Chart Your Course

Mission Northeast exists to serve local churches, assisting them to accomplish their God-given mission to make disciples of all nations.


In these meetings, you, your staff, and leadership will learn how Ministry Mapping can help your church chart a course to health and ministry effectiveness.  Pastor Nehru Grant will share the story of Living Hope Christian Church and how God used Ministry Mapping process to help their church gain clarity of purpose (mission) and direction (vision).


Additionally, Dougg Custer from WorldVenture will share how world missions can support your church’s mission and vision.


Guidestone Financial Services  Dixie Beard will share how your church can participate in an exciting retirement resource. More information at


Please register for the location you will attend.

We will live stream the meeting on Tuesday, October 24, from Faith Church-Auburn MA


October 23rd – 9:30 am to 2:30 pm – United Baptist Church, Old Town, ME  


October 24th – 9:30 am to 2:30 pm – Faith Church, Auburn, MA 


October 25th – 9:30 am to 2:30 pm – First Baptist Church, Peekskill, NY

Register Here

2017-2018 Leadership Learning Communities


2017-2018 Leadership Learning Communities

September Kick-Off!


The Leadership Learning Communities kick-off to Meet Generation Z: Understanding and Reaching the New Post-Christian World – James Emery White

As a preview, we aim to cover two additional titles in the year ahead:

  • The Discipleship Difference: Making Disciples While Growing as Disciples – Robert Logan and Charles Ridley
  • Leadership Essentials: Shaping Vision, Multiplying Influence, Defining Character – Greg Ogden and Daniel Meyer “Leaders are Readers” so get your books ordered and prepare for a great year of learning, sharing, praying, . . . and laughing together.


(Contact Your LLC Facilitator to confirm)

Auburn MA, Faith Church (2nd Tuesday)

Facilitator, David Forsythe


Brewer ME, Calvary Baptist Church (1st Wednesday)

Facilitator, Bruce Stevens


Nashua NH, Trinity Baptist Church (2nd Thursday)

Facilitator, Steve Murray


Peekskill NY, First Baptist Church (2nd Tuesday)

Facilitator, Gershwin Grant


Queens NY, Living Hope Church (Starts October, 3rd Wednesday)

Facilitator, Nehru Grant


Virtual Learning Communities, (1st Tue – 9 AM/2 PM)

Facilitator, Stan Rieb


If you are interested in kicking off a Leadership Learning Community contact David Forsythe d.forsythe@missionnortheast.


Discount Code for Global Leadership Summit 2017

The Global Leadership Summit

Thursday – Friday, August 10-11, 2017

Priority/Referral Code is:  17TGLSCRFT.  Register at to get your ticket for only $139.00


You have influence. Join 400,000 of your peers to learn how to maximize it with

Two Days of World-Class Leadership Training

  • Gain exclusive access to the LIVE HD telecast of the Summit at one of 600+ locations
  • Get a unique blend of vision, inspiration and practical skills you can immediately apply
  • Learn from Bill Hybels and the diverse 2017 faculty
  • Leverage the Summit as a resource to transform yourself and your community
  • Join with people from 128 countries and 60 languages who attend the Summit around the world

Learning Communities Building Together

A truly amazing work began on April 8, as eight churches from the Hudson Valley Pastors (HVP) Learning Community came together for “Project Restoration.”  The congregation of Calvary Baptist Church in Ossining, New York, has been unable to use their sanctuary for two years due to flood damage.

God put the CBC congregation on the heart of Jim Myhren from Calvary Baptist Church of Warwick, New York. With the encouragement of his pastor, Craig Adams, he began to engage and organize men and women from the cluster churches into a team.

Regarding his burden for this project, Jim said:

“Pastor Adams announced from the pulpit that a sister church in Ossining needed our help. I began to think more and more about it and often I would be woken up by thoughts of the church. I thought how good it would be for all the churches to work together for a common ministry goal and the thought would not leave me alone. We are told these days that Christianity is not relevant. We need to show the world we are relevant if we want it to pay attention. I believe God is going to do something tremendous in Ossining and I want to be near when He does.”

Seasoned contractors, skilled laborers and willing amateurs came together to do a mighty work for the kingdom. Others have taken up offerings to provide materials and supplies to further the work.

It’s just the beginning, but what a tremendous beginning. When God’s people work together, there is no end to what He can do through them. The churches need prayer, supplies and finances to continue the work, as well as an architect or engineer who is willing to donate some time to this project.

If you want to help support this ongoing work, please contact Gershwin Grant, Hudson Valley Area Director of Missionnortheast:


David ForsytheDavid Forsythe

Lead Executive Area Director


 “. . . so that the body of Christ may be built up . . .“ Ephesians 4:12 NIV




 It’s been a year of transition – certainly for me as I’ve have assumed this new role, but more significantly for Mission Northeast. Having clarified the region’s Mission, Vision, and Values as stated in its Identity Documents, the Mission Northeast Board began to implement the newly adopted de-centralized structure. On October 1, 2015 I began serving the region as the Lead Executive Area Director with responsibility for Massachusetts and the oversight of the Area Directors. Gershwin Grant was named Area Director for the Hudson Valley effective October 1, 2015 and on June 15, 2015 saw Dave Johnson taking on the role of Area Director for Upstate New York. Edwin Colon came aboard as Area Director for New York City on August 1, 2015.


Administrative Office – The CBAmerica office in Longmont, CO continues to serve our administrative support needs. We are grateful for the invaluable assistance of Stan Rieb and Debbie Vanlandingham. Their support includes, but is not limited to: bookkeeping and payroll, management of the website, Facebook, and database, as well as e-mailings.

From the Albany Office to a Virtual Office

In January, MNE Board Chairman Steve Murray and I invested a day in Albany removing the files, furniture, equipment, etc. from storage. Most of the items were donated to the Capital City Rescue Mission. Much of our work is now conducted through a “virtual office.” Of particular note is the establishment of a ZOOM account, enabling video-conferencing for Board and AD meetings, interviews, consultations and Virtual Learning Communities.


Stan Rieb and Paul Borden concluded their work in establishing our Leadership Learning Communities last year. The LLCs have been handed off to Area Directors and other pastors who have transitioned into their role as LLC facilitators:

  • Auburn MA, Faith Church (2nd Tuesday) Facilitator, David Forsythe
  • Brewer ME, United Baptist Church (1st Wednesday) Facilitator, Bruce Stevens
  • Nashua NH, Trinity Baptist Church (2nd Thursday) Facilitator, Steve Murray
  • Peekskill NY, First Baptist Church (2nd Tuesday) Facilitator, Gershwin Grant
  • Queens NY, Living Hope Church (2nd Wednesday) Facilitator, Nehru Grant
  • Three Virtual Learning Communities facilitated by Steve Murray (1) and Stan Rieb (2)

Through last year the LLC’s worked through Church Unique and Resilient Ministry. This fall is an elective season. Some LLCs are focused on William Mancini’s God Dreams. Another is making use of Tom Mercer’s The World is Smaller Than You Think to learn the OIKOS model for outreach. Still others are working through Taking Your Church to the Next Level. The Virtual Learning Communities have also proven to be a good alternative for those not within reasonable driving distance of a LLC. Over fifty pastors participate in the Learning Communities.


We are in a gradual transition to assume responsibility for the work of conducting Church Health Assessments– To date I have assisted National Facilitator Stan Rieb in conducting six Church Health Assessments for Mission Northeast churches. Stan has mentored and coached me through the assessment process.

Training– On May 18-19 we brought 10 pastors from across the Mission Northeast region to Sacandaga Bible Conference for training by Stan Rieb in the Church Health Assessment process. Three trainees of that group have subsequently served as members of at least one CHA Team.


Regional Executive Director Meetings– The REDS extended a warm and collegial welcome to me as I entered into a covenantal relationship with them. As a reminder, CBAmerica is a covenantal association of missional networks. All of the REDS have offered assistance and resources to me and have encouraged me with their prayer support. Among the projects we are working on is a national survey to be rolled out early next year. We are looking to gather both quantitative and transformational statistics. The objective is to assess the health of our churches in their respective regions. In representing Mission Northeast to CBAmerica I have attended meetings of the REDs hosted by two of the regions:

  • Southwest Church Connection, Phoenix AZ – January 25-27, 2016
  • CB North Central, Blaine MN – June 22-24, 2016

The meetings rotate so that each regional board has an opportunity to meet with CBAmerica for consultation, updates, exchange of ideas, and mutual encouragement.

National Connector– The REDS have entrusted me with this responsibility to “steward the relational connectedness of the ‘Regional Executive Directors,’ encouraging the REDS with regard to their shepherding/spiritual health needs and their relationships with one another.”


Services Attended Representing Mission Northeast

  • The ordination of one of our Ethiopian pastors in Boston
  • The installation of the pastor for Barrington Baptist Church in Rhode Island 

Church Visits – The work of Mission Northeast was promoted in two churches with a Power Point presentation I developed for that purpose.

Revitalize! New England – Attended the charter meeting hosted by The Journey Church, Belmont MA for the development of a “clearing house” to provide Interim Pastors for New England churches. This has proven to be a valuable opportunity to connect with leaders, pastors, potential pastoral interims and to provide training.

Denominational Leaders of New England – I have attended two meetings of New England leaders of evangelical denominations. Designed for peer support, the group meets three times yearly for prayer, exchange of ideas, best practices, resources, and strategies.

Travel – Throughout this last year I have traveled 6,000 miles on behalf of Mission Northeast.

GOALS for 2017

Area Directors – Raise $36,000 to add three Area Directors (CT/RI, NH/VT, ME)
Leadership Learning Communities – Initiate two additional LLCs.
Training – Conduct Church Health Assessment Training for ten additional pastors.
Ministry Mapping – Conduct six Church Health Assessments in 2017.
Urban Churches – Establish a missional relationship with the Boston/Providence churches.
Communication – To see the Website and Database/E-mail directory brought current.
Coaching – Continue professional development via Coach Approach Ministries.
CBAmerica – Host CBA REDS for Fall 2017 or Spring 2018 meeting with MNE Board.

MISSION NORTHEAST Update and Support

Dear Pastor,

As your church has launched a new season of ministry so has your Mission Northeast regional association. Here’s an update on current Mission Northeast developments serving you and your church.


LLCs have kicked off across the Northeast. These communities bring our pastors together in a monthly covenantal relationship for mutual enrichment and encouragement. Participants are committed to reading, attending, learning, sharing (“the good, the bad, and the ugly”) and praying. Our aim is to facilitate leadership development, nurture healthy congregations,and multiply churches in our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

This fall is an elective season. Some LLCs are focused on William Mancini’s God Dreams. Another is making use of Tom Mercer’s The World is Smaller Than You Think to learn the OIKOS model for outreach. Still others are working through Taking Your Church to the Next Level. In January we’ll turn the same page as we will focus on the task of developing leaders in our respective ministries.

Contact any Facilitator below for details about their LLC. For information on facilitating a Leadership Learning Community contact David Forsythe –


Virtual Learning Communities

Two VLCs are hosted for those not within driving distance of an on-site LLC.


LLC Testimonials . . .

The LLC has helped me be more intentional on how I lead the leadership of this church. It has given me great help in what to share with them and how to share it. It has opened the door for much needed discussion to begin change. – Craig Adams, Warwick NY

 “As a typical busy pastor I once thought of a group like the LLC as a luxury I could not afford. Now, these guys are a lifeline that I cannot afford to live without. These men understand me and what I go through better than anyone else and are always there for prayer, support, and great friendship.  It also gives me a chance to give back and help other churches whenever possible and to be reminded that we are all in this kingdom work together!” – Jamie Walton, N. Uxbridge MA

 “It has been said that leaders are learners. Our Leadership Learning Community has introduced me to several books that have blessed me and my church.”  – Torrey Robinson, Tarrytown NY

“We pastors have prayed for some time for more help and traction and we got all that we prayed for and more in the LLC. The books we read and worked out together to apply in ministry for a clear biblical vision, effective church leadership and government, sermon preparation and organization were the most practical and helpful materials I have come across.” – Terry Wilcox, Litchfield NH


By year’s end we will have conducted Church Health Assessments in four of our Mission Northeast churches. To date we have trained 10 pastors from across the region to assist in the assessment process with a goal to train an additional 10 pastors next year.


Over the past two years we have been seeking God’s plan for our region. As we have prayed and worked together we began to implement a decentralized structure to network our pastors and churches. We are placing Area Directors throughout the region to be more readily accessible to our pastors and churches.

Lead Executive Area Director – David Forsythe:

Area Directors

Edwin Colon, New York City:

David Forsythe, Massachusetts:

Gershwin Grant – Hudson Valley:

Dave Johnson – Central/Upstate New York:

As we gain additional financial support we plan to add Area Directors for NH/VT, ME, and CT/RI.


Does the region need your financial support? Yes! Area Directors are compensated $1000/month and the Lead Executive Area Director – $1500) for 20/25 hours a month respectively. You should also know that their ministry expenses (meals, mileage, tolls, office supplies etc.) come out of their monthly compensation. So we are operating a lean ministry with a group of committed men.

As you look toward planning your annual budget for 2017 would you commit new or additional financial support for Mission Northeast? In doing so you will be investing in pastors, churches, and church boards, in their mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

Lead Executive Area Director David Forsythe is available to speak in your church and to share the Vision, Mission and Values of Mission Northeast.


Finally, we need your current contact information. You may receive a phone call about that, so please help us know how best to communicate. Be sure to visit (a work in progress) and sign up for our e-newsletter and “Friend” our Facebook page for postings.

If we can be of further help at any time, please get in touch with us.

For Christ and His Church,


David Forsythe                                                                                                        Steve Murray

Lead Executive Area Director, MNE                                                                  Executive Board President, MNE

Our OWN Missions Movement


Photo: Pastor Workneh Tesfaye


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Hello (CB) Pastors and Church leaders,

We are all part of a Church Planting Movement, carried out right here in Greater Boston, by you, your church, and Missions Door – our Missionary Team partner.  However, some of us are not very engaged in that – maybe because we don’t know much about it, or we don’t know where we can possibly fit into that.

Well, here’s your God-given Big Chance to jump in!  Pastor Workneh’s church, Emmanuel Disciples Church (Ethiopian) in Boston – itself a new church plant just a few years ago – has been working hard to prepare for a new church start in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the capitol city. Pastor Workneh says , “The ministry opportunities are great here (Boston), but they are EVEN GREATER in Ethiopia!” After over a year of intense preparation in Addis, the new church there, Salvation Rock Church, is ready to launch in July of this year, 2016.

The start-up money needed for the launch and first year of the church is $26,000 – SO little, by our western standards!  We together – Emmanuel Disciples Church(EDC) and Missions Door – are seeking to raise $10,000 of that right here in our own city churches. AND we are seeking to raise it completely by the 4th of July – so it can be taken to Ethiopia with Pr. Workneh when he goes July 15th.

This is a “heads-up” alert for you. Shortly we will send to you a flyer and brief description of the new church planting and how you can get involved. Can you even now be thinking about HOW and WHEN you could invite Pastor Workneh to your church, for a brief missions challenge and videos of what God is doing? Use this as a “wake-up call” to your people to see what we ARE doing in Missions, and what we CAN do in Missions, and how GOD is on the move and we can join Him!

Thank you, and great blessings to you this Spring!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Here is an update, and a little more information on Our Opportunity to Help Plant a new Church in Ethiopia! Please read again the brief email below, that gives an inspiring look at the timing of God and the sending of our OWN missionary to launch a new church in Ethiopia.

I’ve attached a new flyer that visually outlines the marvel of Pastor Workneh coming FROM THERE to HERE and BACK AGAIN – and our part in this “Missionary loop.”  Use this in your church and among your people to highlight the great opportunity and the need for our help.

Now the update:  One God-blessed donor has pledged $16,000 toward the $26,000 need for start-up costs. HALLELUJAH!  Now that leaves the $10,000 remaining need – that I spoke of below, as a challenge for us city churches to raise.

Of that $10,000 challenge – $2000 has been pledged or received – FABULOUS!  That’s from 2 individuals and 3 churches, so far. So keep at it – we have until the 4th of July to lift up this amount.

If you can, invite Pastor Workneh (or Pastor Daniel, his brother) to come to your church in the next few weeks for even a 10 minute “Spotlight Report” that lifts up this opportunity before your people. Let them inspire you all with this call to join with God in His Unstoppable Movement to bring salvation to the (Muslim) nations of North Africa!

Pastor Workneh’s contact info is:   857-544-0013 (cell).

God is moving – let’s keep up!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Here is an invigorating update on Our Own Opportunity to Help Plant a new Church in Ethiopia! You can see prior details below on the shape of this effort that WE are a part of.

First – the people:  The new church, Salvation Rock International Church, in Addis Ababa, began meeting publicly four Sundays ago. At the first meeting, there was no room for all the people. Some sat on the (still few) chairs, others sat on the floor, others were on the veranda outside listening through windows. There was great joy, singing, praying, preaching – then the casting out of demons and healing of a woman who then chose to follow Jesus – and that brought FOUR more people to be saved as well!! (Many are Muslims.) The service began at 10 AM, people didn’t go home till 8:30 PM. Pastor Workneh says that “no one wanted it to end!”

Second – the money we are raising for start-up costs there:  You see below the marvel of those who have already pledged and given.  The total pledged and/or received so far is almost $5000  (out of the $10,000 we are trying to raise)!! FABULOUS!

That is from several individuals, and 4-5 churches so far. I’m working hard to include the near-Boston suburban churches as well in this effort, and that is helping us.

Third – the Connector:  Pastor Workneh is leaving Boston (with his whole family) on Wednesday July 13, to go to Ethiopia for six weeks. He will be helping to pin down so many of the complicated details of this start-up and to lead the GRAND KICKOFF CONFERENCE they will have. Pray for his effectiveness and energy to endure!

Thank you, thank you, for your part in all this. We are seeing a great Movement of God!

Paul C. Bothwell

Missions Door, City Church Movements – Team Leader, New England
Boston Urban Academy (URBACAD), Director
(617) 576-2651  (w)     (617) 595-6512  (c)

See Flyer HERE



Pastors, Check Your 403(b) Number!

salaried-employees-income-tax-exemption-600x450No, not your account balance, though that’s permissible and advisable on occasion. If you have a 403(b) retirement account the all-important number to check is the one that follows immediately after the designation of 403(b). Is it a 403(b)(7) or a 403(b)(9)? The difference in those two numbers could save you thousands of tax dollars in retirement – or it could cost you thousands of tax dollars in retirement.

A 403(b)(9) not only allows your church to make contributions to your retirement account tax free, it also allows you to take distributions in retirement tax free! That is, as long as those funds are used for your Housing Allowance. You can’t find a better rate of return on your money than that! Clergy can still claim a Housing Allowance in retirement but the 403(b)(9) is the only vehicle that affords you that benefit. As a side-bar, should you predecease your spouse, the Housing Allowance provision is discontinued.

CBAmerica has recently forged a partnership with Guidestone, a Christian ministry oriented financial services provider. Member churches of Mission Northeast are eligible to avail themselves of Guidestone’s resources which include counsel and a wide-range of financial services, including, but not limited to, planning for retirement.

You may work with a trusted financial planner but not all CFP’s are aware of this particular provision. So check that number on your 403(b) and contact for more information. If you discover that you’re missing a (9) after your 403(b) Guidestone can help you convert that (7) into a (9). They did it for me.

For more information go to

Church Health Assessment Training


IMG_0027Eleven pastors from across the Mission Northeast region gathered on May 18-19 at Sacandaga Bible Conference in Broadalbin, NY for two days of intensive training in Church Health Assessment. Learning the “science and art” of assessing church health were David Forsythe of Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA, Doug Geeze of Auburn, MA; Bob Buchannan of Fitchburg, MA; Jamie Walton of N. Uxbridge, MA; Bruce Stevens and Scott Benner of Old Town ME; John Johnston of Parker, ME; Ira Hall of Bean’s Corner, ME; Steve Murray of Nashua, NH; Dave Johnson of Vernon, NY and John Hawco of Middletown, NY.

CBAmerica National Facilitator, Stan Rieb, came in from Colorado to conduct the training. Drawing on his experience of conducting 100 plus church assessments, Stan led this first of a kind training event for Ministry Mapping. After investing some time considering the biblical foundations for assessment and characteristics of healthy church ministry, the men were introduced to concepts related to the Church Life Cycle and the Ministry Systems of a congregation. In the course of the two days we walked through all the steps of the assessment process – from gathering survey information, to diagnosing church health, to organizing and conducting the weekend church consultation.

After learning how to interpret the data, integrating it with other submitted materials, the trainees were divided into two assessment teams for case study work. Each took on the assignment of evaluating the health of a real, yet anonymous church. The first case study involved a larger church with multiple staff in a city setting. The second was a smaller church located in a more rural context. From the information provided from the church self-study, each team was assigned a three-fold task: identify five strengths of the congregation, raise five health concerns, and write five prescriptions to address the church’s health issues. The teams were “coached” as needed through the process and at the conclusion debriefed on the exercise.IMG_0028

While the training time was intensive, it wasn’t all work. We thoroughly enjoyed the relaxed retreat setting on Lake Sacandaga, well-prepared meals, and the camaraderie of men who love the church of Jesus Christ and long to see greater health restored to our Mission Northeast congregations. All were agreed that it was time well-invested, not only for their respective congregations, but for Mission Northeast as we are increasingly enabled to provide qualified assessment teams for our churches.

As a region we value church health and leadership development, and so we plan to invite a second group of pastors for this training event within the next year.

Open Mic Night

open mic A fun, exciting event took place in Ossining on March 19, as churches from the local CB cluster participated in an “Open Mic Night” hosted by Community Bible Church. Many local church members and their unchurched friends participated in the event as everyone enjoyed and performed a variety of music and poetry.

Pastor Gershwin Grant (of Calvary Baptist Church of Ossining) can be seen leading an impromptu band in a blues rendition of “Down by the Riverside.”  Rev. Grant is also the Area Director for CB Mission Northeast and the moderator of the Hudson Valley Cluster and Learning Community.

The Open Mic Night is just one opportunity for CB churches to engage their communities together.  In the days to come, there will be opportunities for our churches to work together side by side, to share the gospel, and build God’s kingdom throughout the lower Hudson Valley. By building community and sharing a common vision, we open the door to pulpit supply, group learning opportunities, pulpit exchanges, sharing musicians, group work projects, church planting and more.  The possibilities for the future are boundless.  The future of CB Mission Northeast is very bright indeed.

To participate in the Hudson Valley Cluster and Learning Community,  call Rev. Dr. Gershwin Grant at (914) 762-7739 or email him at: