By Sue Wambolt, Contributing Writer
Westborough – On July 21, after a 13-month search, the congregation of New Hope Chapel unanimously invited Steven Ristuccia to be its next pastor. He will preach his first service on Sunday, Sept. 15.
Ristuccia, 27, and his wife, Liz, 31, are originally from Andover. They have a 7-month-old son, James.
Ristuccia went to Boston College for his undergraduate studies and then attended Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary where he received his Master of Divinity degree. For the past two years he has been pastor of outreach at the Spanish River Church in Delray Beach, Fla.
“My wife, Liz, and I felt God calling us back to Massachusetts to minister in the area,” said Ristuccia.?”New England is a region that desperately needs to hear the message of the Gospel and that's why God has called us back here.”
As pastor of New Hope Chapel, Ristuccia is excited to help the church become a beacon in the community by demonstrating the love of Christ through both words and actions.
“My main goal in ministry is to serve God faithfully as the pastor of New Hope Chapel and leave everything else to God,” he said.?”God builds His Church, not I. My task is to preach God's Word faithfully, live a godly life as an example, and shepherd the New Hope Chapel flock.?God will do the rest and grow the church and accomplish His purposes and His will.”
Ristuccia comes to New Hope with a passion for seeing people come to know Christ as Lord and Savior as well as seeing people deepen their relationship with Christ.?He sees his primary responsibilities as maintaining a thriving relationship with God and a life of godly character as well as shepherding those God has entrusted to him.
“Pastoring (or shepherding)?is always relational and involves caring for those within the congregation in every way (physically, emotionally, and spiritually).?New Hope Chapel already has a sense of biblical,?godly community, so they need no help in that respect.?What is always at the root of biblical community is love,” he said. “The members of New Hope Chapel love one another dearly, and so close, caring community naturally results.”
Ristuccia says that his fundamental calling as a pastor is to serve God faithfully?by shepherding and growing?His flock (the church entrusted to him) which is now New Hope Chapel.
“The qualities I bring to New Hope Chapel are primarily character related.?That is what is of the highest important for a pastor.?God is my priority and serving Him is my aim.?I am very far from perfect, but I do strive to grow in my relationship with God and deepen my knowledge of Him and His Word.?I also strive to live a life that is obedient to God and His commands.”
While Ristuccia cites the Bible as his favorite book, he also enjoys the writings of John Piper. He reads World Magazine and Christianity Today as a way to keep up with trends in Christianity.
In his free time, Ristuccia enjoys “just about anything related to the ocean.”
“I love being out on a boat just enjoying the beauty of God's creation,” he said. “I’m a big fan of hockey and football and?I like to golf as well.?I’ve recently taken up archery as a hobby and sport.? I also love doing anything with my family – I am and always have been very family oriented.”
Ristuccia is excited to start his journey at New Hope Chapel and is eager to start making an impact on the Westborough community.
To learn more about New Hope Chapel visitnewhopechapel.net.