“West Coast Neighborhood Collective May 19th 2016”

What if Christ-followers in our cities actually began to love their neighbors as Jesus commanded? What would that look like?

The purpose of this email is to invite you to attend a special, one day event that will address these very questions. This is not a conference, but a gathering intended to facilitate and stimulate the exchange of experiences and ideas among all those in attendance.
The Neighborhood Collective brings together those who are actively involved in loving their neighbors with those who are interested in exploring ways to become more effective in advancing the Kingdom of God at the neighborhood level. This endeavor seeks to provide pastors and ministry leaders with resources and relationships that will encourage Christ-followers to effectively reflect our Lord’s love right where they live and work. This is not some new church growth program. We are inviting you to gather with others on a most exciting journey . . . a journey that begins by simply obeying our Lord’s command to love those who live in our neighborhood!

When: Thursday, May 19, 2016 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM (Registration begins, and refreshments will be served, at 8:30 AM)

Where: Valley Vineyard Church, 6642 Reseda Blvd., Reseda CA 91335

Who: We are pleased to be joined by both Tom Anthony of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, and Lynn Cory, founder of Neighborhood Initiative

Cost: $40.00, which includes a continental-style breakfast and lunch. For those registering prior to April 20th, the registration fee will be reduced to $34.00.

To register, please visit the following website: http://neighborhoodcollective.org

We look forward to seeing you there!!

Devote Yourself to Prayer!

1st Quarter Newsletter 2016

Dear Friends,

I pray this finds you well and that you are enjoying a good start to the New Year.

I haven’t communicated with you for quite some time, but that doesn’t mean that there hasn’t been a lot going on. As some of you already know, I ruptured my Patella tendon during the annual Lennon Family football game on Thanksgiving day. I had surgery the following week and thereafter began a six (6) month healing process. Unfortunately, that process was interrupted by an ensuing infection in my knee. All in all, it has been a very hard and humbling start to the New Year. But I want to quickly add that God is good and faithful! Though hampered physically, it has been a very rich time for me spiritually, allowing me to spend significantly more time in prayer as I sought the Lord’s will for LCI and my family in the coming year.

Over the past few months, I have been reminded by the Lord of the call upon Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem upon completion of Israel’s 70 Year exile in Babylon. From my perspective, the story of Nehemiah and the rebuilding of Jerusalem, serves to represent the Lord’s calling upon LCI. Like Nehemiah, we too serve as a catalyst to unify believers by connecting pastors and ministry leaders, thereby allowing the Church to serve the needs of our respective communities as the united Body of Christ.

But as I delved deeper in prayer, I began to realize that the Lord was using my recovery time to remind me of another very important truth: We cannot rebuild our communities or do any good work of service for the Lord without first establishing an altar of prayer and worship. Without belaboring my point, this is precisely why God first sent Ezra to Jerusalem. Before the walls could be rebuilt, Ezra had to rebuild the temple and re-establish the daily functions of worship among the Levites.

In human terms, it seems more logical that Nehemiah should first rebuild the wall, thereby allowing Ezra to complete his task in relative safety, free from the persecution of those who might have opposed such a move. But God’s ways are not the ways of man, and it is through the combined stories of Ezra and Nehemiah that we are reminded today that the physical transformation we long for in our cities must be preceded by spiritual transformation. There is no fulfillment of the Nehemiah call to rebuild our cities without an Ezra-like obedience to rebuild the spiritual altars. First we experience spiritual transformation, and then we can experience the physical transformation.

Over the course of this next year, LCI will continue to encourage pastors and ministry leaders to come together in small groups for the purpose of praying and establishing relationships. But more importantly, we will be encouraging our spiritual leaders to prayerfully seek the rebuilding of the spiritual altars of our cities, not as individuals or even as congregations, but as the united Body of Christ.

As we seek this spiritual transformation, we ask you to pray for our ministry. What I have put forth in a few words stands in direct opposition to the plans of our Enemy. We will face spiritual attack (and probably already have!). So pray for us. Pray for us as we seek an all-encompassing transformation that will empower the Church to bring life to peoples and nations around the world.

God bless you!

Tyler Lennon
Life Connections International

2nd Quarter Newsletter 2014

Dear Friends:

As I recently prayed about the vision and mission of Life Connections and our call to be a catalyst for unity in the Body of Christ, I was overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task to which we have been called. And the more I pondered the matter, the more I questioned how our little ministry could possibly have any meaningful impact on such a crucial issue.

Well, as He often will, the Lord addressed my concerns with a very simple action plan: ”Love them . . . serve them . . . connect them.” By loving, serving and connecting pastors with one another, we model, on a small scale, that which our Lord desires to do on a much larger scale. When our shepherds are healthy and individually connected, the door is then opened for the larger Body of Christ to also connect and unite as one.

Being a leader can be a very lonely job, and the job of pastor is no exception. Our shepherds face a considerable amount of pressure in fulfilling their calling, and all too often their efforts are rewarded with criticism or even rejection. They devote their time to serving others, but all too often they lack a friend to come alongside and serve them. Their overly busy schedules have a tendency to bring about isolation, causing them to lose contact with other members of the Body. Just as we need to be encouraged in our daily walk, so do they in theirs. And the person best equipped to encourage a pastor is . . . another pastor.

So, after all that prayer, I have been re-energized to “love, serve and connect” our local shepherds whenever and wherever possible. In fact, I believe this issue to be so vital to the health of the Body, that I would venture to say that true revival can only occur when pastors are connected and have learned to love one another.

One way I have started to “love, serve and connect” is through my business . . . Cove Paddle Fitness. Every Tuesday and Thursday morning I invite pastors to join me on the water where they can get some exercise, have some fun, and build relationships with one another. And I believe as we find creative ways to walk out this simple action plan at LCI, that we will all begin to see unity grow within the Body of Christ, thereby leading to ever increasing opportunities for us to Bring Life to the Nations!

In addition to Tyler’s on-going efforts to “love, serve and connect” local pastors through Cove Paddle Fitness, the following is just a small sampling of other LCI activities and involvement over the recent months:

• Neighborhood Initiative Los Angeles: Working with a small but extremely dedicated group of pastors in the San Fernando Valley, LCI has begun partnering with others whose vision is to reach every community in Los Angeles with the gospel message. The motivation behind this joint effort is Jesus’ command to simply love our neighbor as we would ourselves. The vision is to witness the advance of God’s Kingdom throughout the greater Los Angeles area as seeds of unity planted in the San Fernando Valley begin to sprout and spread over a much larger area. Our prayer is that walls of separation and division would tumble down, that the Church would become a catalyst for rebuilding broken communities, that unity in love and peace would become the norm, and that countless thousands would be joyfully ushered into the Kingdom of God, one neighbor at a time.
• 127 Collaborative: In partnership with James Storehouse, a ministry dedicated to supplying the physical needs of foster children and their families, LCI has been actively participating in the formation of a multi-ministry collaborative consisting of government agencies, non-profits, and members of the faith-based community for the purpose of mobilizing the resources necessary to serve the needs of those within our foster care system. Unfortunately, the foster care system is in crisis, often times unable to meet even the basic needs of either the families or the children. The purpose of the 127 Collaborative is to (1) better identify those needs and (2) serve as a bridge between those in need and those who can help supply the necessary resources. Why is it called the 127 Collaborative? Underlining the entire effort are the words of the Apostle James who wrote, “This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress . . .”
• Westside Homeless Coalition: After years of praying for some sign of unity amongst churches and ministries on the Westside of Los Angeles, LCI has had the privilege of helping bring together a dozen different ministries for the sole purpose of serving the needs of our friends who live on the streets of our communities. Though only in its infancy, this coalition (should it eventually become functional) could serve to mobilize the larger Christian community to not only provide the necessary resources to those experiencing homelessness, but could also serve as a much needed bridge to the healing and wholeness that is so desperately needed in order for our friends to live their lives in healthy relationship to their Lord and to one another.

As for trips, LCI will once again join with Aguas de Reposo ministry in leading a team to El Salvador. We depart on June 23rd, returning home on July 1st. Please keep us in your prayers!

1st Quarter News Letter 2014

Dear friends,
A belated Happy New Year to one and all!
The year has opened with some changes, and we are very excited as this next season of ministry gets underway. After many years of faithful service to LCI, Board Members Cindy Karpelas, Steve Snook and Trevor Berge have each stepped into new seasons of life and ministry. Without question, each has blessed this ministry in numerous ways, and I am personally so grateful for their prayers, friendship and service to both my family and to LCI. Indeed, I don’t know how I would have survived all the trials without their guidance and support. I have nothing but the fondest regards for each of them, and I pray that our heavenly Father richly bless this new phase of their service to His Son.
And as we enter 2014, we are very pleased to announce the addition of three new Board Members: Lynn Cory of Neighborhood Initiative; Jose Herrera of Aguas de Reposo; and Cliff Asai, pastor of Resplendent Light Church. We are enormously privileged to have these men become a part of the LCI ministry. Each has their own ministry, and each has partnered with LCI at one time or another. And though each responds to a different call, there is one common thread among them . . . unity in the Body of Christ! But we will elaborate on this another time as we have plans to highlight each of these men in future newsletters.
Moving forward, we sense today more than ever the need to be praying and listening. Ministry can easily become a flurry of activities and events, and busyness will always have a negative impact on our relationship with the Lord. It is only natural that our flesh desires for things to happen immediately. But the Lord has been teaching us the Biblical principal of not despising the day of small beginnings. We realize that little seeds of connection can and will grow into huge trees of life! So we are excited for the different opportunities that are coming this year! Thank you for your continued support and prayers for LCI as we continue to Bring Life to the Nations!

A short look back at the close of 2013
Bring Life Los Angeles;
On October 17th a team of 16 men and women arrived from London to minister to the urban poor of Los Angeles. With the exception of the group leaders, all had experienced homelessness in one way or another. Several had, through God’s grace, fought difficult battles with addiction. And all had a heart to serve our friends living on the streets of Hollywood and Skid Row. LCI was honored to have partnered with Alpha USA, First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, Oasis of Hollywood, Union Rescue Mission, and many other wonderful organizations. Through the efforts of these wonderful brothers and sisters from across the pond, many new doors for unity have been identified. We now focus our efforts on building upon the foundation that they so lovingly laid.
El Salvador
This past December we traveled to El Salvador where we participated in meetings with government, university, business and ministry leaders. Our leader was LCI Board Member, Jose Herrera who founded Aguas de Reposo Ministry for the purpose of caring for the elderly and retired pastors of El Salvador. Together we took part in the opening of a new medical clinic that will serve the physical needs of both the pastors as well as members of the surrounding community. We were also privileged to participate in meetings with government officials as Jose laid out his ministry’s long-term plans to establish a retirement community for these dear old men of God. And we were so very privileged to introduce Salvadoran officials to SongLever.com, a social music network that empowers young people to write, record, connect, and collaborate on-line. All who partook in the meeting were impacted as God was clearly using LCI to bring blessing upon this nation. But the work didn’t stop there. New connections were made with local ministries that will enable LCI to provide US-based churches and mission teams with both meaningful and effective trips to this beautiful land.

Upcoming trips and events
El Salvador (June 23rd-30th) – Mark your calendars! Start saving your pennies! Our upcoming trip will be focusing on building relationships between pastors and further development of medical services to both our elderly friends as well as the local community.

Life Connections International 2nd Quarter 2013 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

I pray that you and yours enjoyed a very blessed Easter season!  And I also pray that the power of our Lord’s resurrection be manifest in every aspect of your life.

It has been a busy season for Life Connections as we planned for and then facilitated a Pastors & Ministry Leaders Summit at the beautiful Salvation Army Camp in Malibu. Not only was it a refreshing time away from the daily routine of ministry, but it was also an excellent opportunity to connect with key leaders who have a heart for unity in the Body of Christ. Attendees were challenged to consider possible changes in ministry that could help bring about the fulfillment of Jesus’ prayer in John 17. They also had the opportunity to hear from others who are being used by the Lord to implement unity in their communities . . . men like Sam Gallucci of Kingdom Center Ministries in Ventura, CA (who addressed the group on the subject of “Unity: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”) and Lynn Cory, founder of Neighborhood Initiative which is based in the San Fernando Valley. Both of these men shared the impact that a united Body of Christ has had upon their respective communities.

The stories we hear of a united Church are pretty amazing. But they don’t need to be abstract stories told by someone else. Those stories could be our stories. All we need to do is step out of our comfort zones and make ourselves available for His use. What a difference it would make upon our neighborhoods if the Body of Christ were to unite as one!  It wouldn’t be easy, but it would be well worth the effort, and more importantly, it would truly bring glory to our Lord!

As I’ve said many times, our constant prayer at LCI is that we could be a catalyst for the unity that Jesus prayed for in the Garden. Thank you so much for supporting that efforts through your faithful donations and prayers. May we truly begin to see unity blossom in the Body of Christ . . . unity that would bring life to the nations!

 

El Salvador

We are planning our second trip to El Salvador from June 21st – 28th.  As in the past, we will be partnering with Aguas de Reposo in their ministry to the elderly pastors living in and around Santa Ana, El Salvador. Our plans include direct interaction with the pastors themselves as well as various work projects associated with the ministry.  In addition, we hope to be joining local evangelistic teams who target young people through both song and skits. It has been a long-standing goal of Aguas de Reposo to establish a bridge between the older and younger generations to “pass the torch” of the gospel message from one to the other, thereby fueling revival throughout their nation. There’s still time to join the team, so let us know if you are interested in coming along!

Japan

In May of 2012, LCI was honored to facilitate a trip to the tsunami-ravaged areas of northern Japan, and ever since the team’s return, we have felt the Lord urging us to plan a second trip.  Unfortunately, however, we lacked the commitment of a seasoned leader familiar with the Japanese culture. So, mindful of the Lord’s urging, but equally mindful of the importance of mature leadership, we began to pray. And I we are pleased to report that He has answered our prayers.  We were recently contacted by one the team leaders from our first trip who has offered to lead another team! Praise the Lord!

Our original plans had scheduled this second team to visit Japan in October of this year, however, we are postponing the trip until March or April of 2014. Please let us know if you are interested in joining our team!

Bring Life To Our Cities

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Come see what God is doing in the San Fernando Valley

Neighborhood Initiative and Life Connections International, two ministries dedicated to the cause of unity within the Body of Christ, announced today that their respective organizations would jointly serve as conference hosts for a special gathering of pastors and ministry leaders to be held at Bel Air Presbyterian Church on Thursday, September 13th. The one-day event has been entitled Neighborhood Initiative: Bringing Life to Our Cities, while the theme of the day can best be described as “The WHOLE Church taking the WHOLE gospel to the WHOLE city, one neighborhood at a time.”

The conference will begin promptly at 9:00am, ending at 2:00pm. Over the course of those few hours, attendees will have the pleasure of hearing three very well known speakers: author and USC professor Dr. Dallas Willard; Pastor Jim Tolle of La Iglesia En El Camino (“Church on the Way”); and the always inspirational and well known author Joni Erickson-Tada.

Dr. Willard’s message will address the Church’s responsibility to a culture in moral decline while Pastor Tolle will focus on the central theme of the day . . .“The Whole Church Taking the Whole Gospel to the Whole City”. After a brief lunch, Joni Erickson-Tada will address the subject of compassion as being at the heart of what motivates the Church to action.

Through Neighborhood Initiative, local congregations are encouraged to engage their individual neighborhoods through simple acts of love and kindness. To date, over twenty churches in the San Fernando Valley have joined together in an effort to reach the entire Valley with the message of Jesus’ love for mankind.

Attendees of the conference will have the opportunity to hear from Lynn Cory, founder of Neighborhood Initiative and Associate Pastor at Valley Vineyard. Also addressing the group will be Jeff Fischer, pastor of Hope Chapel of the Valley, and coordinator of the Neighborhood Initiative movement currently taking root in the San Fernando Valley.

Bel Air Presbyterian Church is located at 16221 Mulholland Drive, Los Angeles 90049.

For more details concerning the event, please contact either Tyler Lennon (tyler@lcibringlife.org) or Lyle Randles (lyle@lcibringlife.org), both of Life Connections International.