So 14 of us headed down to Flavor Fest. We signed up 15 but one had to pull out last minute. My boy Gabe DeHoyos got to enjoy the pass over the weekend so it wasn't wasted.
I can't say that I went with many expectations. I've been hitting Flavor Fest for years and in my early days of going, as a Gospel Hip Hop artist, I went hoping to get heard, to get seen, to share my music. However, it always seemed as if God had other plans. Instead of any truly hip hop related things happening for and through me while I was there, every year I'd meet people, connect on very real levels, make new friendships that have lasted and without question, learn something new. So, I've learned to empty myself of expectations in order to allow God to move. And this year was no different.
Now, one thing that was on my mind was our worship team, Freedom, who were ministering Friday morning at the conference. I won't lie and say I wasn't nervous for them, but as far as their talents, I knew God had them covered. My concern was for them, that they show no fear, that they recognize that God was who they were singing for and that they worship. I think God was telling them the exact same thing because that's what they did, they worshipped and God moved. It was really a beautiful thing....I'm including a video of their set at the bottom.
I was also on the panel discussion for church planters and that was a great time as we got to share some of the difficulties of planting churches in urban communities. Trust me y'all, their are difficulties in planting churches anywhere but planting in urban communities comes with it's own set of unique problems. And let's not talk about planting in NYC! For example, I learned how much two fellow planters pay in rent...um, about 1/3 of what we do? And their spaces are huge! Anyway, enough of that LOL. We know and believe God is preparing our new home! Pray with us on that!
And then finally for me, you'd' think with all the hip hop and ministry and break dancing and DJ expos going on I'd be in hip hop heaven. And yeah, I enjoyed some of that...especially the b boy battle (I got some video of that too), but what happened for me personally was conviction. Of my attitudes, of my grudges and of my pride. Yeah I left a lil broken and now I'm praying for direction in how to adjust all these things I was convicted of! Praise God for conviction!
So, if I could give you advice about Flavor Fest...go knowing that you'll get some great workshops, incredible ministry through hip hop and wonderful fellowship. But also go with a tank of empty expectation so God can fill it up. He does it for me every year!
Much luv and shout outs to Flavor Fest, Urban D, Crossover Church, my UCN Pastors, Lucy, Lily, Spec! Congrats to Sicily for winning the Beat Battle and to Kellz & Wit on their engagement, Troy and Corey on their awards and Tymmie & his wife for a beautiful time of building and blessing! Tim from Syntax...that's my dude, always refreshing spending time with you. I have got to get out to San Diego! I am sure I'm forgetting people but know that I had a blast, my team had a blast and it was great to hear from them too (we debrief on Sunday at the hotel every year) and learn how God moved for them.
THAT'S RIGHT, direct off of their world tour, which ended at Didasko Bible Camp in Pennsylvania, comes G.I.E.!!! Make sure you come to welcome G.I.E. to the Elements! You won't be disappointed!!! The following is a sample!
Due to the hurricane warning for this
weekend, service on Sunday, August 28th, has been postponed.Instead The Elements will meet on
Wednesday, August 31, at 7:30pm, to celebrate the big DRY OUT!
I’d like to encourage you to be careful
and safe.Prepare for the storm
and make sure you check on your people and neighbors to help them out,
especially the elderly…remember last week’s sermon and GIVE SOMETHING AWAY…even
during the storm!Check out the Ready New York: Hurricane Guide!
Join me as we pray for God's protection for all of
Efrain (Brother E)
Alicea Signs Church Planting Agreement with Evangelical Covenant Church
Swanzey, NH, Saturday, July 9, 2011
Efrain Alicea signed his church planter agreement for the
Elements Church in the Bronx on Saturday, July 9, 2011. Along with Rev. Jason Condon, Associate
Superintendent & Director of Church Planting for the East Coast Conference
of the Evangelical Covenant Church and Rev. Howard Burgoyne, Superintendent of
the East Coast Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church, Efrain signed as
the board members of the East Coast Conference witnessed and celebrated this beautiful
“I'm SO excited y’all to be a part of Covenant. When we
went to assessment Erika and I looked at each other and said, ‘We're already
Covenant. It's just not official.’ Meaning...the heart of ECC was already in
our hearts! Today is a huge day and I look forward to what God has planned for
us! We really feel like we’re
The Elements is an urban church in the Bronx, New York
whose mission is to, “Lead the urban culture to Christ by cultivating
relationship.” The pastor, Efrain
Alicea, aka Brother E, planted the church out of his home in 2008 and has seen
lives changed as a result of the ministry.
Evangelical Covenant Church is a rapidly growing multiethnic denomination in
the United States and Canada with ministries on five continents of the world.
Founded in 1885 by Swedish immigrants, the ECC values the Bible as the word of
God, the gift of God’s grace and ever-deepening spiritual life that comes
through a faith with Jesus Christ, the importance of extending God’s love and
compassion to a hurting world, and the strength that comes from unity within
The Elements Church is located at 2901 Bruckner Boulevard,
Bronx, NY 10461. Services are
Wednesday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 12:00 noon.