We are so excited to be starting new ministries in the Diocese of NWPA! In our brief time here we have already explored parts of the Diocese and have been able to connect with some of the clergy and community. We are overwhelmed with the support which has been poured out to us. Since Erin is originally from this diocese we knew there would be some sense of familiarity but in many ways it already feels like home.
We can already see how God is working in the lives of the people of this Diocese and how great things are ahead. This past week we were in New Castle getting our PA drivers licenses and while we were there, multiple people asked us why we moved to PA. We told them about our vocation and the ministry that was ahead of us. Every person we talked to was so excited about new ministries coming to New Castle. They already knew about Trinity and could not wait to see what God would do in this next chapter of its story. God is moving in the Diocese of NWPA!
Similarly, the first week we moved here we were getting cable at the apartment. The technician who came out to install it was a young man. While he was working we engaged in conversation and he too asked what brought us to the area. We told him about our new ministries and a little about our work as pastors. He shared with us how he had lived in the Hermitage area his entire life but fell away from the church some time ago. Yet, he still sensed God’s presence in his life and knew the importance of church but he has never been able to connect with one. He was excited to hear about a new Episcopal church coming to Hermitage and the possibilities of being able to experience God and community in new ways. He gave me his information and told me to contact him when we get started. God is at work in the Diocese of NWPA!
Neither Erin nor I know exactly what our ministries will look like or what exactly God has planned but what we do know, is that our short time here has already given us a glimpse of life here in NWPA and we know that God is moving and that God is well and alive. We know that God is already at work in the life of the people and in the various communities found within this Diocese. Words cannot express how excited we are to be here and how we cannot wait to see everything God has in store for us, for this Diocese and for the life of every person that is touched by the work we will do with you together!
Jason Shank, Pastoral Leader of the Church Plant Hermitage, PA and The Rev. Erin Shank, Vicar at Trinity Church, New Castle, PA