Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What Do We Consider Important

If religion is not as important to people in New England as it is in other parts of the country, then what do we consider most important?

Honestly, I would need Gallup to produce another poll or reveal more information than what was in the report I mentioned in my last post to really get to the answer. But, since I've lived in Worcester, MA for 85% of my life and... since this city is perfectly situated within a 1 hour drive to all of the major cities in NE except for Portland, ME (2+ hours) - I'm going to make some assumptions and take a guess at what we consider important.

We consider community to be important. You might be saying to yourself, "that's a no brain-er" or "that's true in other regions of the country as well". So, that brings me to the type of questions I would like Gallup to study.

For example,
  • "How are you involved your community?"
  • "To which organizations do you give your time and money?"
  • "How much time in your week do you dedicate to community involvement?"
  • "How much money do you give each year to community organizations?"
I believe we would rank very high in a national poll about community involvement. People here are highly ambitious and sometimes involved in several community organizations at once. My next post will discuss some of these organizations.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

State of the States by Gallup

I have to point out a recent report issued by Gallup. A recent poll they did puts a little color in the discussion that I hope my blog can help to facilitate. As it turns out, we are correct in assuming that church growth is much harder to come by in New England. The entire 6 state region ranks in the bottom 10 states when considering the importance of religion.

I'm not as concerned with the fact that people here in New England are naturally less religious, that fact has a lot to do with historical trends.
  • I'm concerned when I hear about highly visible church organizations poring their resources into Nashville.
  • I get frustrated when I hear about "hot shot" seminary grads getting out and planting a new church in Charlotte.
  • I'm confused when I hear about really well known church leaders starting a new worship experience in Atlanta.
  • I'm jealous when read about all of the ministry training being made available in Dallas.
Are these organizations are smart enough to know that you can't run a "successful' ministry in New England, or are they settling for the 'low hanging fruit'?

I'm sure there are many good reasons to start a church in Birmingham, but I can't wait to see someone look at Boston and say... "why not!" Let's bring in some seminary hot shots and nationally recognized leaders and start something there. If God (and not geography) is the reason for their success, then let's buck the trend.

Click Here for a closer look at the trends.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Youth Pastor Gathering

You are invited to attend a gathering of youth pastors on Sunday, February 22nd at 6pm in Marlborough, MA at Metro Church. My long time friend, Scott Long and Chad Braswell are looking forward to networking and sharing with others in youth ministry here in Central Massachusetts. If you have any question please contact Chad Braswell: or Scott Long:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Landon Cosmo DeStratis

Many of you have already seen the news on Facebook... but in case you haven't heard, Landon Cosmo DeStratis arrived at 2:53am on Sunday, February 15, 2009. He weighed in at 7lbs 6oz and 21 inches long. Erin and Landon are healthy and happy... and so is Mitchell!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Room 237 (update)

Room 237 Update!

I just listened to my very own copy of "Room 237" by the Black Raspberries and it's great! I wanted to update everyone and let you know that if you'd rather have your own copy of the CD rather than the download, it is now available! You can get in touch with Giuliano via email: and let him know that you want a copy of the CD. This is a full length album for only $5.00. If you need to have the album shipped out to you, add on shipping and handling costs.


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Room 237

It's been a long time in the waiting, but The Black Raspberries have hit the streets with their new full length album, Room 237. I couldn't be more proud of these guys as they wrote, recorded and produced the entire album on their own. These high school students have crafted some amazingly creative tracks and impressive riffs on this album. Don't miss this great rock CD!

Click Here to download the entire album for only $4.99!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Ok... I confess: I've been using Internet Explore way too long. Back in the summer months of '08 I downloaded Google Chrome, but only because the computer IKON issues to me wouldn't allow me to update past IE6.

I recently rebuilt an old PC to act primarily as a print server and back up computer. I decided that since I had a clean slate with this PC, I might as well try heading over to Mozilla. It didn't take long for me to fall in love with Firefox and all of it's 'add-ons'. Once web browsing became a social interaction, thanks to Twitter and Facebook, the old model of browsing just won't suffice. The two ad-on features that I am loving the most: Twitter and Delicious.

I've been experimenting with a couple of twitter apps. Right now I'm running Twitbin. I've also used TwitterFox. I'm not sure which one I'll go with... any sugguestion?

Delicious is the real reason that I'm converting all of my browsing to Firefox. How many times have you been on one computer, saved a site to "favorites" only to later be at another computer and not be able to access your favorites. Delicious solves that problem by creating a web based bookmark that can be accessed from any computer. The Delicious add-on for Firefox makes it as easy to add, view and change bookmarks as if they were built into your browser. All this plus the ability to create feeds and share your favorite sites.

Anyway, I'd like to conclude by appologizing to my many fellow nerdy friends... I was wrong to use IE for so long, but I now see the error of my ways. I pledge to use Firefox and all of it's cool extentions from this day forward.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I thought I would share a link to the book I just started reading - Churched

I'll probably post more thoughts on it later... but so far, for a guy who grew up going to church with a lot of rules, this book is really speaking to me... and making me laugh. I grew up in a Pentecostal / Charismatic church, which is very different from the Independent Baptist church that the author attended, yet from a kid's perspective, there were many similarities.

I'm only 3 chapters in... so I'll get back to you with more thoughts later.

Read more from Matthew Paul Turner at: