Give us Jesus Christ, our victorious King,
who has conquered our enemies and given us life.
Behold, I am with you, heart and soul! (1 Samuel 14:7).
Perhaps you’ve noticed over the past few Sundays that I have had someone assisting me in the course of the morning. If so, you have observed well. We are running a trial, and I want Christina Keddie, my executive associate, to explain it:
As part of an effort to better support Pastor Matt in his spiritual leadership of us all on Sunday mornings, we’re testing a new volunteer role that we’re calling the “Armor-Bearer” position. The name comes from 1 Samuel 14, where Jonathan asks his armor-bearer to support him in a military campaign; his armor-bearer responds with a stalwart “Behold, I am with you heart and soul.”
Pastor Matt’s armor-bearer will help him accomplish his most important goal on Sunday mornings: providing spiritual leadership to the church by preaching the Word and interacting with the people of God around central things in their lives. The armor-bearer arrives early on Sunday mornings to pray with Pastor Matt and is on-call to respond to his requests (like grabbing him a bagel or relaying messages). All this is to maximize time to talk and pray with people before and after services.
The current “armor-bearer” is Toni Alimi. I’ve asked him to introduce himself:
Hello, Stone Hill! I'm thrilled at the opportunity to serve at the church this summer. Upon moving from a suburb of Houston to Princeton for my undergraduate education, I started attending Stone Hill (then: Westerly Road Church) as a freshman and continued for my four years here. Now I'm living in Connecticut, studying for a Master's in Christian Ethics. I'm in town for the summer doing language work in preparation for further study. Since Westerly Road was such a big part of my life during my undergraduate years, and since so many members of the church were such blessings to me, it's truly my pleasure to serve the church community this summer!
Please introduce yourself to Toni the next time you see him.