James Lavender was installed as Community Connections Coordinator (C3) at Hope Lutheran in Austin on June 5. The C3 position is designed to build relationships with people in the local area in advance of Sunday morning contact.

“Hope is becoming a mission center in East Austin,” Rev. Mike Newman, Mission and Ministry Facilitator for the area, said. “With the addition of James Lavender as Hope’s Community Connections Coordinator, the congregation is taking another step in planting seeds of new ministries through meaningful relationships with the community.”

Lavender’s work as C3 includes creative use of social media, organizing attractive events on the church campus and pursuing effective partnerships in the neighborhood while employing the manifold gifts, and talents of church members. Newman says “that in addition to reaching into new areas of possible service TO the community, the C3 will be identifying new local workers who may enter into a new ministry WITH the community, expanding the pool of workers for God’s wonderful harvest.”

James and his wife, Liz, an elementary school teacher, are moving back to Texas from Scottsdale, Arizona, where he was Worship Director at Shepherd of the Desert Lutheran Church. James will be in team ministry at Hope with Pastor Peter Heckmann and Deaconess Sharon Teague.