next step for Josh is to do an apprenticeship at New Valley for 12-14 months. During this time a location for the church will be determined, a team will be formed, and funds will be raised. Because of your generosity to Via, we are able to participate financially in this apprenticeship and look forward to participating more as the time to plant draws closer.
This is not the first time that Via has planted. During our 45 years of history we have been involved in a number of church planting endeavors. One of those successes was long time staff member Dave Beach. In 2008 the Beach family planted a church in Tempe. Today, that church is called Ten40 and is strong. They are currently building a new church building. Praise God!
Like child birth that is both painful and exciting, so is birthing a church. It will be painful to send away a pastor, dear friends, and a sweet family. But this is an exciting step for the Harps and Via! Just think what God will do as a new faith community takes the gospel to a neighborhood. How beautiful it is to see two great churches like New Valley and Via partner together to birth a new church!
On October 28, Josh will preach. He will share his heart with us. We will gather around him and Elizabeth and pray for them as we commission them and bless them. You will also have time to greet them in the Cafe that day after services. Elizabeth and the kids will continue to attend until December after the kids Christmas musical that the Harp kids are participating in.
Let me encourage you to pray, rejoice, love on the Harps, and keep giving. You are a part of this courageous undertaking!