If the Easter Story is True…

This Sunday, more people will probably worship Jesus corporately on one day than EVER have in HUMAN HISTORY.  The church is on the move and you can be a part of it.  If it’s true that Jesus rose from the dead, and if Jesus really is God, there are some SERIOUS ramifications for our day and the rest of our lives.  This day is going to be INCREDIBLE and here are 4 reminders for you.  I believe you MUST do these things this Easter:

“There is NO power greater than LOVE.”

Easter cross Bible

“And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.”  Luke 24:5-6

See that tomb, yep, it’s EMPTY!  Ain’t nobody there.  He isn’t there.  You can look again, but he isn’t there and Jesus hasn’t been for close to 2,000 years.  Death has no sting!  You have been forgiven and his blood WAS GOOD ENOUGH to redeem us. You can have eternal life through the power of Jesus.  Think about that for a while and let it sink in.  SO, if this is TRUE, what now?

It’s Easter – Do This:  

#1 Reflect on Where You’ve Been – What sins are you carrying or have you carried in the past.  They have no ownership and absolutely NO POWER over you!  Do you believe it?  If you do, you will live differently.  Once you start to make a list of the sins you have committed and the INCREDIBLE grace that has been given, you start to release the guilt, leave the legalism and depend on God’s love.

1 John 4:4 “…He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”   That’s #ResurrectionPower

#2 Worship Big Time – Don’t hold back on the expression this Sunday.  Don’t come to a worship service and give a half baked expression of your love for God!  Mumbling casually in some religious obligatory way won’t cut it.  C’mon church! Raise your hands, scream out and celebrate, and dig deep into his Word.  Pray like you’ve never prayed before and sing like it’s your last worship song on earth.  Be found as one who W

Psalm 30:11 “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing…” That’s #ResurrectionPower

#3 Claim Victory – This is the Sunday to stomp on the head of the enemy.  Go ahead and give that visual a moment to sink in…  STOMP – ON – HIS – HEAD.  CRUSH HIM LIKE THE BELLY SLITHERING INVERTEBRATE THAT HE IS!  God has given you the victory.  Depression – defeated, guilt – gone, pain – healed, debt – paid, sin – forgiven.

1 Corinthians 15:55  “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?  That’s #Resurrection power

Let’s do this


Easter FB 2016

Easter is upon us Sunday March 27th!  I can’t believe this will be the 7th Easter we have celebrated together at 217church!  217church is a multi-campus church with 3 services in 2 locations this Easter:

9 & 10 AM at the Hamilton AMC24 Theater

11 AM at the Robbinsville Sharon Elementary School

If it is your 1st time, we have a special gift waiting for you!

Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 10:00am and Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ at 11:00.  Our new Robbinsville/East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, we would love to have you join us.  Don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information. or watch a weekend message here

Cultivating Deep Character

There is a HUGE tree in my back yard that I love because of how tall it stands.  When I look at it I see a beautiful creation of God that has taken decades to build strong.  What makes it so strong?  An extensive root system.  A complex interweaving of the underground part of the tree that you never see.  This has always fascinated me about trees.  You can gaze upon how majestic it climbs to the sky, but really what makes it grow is what you never see below the soil.  The same is true for our character.  Character is NOT about what everyone sees, it is about what is driving you that often no one ever notices.

Character not only will defend you but it defines you…

tree 10-17

“He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season…” Psalm 1:3

Most of us would say we want to have deep character and we want people to trust us.  But sometimes character can be illusive because of our blind spots and our bad experiences.  But even so, here are some ways you can develop deep character in your life no matter what situation you find yourself in.  And keep in mind, we develop strong character in order to stay focused on the mission God has for us.

5 Ways To Develop Your Character…

#1 Stay in the Word –  We can too easily forget the foundation of character starts with our relationship with Jesus.  We must INTENTIONALLY make time to get away with him.  I was just talking to my friend the other day and he told me he is taking a mini 12 hour retreat Sunday.  Awesome! Get away from all your distractions and be shaped and steadied by your time with Jesus.  Let him root out destructive habits and incorrect thinking.

#2 Be Humble   If you have to take credit for everything good that happens in your work, family, etc. you have a problem.  Pass along the credit and promote others.  Do you always have to be right?  Always have to have the last word?  Always interrupting people to get your point across?  Yep, that’s pride.  And by the way, the moment you think you are humble your character is probably taking a hit.  It is when you realize your pride when your character is deepened.  

#3 Serve Continually Every chance you possibly get you need to serve.  Considering others’ needs will give you a strong root system that can’t be compromised.  You can’t just serve when it feels good, but when it hurts.  This is especially true in marriage.  Did you know your marriage has character as well?  Build the character of your identity together as a couple through serving continually.

#4 Select Friends Carefully –   You need friends that will build into your character not tear it down.  I’m not at all for being an exclusionist and isolating yourself from others who don’t believe the same way as you.  But we must be careful who we bring close to us that INFLUENCES our thinking.

#5 Hold Your Tongue –   Nothing will destroy your influence and character faster than a hasty, harsh word.  The words you use define what you believe and how you interact with the world.  The next time you want to say something brutal, slow down.  Don’t make excuses for yourself either.  NO ONE gets a free pass by saying, “that’s just the way I am.”  If you want to deepen character it’s time to address the problem, your mouth.  Quick to listen, slow to speak, blah, blah, blah. you get it right?

Which one do you need to work on the most?  Which do you need to prioritize today?  I would love to interact with you here.


This Sunday at 217church we conclude our #Activate Series:   “Disciple Making”


We are the church that meets at two theaters!  Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 9:30 & 11am and Starplex Cinemas in East Windsor, NJ at 10:15.  Our new East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information.

It’s Time for a DOUBLE Blessing

This weekend is the LAUNCH of the first ever 217church weekly services at Mcknight School in East Windsor, NJ.  We are officially one church in TWO locations!  This has all happened in four short years.  217church has received a DOUBLE BLESSING from God.  Since we started in 2010 Nearly EVERYTHING has DOUBLED.  We not only have a mother church, but a sister church in Element Church.  We not only have one campus in Hamilton but now a 2nd Campus in East Windsor!  What if following Jesus means receiving a DOUBLE BLESSING?

Launch Graphic

“But to Hannah he gave a double portion, because he loved her,”  1 Samuel 1:5

There is a story in the bible of a woman named Hannah.  She was barren, unable to have children, jeered at, made fun of and generally out-casted among her “friends.” BUT – HOLD ON!  The DOUBLE BLESSING was coming!  Hannah’s husband Elkanah LOVED her and gave her a double portion of the sacrifice… “Um, yes, double meat please!”  Not only did she get a double portion of the meat but later, God opened her womb and she conceived a boy named Samuel.  He anointed King David who is the very blood line of JESUS!  Maybe you have heard of Him?  Double meat and an open womb, now that is favor from God!

But here is the little detail behind the DOUBLE BLESSING.  The name Samuel means, “I have asked for him from the Lord,” (1 Samuel 1:20) or GOD HAS HEARD!”  You have to ask!  When God hears, WATCH OUT!

What is Holding you BACK?

–  Maybe you have asked before?   Simple, try again, and again, and again.  Don’t give up on God’s plan for your life.

–  Maybe you doubt?  Welcome to following Jesus.  Prayer has a way of subduing doubt.

–  Maybe you don’t know what to ask for?  That is alright, ask Him what to ask for!  This may be the best position to be in.  If you have no agenda, maybe you are more open to God’s?

I’m believing God for a double blessing in every area this year for my family and my church.




P.S.  In case you missed it here is a short video encouragement for 2014



Click Here to Watch the Video

Josh is the lead pastor of 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ planted in 2010.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater and Ethel Mcknight School in East Windsor, NJ.  Our new East Windsor Campus Launches Sunday January 12th, 2014  10:15 am at Ethel McKnight School.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services in Hamilton at 9:30 or 11 am! Visit www.217church.com.




East Windsor Location Changed This Sunday

Our 217church service this Sunday in East Windsor has been moved to Etra Lake Park at 10:15am!  But here is the really great news: We are taking advantage of this unexpected change and will be baptizing at least 1 person at Etra Lake on Sunday!  You won’t want to miss this incredible turn of events.  As a matter of fact, we have already had someone come to a relationship with Jesus before we have had a public worship service. This is pretty cool!  After the service we will be doing a prayer walk through the Twin Rivers community and inviting people to a Twin Rivers family day at the park. (Just a reminder, normal services times at Hamilton, 9:30 & 11:00 am).

Arrive early as our teams will begin setting up at 8:00am.  We will enjoy some bagels and coffee together, celebrating extending the Gospel to a new community.


Our first preview service will be under the sky at 10:15am at Etra Lake Park in East Windsor

Why the sudden move? Unfortunately, the school district changed it’s mind this week and is not allowing us to meet at Grace Rogers.  We are still in communication with the East Windsor community school district and are hoping for a reconsideration in the future of our request to use the community facilities.

I don’t think it is a coincidence this happened. As a matter of fact, the main idea of last week’s sermon was, “God uses the unexpected to our advantage but He will test us.”  So how should we deal with change?  I want to take this opportunity and walk you through the last 48 hours for us as church leaders and how we dealt with the change.

How To Deal With Unexpected Change

1. Don’t Panic- Take a step back, a timeout.

It was Monday night when I got the first phone call from Pastor Justin.  At first I was ticked, (wouldn’t you be?)  then I had to have Justin repeat what he said, “We have been denied the use of Grace Rogers this Sunday.”  Ok, I had heard him correctly.  Then I told him this was going to be used for our advantage.  But I assured him this would all work out.  Freaking out will never solve the problem.  It usually makes things worse and can cause unnecessary tension and even lead to more harm.  Take a deep breath, go for a walk, get away for a second and try to focus.

2. Pray- Ask God what He is doing.

When I got off the phone I began to pray, and enlisted the prayers of a few others. The first person I texted was my mom :).  It was evident we needed to pray.  Tuesday morning first thing, the whole staff sat in our vision room and asked God for wisdom.  We prayed together.  When something happens that seems like it would hurt you, you can’t let the enemy get you sidetracked.  You have to go to God and say, “I still trust you!”

3. Get Unity Assemble the team and get on the same page.

Shortly after this, the 4 pastors sat in my office and we got all our “stuff” out on the table.  We told each other how we felt, established what we thought we needed to do and had our, “Let’s do this together moment.”  We knew this week was going to be one that challenged us.  We needed to communicate well, work together, and it was evident there was much work to be done.  Whenever you have a change in your family, at work, in your marriage, you need to all get together and establish unity.  When you go through challenges, it is always a test of your unity.  Be strong, and pass the test.

4. Go back to the Vision – Let the vision drive your decisions.

Back in the vision room, all the possible meeting places for Sunday began to appear on the board.  We got good old fashioned google maps out and began to look where we could possibly meet.  We were just getting all the ideas out on the table.  Everyone’s opinion mattered and the conversation began to go in lots of different directions.  We became the, “what if” church again.  I loved this.  At one point during the conversation, we came back to how we started in Hamilton; serving the community and doing a prayer walk.  This is the vision, “Rebuilding lives one person at a time.”  We all agreed, let’s use this as an opportunity to do a prayer walk and come back in two weeks and serve the community.  In addition: “Hey, there is a lake, let’s do a baptism!”  So there it was right in front of us, worship, baptism, then prayer walk!  When things get scary, remember what the vision is to begin with.

5. Start Implementing Over communicate everyone’s roles and responsibilities.

Today we visited the park, made the final plan and are gathering all the resources.  We changed the web, are sending out the newsletter and still asking people to partner with us in prayer!  God has our best interest in mind.  We know God has called us to this and the bible says, “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

You should join us at the Amc24 theater in Hamilton at 9:30 or 11:00am or at Etra Lake Park at 10:00am. I wouldn’t want you to miss out on what God wants to do! If you want to be baptized, just bring a change of clothes.

It’s going to be an INCREDIBLE weekend!



217church is a multi-site church in Mercer County NJ with small groups for families in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater.  Our new East Windsor Campus is meeting this Sunday October 13 at Etra Lake Park.  If you are looking for a church in Mercer County NJ, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services in Hamilton at 9:30 or 11 am! Visit www.217church.com.  If you want to be in on the ground floor of a new exciting church plant, contact our East Windsor Campus Pastor Justin Bronson at justin@217church.com.




217church Starts New Satellite Location In East Windsor

EW Yard sign

Hamilton’s four year old ‘Movie Theater Church,’ launched its first satellite location at Grace Rogers Elementary School on January 12, 2014.

East Windsor, NJ (01/19/14)- Known as the church that meets in Hamilton’s AMC 24 movie theater, leaders at 217church have announced that they officially started an additional location in East Windsor at Grace Rogers Elementary School with over 100 people from the community attending its first services.

217church East Windsor will meet every Sunday continuing on January 19, 2013 and combined with the Hamilton campus will impact over 500 people every weekend in the Central Jersey area.  Service times for the East Windsor Campus are at 10:15 am.

“217church is one church, in two locations with three services, and this happened in four years,” says Lead Pastor, Josh Conn.  “We are looking forward to serving the community in East Windsor as passionately as we have been able to in Hamilton,” he adds.  “We have used social media, service projects, and good old fashioned word of mouth to communicate that we are here to stay.”

Pastor Dan Gay and his wife, Bonnie, will serve as campus pastors for the new location.

“My wife and I are excited that 217church is reaching outside of its current footprint to bring the gospel to another community. We are a family sent to restore people to Jesus, rebuild the church and to renew the community by reaching out and tangibly meeting the needs of local families and individuals,” says Pastor Dan Gay.

Grace Rogers Elementary School is located at 380 Stockton Street, Hightstown, NJ 08520. For more information about 217church East Windsor or 217church Hamilton, visit www.217church.com.




Why 217church Is A Multisite Church

We are happy to announce the 2nd campus of 217church has landed in a semi-permanant location at Sharon Elementary School in Robbinsville, NJ.  Our Robbinsville / East Windsor Campus is doing great work and we are excited about the possibilities that exist in this community.  217church became a multisite church and launched in East Windsor with over 100 people on January 12, 2014!  We have been in six different locations and we finally feel like we have landed!  WE NEED YOU TO PRAY!

An incredible team of people are continuing to reach out to the Robbinsville/East Windsor area, as we take more steps in our vision to reach 10,000 people, start 1,000 small groups, plant 100 churches, in the next 10 years, 1 person at a time.  I want you to be a part of either our Hamilton or Robbinsville/East Windsor campus team.  In order for a multisite church to work EVERYONE needs to be on a TEAM!  

erica baptism

Erica was our very 1st baptism from our new Robbinsville/East Windsor Campus, now she serves and is in a 217group!

“Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.”  Romans 12:10-11

Most of us have NEVER been a part of a multi-site church.  A multi-site church works when we all DO SOMETHING.  This means each one of us has a role to play, this includes implementing weekend services, and serving the community as a part of a small group.

If you have been at 217church for more than one week, we INVITE you to be a part of serving on a weekend team and catch the vision.  You don’t have to be baptized, you don’t even have to be good looking.  You just have to want to create an incredibly safe environment where people are loved, built up, inspired and encouraged to LET JESUS HEAL THEM!  So I wanted to take this time and communicate some answers to some questions people are asking and provide some clarity about what a multisite 217church will look like.

8 Common Multisite Church Questions

1. Why Are We Becoming a Multisite Church? – A Restored Family Sent on Mission

217CHURCH IS ABOUT THOSE WHO DON’T KNOW JESUS YET!  We will ALWAYS be the “church for people who aren’t here yet.”  You have heard me say this over and over again.  Our vision from the beginning has been “to create environments where people can meet and follow Jesus.”  This means our our goal is not just to bring people in, but to build them up and SEND them out.  If our church stops sending, we aren’t fulfilling the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:19.  “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”  This is an incredible opportunity to send people to SERVE the community for Jesus.  We anticipate our growth curve to increase.  This means, more baptisms, more small groups, more people reached and sent!  We are a restored family sent on mission.

2. Why Don’t We Build A Building First?

Let me start by saying buildings aren’t bad, they are to be used for good.  Having a building you own as a church can be an incredible asset to accomplish the mission.  We are actually in the process of exploring a permanent facility for our Hamilton campus.  One thing I am extremely proud of about our young church is that we have never paid a penny of interest to a bank for a mortgage.  We are light on our feet and mobile, literally.  We have many decisions to make regarding worship spaces and my prayer is that we will have a building given to us one day!  Why not?  Will you join me in prayer for this?  I know that sounds crazy, but crazier things have happened.  Young churches cannot be saddled with heavy mortgage payments.  Our church can NEVER, I mean NEVER will be about a building.  The church is NEVER defined as a building in scripture.  We are a dynamic group of people.  Will we build or purchase a building someday?  Probably as we are led by the Spirit.  We are almost five years old.  One thing I do know, as long as we focus with clarity on what our vision is, HE WILL PROVIDE OUR EVERY NEED.

3. Who Will Be Teaching And Will It Be The Same Message At Both Campuses?

My role will not change as the lead teaching pastor at 217church.  I will be doing the bulk of the weekend teaching LIVE, IN PERSON, at both campuses preaching the same message.  Our new service times will be Hamilton 9:30 am, Robbinsville/East Windsor 10:15 am, and Hamilton 11:00 am.  For now, the teaching pastor for the week will be driving back and forth and teaching at ALL 3 services.  We are however developing a teaching team as we add more services and campuses.  Imagine a weekend a few years from now when we will have 4 campuses with six services and three different teachers all teaching the same message at the same time!  Who knows!  As my dad used to say, “we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”

4.  What Is A Campus Pastor?

A campus pastor ensures the needs of the people are cared for.  They also empower every ministry leader to build teams to implement the ministries of a particular campus.  This includes everything from set up and tear down, to youth and kids, small groups, you name it.  If it happens at that campus, it is their responsibility.  They are also there to help ensure our 1st time guests experience the 217 VIP treatment.

5. When You Say “Weekend Team” What Do You Mean?

Every week we want to see between 70-100 people serve on a weekend.  We try to keep this simple for people to understand so people can be quickly connected to serving on a team.  We have 4 main teams that everything flows through: Worship & Media, 217kids, Hospitality and Set-Up /Tear Down.  After setting up and tearing down 217church almost 200 times over the last 4 years, we now have some proven structures that help us execute with excellence.  This makes serving on a team a great experience.  It still amazes me that at 7:45am the trailer pulls up and 2 hours later, with 50+ people helping at each campus, hundreds of adults and kids walk in the doors to two buildings transformed into a house of worship. This means that everyone has the power to Invite.   Our question for each other should be, who did you bring along with you?

6. What is A Launch Team?

This a group of people sent from our campuses to launch another campus.  The launch team responsibility is to make sure we launch a new healthy campus and every launch team member has a specific role and serves on a team.  As we add new campuses, a launch team is formed and it takes about 9-12 months to successfully launch a new campus.  We are constantly inviting new people from the weekend services from the community to be a part of the launch teams of new campuses.

7. When We Launch A Campus Will We Be Doing More Than Just A Weekend Service Once A Month?

Absolutely!  We launch small groups simultaneously so we already have a presence.  in East Windsor for example, We have delivered school supplies to a local elementary school for kids in need, did a fall family festival at Etra Lake Park and we provided food to families in need on Thanksgiving.  Between the monthly preview service we had opportunities to serve the community, invite people to small groups and invite them to the launch.  Serve Relelntlessly!

8.  I Want To Be A Part, How Do I Get Connected?

Join A Team.  Here is the beauty of this, no matter if you are currently at Hamilton or Robbinsville/East Windsor, you are an integral part.  Our teams are thriving and healthy and this Sunday will be an incredible opportunity to join a team.  To be a part of the Hamilton team contact Dan@217church.com and for Robbinsville/East Windsor it’s Doug@217church.com.

“And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work.” Nehemiah 2:18


Join us at 217church, a multi-site, contemporary church in Mercer County NJ.  217church is a family with small groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania that meets Sundays in the Hamilton AMC24 Theater 9:30 & 11am and Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ at 10:15.  Our new Robbinsville/East Windsor Campus meets every Sunday.  If you are looking for a church in East Windsor NJ, Lawrenceville NJ, Ewing NJ, Robbinsville NJ, Hightstown NJ, Hamilton NJ, Mercer County, Middlesex County or Bucks County, PA, don’t miss our weekend services. Visit www.217church.com for more information.

3 Years of 217church – Every Story Counts

This Sunday is a HUGE day for our church.  We celebrate three years of being a church “creating environments where people can meet and follow Jesus!”  This has been our vision statement from Day 1.  Where have these three years gone?  I could tell you story after story of lives transformed because of Jesus and His tangible acts of love shown by our 217church family.  I could tell you about a single mom who was baptized at our first baptism in the Washington Crossing River and sensed new hope in Jesus.  I could tell you about a young woman who has recovered from an abusive past, discovered the grace of Jesus and is now pouring her life into young teenagers so they don’t have to endure the same struggles she endured.  I could tell you about children who have found a relationship with Jesus.  I could tell you about our Children’s and youth ministry that is ministering in places in Trenton that need to hear of Jesus.  I could tell you of business owners and entrepreneurs who are now using their influence to bring people to Jesus because of 217church.  We are a church where Every Story Counts!

“Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall.”  Nehemiah 2:17

 Here Are Some of The Ways God Has Used You

#1 141 Restored Lives – We like to say, we are the church for people who aren’t here yet.  Here is the list of 141 names of people who we have baptized into a relationship with Jesus Christ.  Starting a church is a covenant building experience.  Revealing a sign of hope and love from a savior, who never leaves and always extends the hand of grace, is what we are about.  When you read their names, it’s just print on paper, but truly they are lives and families transformed.  I can’t wait for the next 141!

Phil Robertson, Christine Johnson, Crystal Morgan, Lynda Ferguson, Laurie Robertson, Sandy Rivera, Amanda Kline, Stephen Constantinou, Andrew Constantinou, Michelle Watson, Danny Baumann, Butch Hamilton, Josh Rivas, Jill Larsen, Melissa MacCollum, Caitlin Condit, Lisa Flores, Lily Mahaney, Liza Vargas, Jamie Vargas, Arlynet Tovar, Steven Gotthelf, Kyle Graf, Diana Garcia, Sharon Geiger, Natalya Rivera, Juan Rivera IV, Howard Anderson, Brandyn Lichtenstein, Laura Shapanus, Bill Shapanus, Alyse Canciello, Monica Quiroz, Cristiana Galang, Becca Solis, Krista Galang, Andrew Albert, Joe Corso, Lilly Conn, Titus Conn, Kathryn Nieves, Mimi Kabia, Chad Nelson, Kristi Costanzo, Keith Cline, Katie Johnson, Terri Svecz, Sean Gordon, Alex Svecz, Collin Spurgin, Matt Spurgin, Lonzetta Rush, James Rush, Jason Kingsley, Gary Jakubicki, Sally Hutchings, Josh Schmalbach, Leonard Simon, Denise Stremlo, Mike Kirk, Chrisha Kirk, Mark Forman, Kevin Cordas, Shelly Cordas, Steve Cosenza, Debbie Cosenza, Dione Springer, Gabrielle Cobb, Luis Valdivieso, Toni-Ann Rotondi, Cristina Cobb-Adams, Anthony Anglin, Jason Flintosh, Nicole Jemine, Jason Parker, Gina Sparacio, Flynt Tuller, Flynt Jr. Tuller, Jill Brown, Jay Rodriguez, Pete Ruffini, Allie Guerrero, Jaime Vargas, Patti Ann Ridgway, Lauren Velarde, Corrine Hunsher, Sonny Esteron, Derek Sander, Deb Stewart, Willie Rivera, Cindy Chavez, Jhoi Ortiz, Katie Hawver, David Robertiello, Nick Labella, Lindsay Clayton, Sandra Lupo, Devon Smith, Michael Ettinger, Pollorn Sayasack, Jessica Rivas, Tiffany Rivas, Nick D’Mauro, Jeanie Leung, Cathy Szymanski, John Baldino, Racheal Jones, Eve Green, Maria Cobena, Liz Perez, Cathy Szyanski, Kathleen Contreras, Christian Servellon, Christina Baranowski, Daniela Vinci, Naylon Larane, Adrien Ong, Racquel Smith, Brittney Blackburn, Alcmenia Dunbar, Natalia Hernandez, Santina Hernandez, Corina Hernandez, Courtney Arbitell, Joclyn Hernandez, Dania Hernandez, Miriam Hernandez, Tsunami Martinez, Johanna Martinez, Kimberly Hopkins, Linda Monforte, Maria Rodriguez, Yolanda Drislane, Kristen Moore, Janet Russell, Trevor Jones, Sixto Irizarry, Shanera Hampton, Jessica Suessegger, Sherenne Simon, Alfredo Marin.  Every Story Counts!

#2 People Finding Deep Relationships – In one of our 17 small groups that meet in 11 different townships, you will find people who are serving the community.  On any given week, we have over 250 people meeting together, caring for one another deeply.  We visit each other when in the hospital, we pray for each other, study the bible together and we take care of each other.  We even have one group who paid off a person’s credit card debt to give them a fresh start financially. (Now you are saying…”I want in!”)  Every Story Counts!

#3 Over 2 Million Dollars Worth of Generosity – In these three years over Two Million dollars has been given to the vision of 217church!  Through generous hearts you have given to church planting, the next generation fund, provided for practical needs of countless people hurting in our community, provided a place for us to meet on Sundays, sent kids to camps, provided for all our equipment and empowered our pastors and staff to live and do ministry in the community.  Your generosity is proving Every Story Counts!

#4 An Incredible Youth & Children’s Ministry – Each week 140 kids and youth hear about the love of Jesus through our dynamic 217kids and 217youth ministries.  Psalm 46:13 says, “tell the next Generation this is God.” We have taken this to heart and are serious about making the next generation our #1 priority.  We now have a partnership with Urban Promise in Trenton and are working hard to bring the Gospel of Jesus to students in Trenton through after school programs.  It’s just the beginning of seeing our influence soar.  They will write the story after we are off the scene and we are empowering them NOW!  Their Story Counts!

#5 Over 430 People Every Weekend in Worship – Every week we celebrate big and our celebrations just keep getting bigger and BIGGER!  We started planning this church in a living room with 20 people and now every week over 400 gather!  We preach the word, worship passionately, pray boldly and we make it a HUGE celebration.  We make a big deal of the Gospel of Jesus and every week over 50 people serve to make these celebrations happen.  Our 217church co-worker team is nothing short of incredible!  Week in and week out for 150+ Sundays, so many have heard about Jesus and are following him because of these celebrations proving Every Story Counts!

One Final Note:

I am humbled and privileged to serve as your pastor.  I couldn’t have scripted it better.  You are what I am proud of.  You have made my life and the life of my family richer and full of meaning. We love you all!

Josh & Summer Lilly, Titus & Lydia


Join in The HUGE CELEBRATION This Weekend…

1) Two Huge Weekend Celebrations 9:30am & 11am at the AMC 24

2) Our 3rd anniversary party at our Youth Center at 3pm. (yes it’s 2/17 day!)

3) Finally, end the day with an evening baptism with our sister church, Element Church at Princeton Alliance Church.

This is going to be AWESOME!

Just Do It!

Growing up playing sports, I played my way through many pairs of shoes.  Countless layups, jump shots, drills, laps around the track and trail runs led me to a desire for excellence on the playing field and around the track.  There was one shoe company that coined a slogan that most of us remember, ‘Just do it’. When I say, ‘Just Do It’ most of us immediately know the brand, the shoes it represents and the mega company that emerged.  I love this slogan.  When God tells you to do something you have to go and DO IT!

“Do not merely listen to the word, and deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22

Last Sunday we revealed 217church will be opening a 2nd worship site for 217church on Sunday mornings.  This means in October of 2013, our Sunday morning worship environment will be as one church, in two locations, three worship services.  We know many of you are asking, so what do I do now?  I want to be a part, but how? We will be sending a team of 50-100 people from our Hamilton Campus to go and start this work, but I wanted to share a few simple ways you can participate in this vision NOW.

Five Things You Can Do NOW…

#1 Pray – Prayer is the primary work of the people of God.  Our motivation in starting this new campus in East Windsor is to help people meet and follow Jesus. My family used to live in East Windsor and it is time for us to extend the vision of “Serving Relentlessly” to these neighborhoods.

  • Pray for the Community-  We will be doing prayer walks in the near future, but immediately you can begin to pray for the people who will be a part and don’t even know it yet.  Prayer is the true pioneering work of the Holy Spirit.  Make this a part of your daily conversation with God.
  • Pray for Your Part-  What will you do? Will you go and be the first response team on the ground in this new work?
  • Pray for finances – We believe God will provide everything we need for this work, for some of us, this new campus is a perfect time to get in the game with our giving.  You can start right now and give here.
  • Pray for leaders – We will need at least one pastor and a small support staff.

#2  Serve Now – We will be multiplying every team we have at the Hamilton Campus to the new campus.  We are building teams strong here so we can have a healthy multiplication there.  Contact kelly@217church.com to serve once a month.  Here are the current weekend teams you can connect with:

  • Set Up & Tear Down Team-  Theater arrival time 7:45 AM or 12:30 PM.  This is the most “hands on” of all the teams as we put up outdoor and indoor signs, stuff bibles, set up the platform, sound equipment and create a welcoming environment.
  • Hospitality Team-  Theater arrival time 8:15 AM.  These are the people that create a welcoming environment.  From helping people find a parking spot to greeting and assisting to make sure people are seated comfortably, our hospitality team smiles and welcomes people to the family.  They are the front door to the church!
  • 217kids & Tots TeamTheater arrival time 8:15 AM. We don’t do childcare!  We set the stage for children to feel accepted, loved and have fun while they learn about Jesus and His love for them.  These co-workers are driving character anchors deep in the hearts of our children.
  • Worship & Media Team Theater arrival time 7:45 AM.  This is the team that facilitates the service.  From serving on the worship team to running a camera, sound boards, and setting up lights, this team makes the service happen!  We just launched a new high quality video/audio available on our web and podcast because of the selfless serving of the media team.

#3  Spread the Word – A year will pass by faster than you know it and we believe the hard work of prayer, organizing and communicating now will lead to an incredible launch of our first ever multiplication.

#4  Help Start a Small Group – We have over 20 groups meeting in the Central Jersey area and we want to have even more groups in East Windsor.  If you live there, consider using your home / apartment to Host a small group.  Contact Dan@217church.com to make this happen.

#5 Keep your Eye on the Vision – Can you see it?  We can already see week one of our East Windsor ministry!

  • People getting Restored in their relationship with Jesus, getting baptized and “Pursuing God Passionately.” We see a change in the eternal destiny of people in our community.
  • People actively Rebuilding the church one life at a time through “Caring for One Another Deeply.” We see our church giving purpose and meaning through belonging to a mission bigger than any of us can even fathom.
  • The church Renewing the community through Serving Relentlessly.” We see those who feel abandoned, alone and helpless, gaining dignity, experiencing love, and being empowered through having their basic needs met.

Do you see it?