New Decade Excitement

This year we were able to spend Christmas in Chris’s hometown in Pennsylvania. This little community and all the open space can sometimes make me feel like I have traveled back in time. We had no cellphone service, limited Wi-Fi and… less stress. It almost makes you wonder if those things are connected in some way. We spent a lot of time with family and did all the Christmas festivities which was actually really refreshing and relaxing. We were also blessed by the loving community at Saint Paul’s Presbyterian Church who have supported us faithfully through our time in Mexico and now at Gordon-Conwell. This Church has incredible people and pastors that always make us feel like family whenever we are there. Needless to say, we are so grateful for this beautiful group of people.
We are also grateful for all of our weird, hilarious and wildly supportive families that God has given us!
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And a huge congratulations to the McGuirk family! It’s a Girl!!!
Now, as we look forward to where God will lead us in 2020, we are filled with excitement and anticipation. We would like to invite you to please join us in prayer for these next 6 months! We will both have extremely busy schedules while also praying about the next step and looking for a job!
This is also a time of praise in our lives. As we look back at our younger YWAMer, single selves we would have never dreamed what God had planning for us. We are so thankful for everyone who has faithfully supported us through our lives. Tears come to my eyes thinking about how many people have poured their time, money, prayer and love on us these last 6 years. We love you all and hope this next decade is the best one yet!

Our Favorite Quotes Right Now…

“Church is a rescue mission where we hold sinners anonymous.”
– Dr. Hugenberger

“For Christ dwells only in sinners.”
– Martin Luther

“Brothers don’t shake hands… BROTHERS GOTTA HUG!”
– Chris Farley, Tommy Boy & Every time I see my brother Tony

Changing with the Leaves

This month we have been through a lot of change. Learning how to work through stress with joyful hearts and trusting Jesus in places we fall short. As we develop in our jobs, our classes and the multiple of other things we are juggling, honestly some days we both come home and collapse on the couch. But as we sit on the couch and talk about our day, we always discover how much we are growing in our faith and falling more in love with Jesus. Whether it’s what we are learning from our classes, or experiencing with our friends and church community, we are changing.

IMG-0538Gordon-Conwell at Sunset.

Prayer Requests:
We would love prayer for what God has planned for the future. Chris is graduating in May, which is very exciting. This also means we are praying and applying for jobs. We ask that you join us in prayer that we would end up right where God has called us. Chris is in charge of the mission’s conference at our church which is happening this month. Please pray that this mission’s conference would come together smoothly and be very impacting for our church community. This upcoming Sunday Blaire will be teaching adult Sunday school on the inductive bible study method in the book of Colossians. Please pray that God would speak through her and the bible is seen as alive and active to our church.

IMG-0569Blaire Leading Worship for the Chapel.

Praise Reports:
Our church has been going through a lot of change in the last couple months. The location we were previously in became no longer available and our church had to search for a new location. During this time, it has been beautiful to see our church community rally together, showing us that church is not a building, it is fellowship with each other. Thankfully we were blessed to find another building.

As always we are so thankful for everyone ho has been tracking with our journey and praying for us along the way. We would not be here without you!

Our Favorite Quotes Right Now…

“Before the flood, people judge
They did the same thing to Noah
Everybody wanted Yandhi
Then Jesus Christ did the laundry
They say the week start on Monday
But the strong start on Sunday
Won’t be in bondage to any man
John 8:33
We the descendants of Abraham
Ye should be made free
John 8:36
To whom the son set free is free indeed
He saved a wretch like me.”
– Kanye West

“King of Kings, Lord of Lords, all the things He has in store
From the rich to the poor, all are welcome through the door
You won’t ever be the same when you call on Jesus’ name
Listen to the words I’m sayin’, Jesus saved me, now I’m sane.”
– Also Kanye West

Discipline & Discipleship

This semester is starting to look like one of the busiest but most exciting seasons for the Colangelo crew. (Why do I feel like half of these updates start with that line?) Anyway, I have been working more and more on coordinating the Global Missions Conference for our Church which will take place next month. I would say that preparing for this conference has been one of the greatest learning experiences of my time at seminary. It’s a lot of work but I have been able to practically apply a lot of the things I have been leaning in the classroom. Blaire is loving her classes on educational ministry and the Old Testament as well. She was also invited to lead worship for our school’s chapel on top of leading a small group and working part-time!

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Did I mention she ran a half-marathon last weekend and climbed two of the most advanced mountain trails in Acadia, National Park?!

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My favorite class so far is about what it looks like to actually live out the Christian life. I am learning that God desires all Christians to live shoulder to shoulder with others. This requires us to be vulnerable and honest with people and when it’s done intentionally the Bible calls it discipleship. My professor pointed out that most of the time Jesus is just inviting people to come and join what he’s already doing. It has been incredibly helpful to know that as future ministry workers, and current Christians, we don’t have to be perfect or have all the answers. We just have to love people enough to extend the invitation.

Prayer Requests:
1.) That Blaire and I would have wisdom to say “yes” and “no” to the right opportunities.
2.) That Chris’ resume would end up in the right hands! 🙂

Praise Reports:
1.) We survived the half-marathon!
2.) God continues to remind us that what Jesus did on the cross is so much bigger than our brokenness and actually enters into our brokenness to bring healing.
3.) Blaire and I have felt very fortunate in our new roles as the Resident Life Coordinators for our building.

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Our Favorite Quotes Right Now…

Jerry Seinfeld to Telemarketer; “Hello… Oh gee, I can’t talk right now, why don’t you give me your home number and I’ll call you later… Oh, you can’t do that? Yeah, I guess you probably don’t want people calling you at home… well, now you know how I feel.”
– Seinfeld, Season 4, Ep. 3

“No Hard Feelings
Lord knows they haven’t done
Much good for anyone
Kept me afraid and cold
With so much to have and hold
Under the curving sky
I’m finally learning why
It matters for me and you
To say it and mean it too
For life and its loveliness
And all of its ugliness
Good as it’s been to me
I have no enemies
I have no enemies”
– The Avett Brother, No Hard Feelings

Final Year at Seminary

I can’t fully believe that Blaire and I are jumping into our last year of seminary this month. To this point we have spent the first half of our marriage in Mexico and the second half here on the North Shore of Boston. Needless to say, our time and experience at Gordon-Conwell has shaped us in new and unexpected ways.

One of the clearest examples of this has been the continual discovery of our unique identities as sinful but sanctified individuals in a unifying marriage. What I mean is that Blaire and I are experiencing this life-altering and spiritually challenging season together as a couple. To be completely honest, I don’t think we would be able to do it alone. We get to share everything we’re learning with each other and take on so many new and exciting responsibilities as a team. To be even more honest; we get to take turns supporting and praying for each other when it all feels like too much.

Blaire and I have loved working at our church and serving at the seminary, but I think more importantly we have loved what this difficult but rewarding work has meant for the unity of our marriage.

IMG-0457This is us enjoying a free concert on our last free weekend before the fall!

IMG_0442Speaking of rewarding work; this is the mailroom. (Starting in the mailroom is just one of the many similarities I share with Buddy the Elf.)

IMG-0447And finally, this is my fall schedule. If anyone has any questions about these classes or what I might be learning I would love to connect with you.

Prayer Requests:
1.) Graduate school can be extremely difficult without a supportive community. Blaire and I hope to create a loving and open community as the new Resident Life Coordinators for our building.
2.) Please also pray that we would finish our last year strong.

Praise Reports:
1.) For God’s intervention and provision of wise counsel regarding an important trial in Chris’ family!
2.) Praise God that Blaire and I finished our summer classes!
3.) As always a HUGE thank you to everyone who is supporting us and lifting us up in prayer.

Our Favorite Quotes Right Now…

“Pay more attention to your Creator than your critics.”
– Unknown & Blaire Colangelo

“Consider! You were not created to please your senses, to gratify your imagination, to gain money, or the praise of men; to seek happiness in any created good, in anything under the sun… On the contrary, you were created for this, and for no other purpose, by seeking and finding happiness in God on earth, to secure the glory of God in heaven.” John Wesley,  Sermon – “What is Man”

Time in Pennsylvania

July has been knowingly eventful and surprisingly thought provoking. Blaire and I expected to wrestle the whirlwind that is summer traveling while both working and taking classes, but I don’t think we saw some of the bigger questions coming. Next summer Blaire and I will be traveling overseas for 6 weeks as the final requirement for my time at Seminary. First, we have to decide where to go but even before we go we will have to pack up all of our things and send them to… wherever we happen to be going when we get back. These are some of the things we have been prayerfully considering during the craziness of summer and we sincerely invite you to pray with us!

IMG_0566.jpg(Maybe the stress is already getting to me?)

Most recently we traveled to my home town in Pennsylvania to visit friends and family. Blaire and I both agreed that this was our best trip to Pennsylvania yet! We had some incredible conversations with my family and got to see all the yard work my parents so proudly accomplished. We were welcomed, as always, by friends and the amazing people at Pine Springs Camp and St. Paul’s Church. We were also overjoyed to celebrate the engagement of our very close friends!

img-0261.jpegWe’re so thankful for this trip and Blaire was thankful for the opportunity to rip around in this…

Prayer Requests:
1.) Peace and clarity organizing our 2020 mission trip.
2.) For discernment and ultimately trust that God is leading us.

Praise Reports:
1.) For Chris’ older brother’s new job and appartment!
2.) For Chris’ younger brother completing the summer at Pine Springs Camp before heading back to serve in Mexico for two years!
3.) Congratulations to Tyler Ott and Kate Williams on their engagement!

Our Favorite Quotes Right Now…

“I would be skeptical of any plan motivated by guilt and shame when the gospel is one of freedom.”
– Kevin B. Hackett, MDiv, BA (Cornell)

“Here’s some advice I wish I woulda got when I was your age: Live every week like it’s Shark Week.”
– Tracy Morgen, 30 Rock (TV Series)

While others search for what they can take, a true king searches for what he can give.”
– Mufasa, The Lion King (2019) & Jesus, John 3:16

Turning 26

This summer I will finish my Systematic Theology concentration with a 30-page paper detailing my beliefs on just about every theological topic. It will cover everything from what I believe about the beginning of the universe to what I believe happens to us when we die. It also includes my thoughts about the Bible, the Trinity, and what it means to be “saved.” If, like me, you have never had to articulate your thoughts on these topics I would highly recommend writing up some kind of “Statement of Faith.” Needless to say, I am learning a lot about myself in the process.

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This month I also celebrated my 26th birthday. The only thing special about turning 26 is that you have to leave your parents healthcare, so… a huge thank you to everyone who reached out! I felt very loved and healthy. Blaire went above and beyond to throw me an amazing party and like everything else in her busy life, she completely crushed it.

I wanted to end this update with a benediction that has been particularly challenging for me this month. I didn’t know what a benediction was before coming to seminary so if you don’t know, a benediction is a blessing usually pronounced by a pastor at the end of a church service. This one comes from Indian Christians in Thailand.

“Now may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God the Father be with you;
and may the Holy Spirit come upon you…
and disturb you and trouble you,
and set before you an impossible task
and dare you to do it;
until in your desperation
you fall on your knees
and remain there until he fills you with his power
which alone will enable you to do it;
and then, but only then, may the Lord grant you his peace.
Amen”

Prayer Requests:
1.) Safety while we drive to Pennsylvania (12 hours).
2.) For discernment of where God is calling us after our final year at Gordon-Conwell.

Praise Reports:
1.) Alan Peviani and Anthony Colangelo are world class dads! (Happy Father’s Day!)
2.) Two families have already been commissioned to the mission field during Chris’ time on the Global Mission Team!
3.) Blaire is working full-time, studying part-time, and now she will be leading our small group! She is amazing!

Our Favorite Quotes Right Now…

“Unless there is an element of risk in your exploits for God, there is no need for faith.”
– J. Hudson Taylor, 19th c. missionary to China

“If we ignore the world, we betray the Word of God which sends us out to serve the world. If we ignore the Word of God, we have nothing to bring to the world.”
– John Stott

 

Time in California

Last month Blaire and I wrapped up our final classes for our second year at seminary! We then traveled to California to see family. We loved every second of our trip (aside from my root canal and the titanic dead leg I received from my younger brother, Eric, upon arrival). It was great as always to see our friends and family in California and to worship with them at The Shoreline Church.

IMG_0304We are so grateful for all the love and support we received in California. We went to Downtown Disney and became godparents! This is future superstar Chandler Hope McGuirk!

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Lastly, this is my beautiful mother, Karen. She has been busy decorating the yard this spring. Blaire and I can’t wait to see it next month! We will be in Pennsylvania visiting friends and family from July 19th -24th. This will be an important time for us to visit our friends at St. Paul’s Church and for me to completely destroy my younger brother, Eric.

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Our Favorite Quotes Right Now…

“Time is no guarantee of wisdom. You can grow old and die a fool… If you’re learning everything the hard way, you might want to ask yourself if it’s possible that you’re hardly learning.”
– Erwin Raphael McManus, Uprising

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
– Theodore Roosevelt & Brené Brown

 

 

Finishing Year II

Blaire and I are currently two years and two-thirds of the way through our time here in New England. We mostly love it but over the past month we have been buried in books and notes preparing for our finals. By God’s grace we finished well! Blaire studied really hard and knocked her final tests out of the park. I’m so proud of her because these were the first tests she’s taken in 8 years! She’s the best.

Jonah Gu!

This semester has marked some major transitions for us. I started my job at the church while remaining a full time student and Blaire became a student while maintaining the same hours at her job. Needless to say we were busy. Fortunately, this business made us more dependent on God and dependance always makes it harder to believe the lie that we can do life without God. Blaire and I are learning that the things really worth doing are usually harder but they also provide an opportunity to grow closer to God.

Spring in New England

Now it’s time for us to take some much needed vacation to be with family. We will be in California visiting friends and family from May 17th to the 26th.

Prayer Requests:
Safety while we travel.
For an upcoming trial regarding one of Chris’ loved ones.

Praise Reports:
Patti Peviani and Karen Colangelo are the best moms ever! (Happy Mother’s Day!)
Our church now champions the Foster Care program for the North Shore!

Our Favorite Quotes Right Now…

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
– Theodore Roosevelt & Kent Kusel

“Knowledge is good, method is good, but one thing beyond all others is necessary; and that is to have a head, not a pumpkin, on your shoulders, and brains, not pudding, in your head.”
– A. E. Housman, The Application of Thought to Text Criticism

Spring at Seminary

Blaire and I have survived another New England winter! This season has been an incredible learning experience for us as we attempt to balance work, school, and ministry. We are both learning so much at Seminary but I can confidently say we still don’t have it all figured out.

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Will there be snow in heaven? No.

Over the past few months I have been able to plan and participate in our churches Global Missions Retreat as well as connect with the local and global missionaries. It is always so interesting to hear about the different approaches to making a difference in a community. It can sometimes be easy for me to forget that Jesus left comfort to bring light into the dark places everywhere he went. Jesus loved broken people enough to break bread with them.

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Providence, Rhode Island

Prayer Request:
Less than 3% of people in New England claim to have any sort of relationship with Jesus. Many people are struggling with depression and deep personal wounds. They often feel angry with God and hurt by the church. This can sometimes feel more like the mission field than our time in Mexico. We share the gospel here because we believe that where the Sprit of the Lord is, there is freedom!

Praise Report:
Blaire and I have been able to see God moving in real and amazing ways. We have seen deeper joy in our marriage, unity and openness at our church, and the loving impact that humility brings to our community.

Our Favorite Quotes Right Now…

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
– African Proverb

“It is certain that a young man or woman who fervently loves God, although adorned with limited gifts, will be more useful to the church of God with their meager talent and academic achievement than a vain and worldly fool with double doctor’s degrees who is clever but has not been taught by God.”
– Philip Jacob Spener’s Pia Desideria

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Frozen pond, adult child.

In the Beginning… of our Year

The year is off to an exhilarating start! In January I was able to take a compelling class on “Practical Apologetics.” Apologetics is the art of “reasoned arguments in the justification of something.” In this case we explored the topics of absolute truth, how millennials think, post-modernism, the existence of good and evil, and the relationship between faith and science. I was really challenged by these topics and discussions and would highly recommend Christian Apologetics to anyone with questions. (Which I think might be everyone.)

Blaire also began her classes in January. She is taking a class on Christian theology and another on the life of the historical Jesus! She can usually be seen lugging around a copy of The Institutes by John Calvin. I am taking a class on the history of the church over the past 500 years, one on the theology of the Old Testaments and the last one on the critical issues in the Christian mission to Muslims. Our small group is going through the book of Acts and can be seen “in action” in the picture below.

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Serving at the shelter

Aside from shoveling, this season has been great so far! As the new Global Mission Intern at our church I am able to serve and support our global missions team as well as our churches missionaries. I will also work toward the mobilization of prayer and missions training for the congregation.

Gaining this experience has really been invaluable for me. I am thankful for all the support and the opportunity to serve in this capacity.

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Yeah, we shovel.

Our Favorite Quotes Right Now…

“The great art of life is to moderate our passions. Objects of affection are like other belongings. We must love them enough to enrich our lives while we have them, not enough to impoverish our lives when they are gone.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Pilgrim’s Regress

“Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

“You can’t beat Lewis and Tolkien.”
― C.M.D. Colangelo