CHRIST CHURCH | SUMMER UPDATE
Dear Members and Friends of Christ Church,
The hot and humid dog days of summer in Charleston are upon us. I will never forget the first time I experienced the muggy humidity of the South. It was mid-August, and I was disembarking a flight from humidity-free Northern California to an exceedingly balmy Greenville, South Carolina, preparing to start my freshman year at Clemson. The air was dense and suffocating, but over time I managed to acclimate. I no longer mind the southern heat as long as air-conditioning and an extra t-shirt are close at hand!
As we move through the dog days of another Charleston summer where many are traveling and on vacation, I would like to bring you up to date on a few exciting things related to the life and ministry of Christ Church Presbyterian.
Christ Church | Four-Year Anniversary: It was four years ago this month that we held our first worship service. We met for Lord’s Day evening worship at First Scots’ historic chapel on the corner of Meeting and Tradd Streets. It was a marvelous occasion, and we have seen the Lord’s hand at work since those early days in the summer of 2013. Let us give thanks and praise to God for all that He has done and is doing in and through the members of Christ Church. Let us celebrate God’s steadfast love and faithfulness to our flock.
Deacons Ordination: Mr. Wen Bumgardner and Mr. Andrew Godwin were elected to be the first deacons of Christ Church Presbyterian. We give praise to God for raising up these two godly men to serve our flock in this vital office of the church. Wen and Andrew will be ordained in our morning service on Lord’s Day, June 25th. There will be a cake reception after the service where we may express our love and appreciation to our new deacons.
2017 | PCA General Assembly: The Presbyerian Church in America’s 45th annual General Assembly met last week in Greensboro, North Carolina. There was very little controversy on the floor of the assembly, and several good men were voted onto standing committees. Really, not a lot happened at the assembly this year. The business was pretty straightforward and uneventful. This year’s moderator, Dr. Alexander Jun, a ruling elder from Southern California, is the first Korean moderator in the history of the PCA.
The Gospel Reformation Network, a network of PCA ministers seeking to cultivate healthy Reformed churches within the PCA, hosted their annual luncheon and morning seminar. We had a combined attendance of almost 500 elders! There appears to be much interest in the GRN’s vision to encourage the PCA to hold fast to her Reformed and confessional moorings and not capitulate to the latest theological or cultural trends. You can read more about the GRN at www.gospelreformation.net.
Building Search: Christ Church has been meeting at Moultrie Middle School for three years. While our location has been great in many ways (e.g. parking, playing fields, large meeting space, classrooms, etc.) and has met our needs quite adequately, we are eager to settle into a more suitable longterm location.
Many of you have inquired as to how the search for a new facility is going. Our commercial real estate agent, Eddie Buxton, is presently following up on a few leads. In addition, I have personally been wading through Charleston commercial real estate sites trying to discover a meeting space that would suit our current and future needs. We are presently looking for a meeting space (8,000-15,000 sf) that we can lease for approximately 3-5 years. This would give us a chance to grow and save more money for a potential future purchase.
To be sure, none of this is easy or straightforward. It’s not as simple as “let’s just find a place.” I wish it was! The Charleston real estate market is flooded with wealthy investors and costs continue to rise. Moreover, simply finding large and available meeting spaces on the peninsula or in Mount Pleasant is a significant challenge. Let us, therefore, recommit ourselves to fervent prayer for a more suitable place of worship and ministry. And if you see or hear of any leads, please pass them along to a member of our session.
CCP Members in Mission: Pray for Christ Church members Anna Albert and Alex Levitt as they serve our Lord overseas this summer. Anna is serving in Honduras with Teen Missions International and Alex is going with a medical team to Ghana and Zambia. Pray for the Lord’s blessing and protection as they serve our Lord overseas. Also, pray for opportunities to reach out to friends and neighbors with the gospel this week. How will they hear the gospel if we do not tell them? (Romans 10:14)
Summer Pastoral Intern: Matthew Proctor has hit the ground running as Christ Church’s first ever summer pastoral intern. Matthew, a third year seminary student from Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, is staying quite busy. In addition to required reading and response papers, Matthew is leading several Bible studies for men, young adults, and youth at Christ Church. He is also preparing to preach God’s Word on July 2nd. His wife Kelly moved down to Charleston last week, and is enjoying getting to know the ladies of Christ Church. If you haven’t already done so, please take time to reach out to the Proctors and encourage them through a meal or a word of encouragement. They will be with us until early August before heading back to Philadelphia.
Between the Times Podcast: Please be on the lookout for all-new episodes of Christ Church’s podcast, “Between the Times.” We have interesting interviews with Rev. Iver Martin (Principal of Edinburgh Theological Seminary), Matthew Proctor (Pastoral Intern and former Marine), and Alex Lovett (member of Christ Church and third year medical student). We also have an episode where Pastor Ross, Gabriel Williams, and I unpack Romans 9 and the glorious doctrine of election. Stay tuned— these episodes will be soon be available on our website christchurchcharleston.org.
Sad Goodbyes | Warm Welcomes: Over the past few months we have said goodbye to no less than 35-40 church members who have moved from Charleston to begin new chapters in their lives. It’s been hard to see our friends move on. We will miss them dearly. Transition is inevitable in a town like Charleston, especially with lots of students and military personnel. But this gives us a wonderful opportunity to disciple individuals and families for 3-4 year periods, and foster relationships that will last a lifetime.
While we miss those who have gone, we should be encouraged by the significant number of new visitors that we have seen over these past few weeks! Let me encourage you— members of Christ Church — to warmly welcome any new visitors that come through our doors. Let us show the kind of love and hospitality that we ourselves have been blessed by in the homes of others. Indeed, let us open our homes and our hearts to those looking for a church home. A growing church is a friendly and welcoming church.
I count it an honor and a privilege to serve as your pastor. Please know that I love you and pray for you regularly— that Christ would be the joy of your hearts and the chief object of your truest affections.