News & Updates | Pastor Jon
ATTENTION: CCP News & Updates by Pastor Jon
As I reflect upon this past year, I am especially mindful of the love and faithfulness of God to our congregation. He continues to hold us fast. He continues to humble and mature us. Though many of our members moved away from Charleston in 2017 — and we miss them dearly — God has continued to build and strengthen our church body. Christ is building his church in Charleston, and we have the profound privilege of watching Him work as He saves, gathers, and perfects us by His Word and Spirit. I am so thankful for Pastor Ross, and our church officers-- Scott Buchanan, Keith Hester, Andrew Godwin, and Wen Bumgardner.
In addition to God’s love and faithfulness, I have been freshly captivated by the beauty of Christ and his gospel. As I expressed in my Christmas sermon last Sunday, Jesus is exceedingly lovely, and it is a grand privilege to commune with him in the preaching of his Word and the administration of the Lord’s Table. Nothing compares to knowing and walking with Jesus. He is our life and salvation. Apart from Him we can do nothing. Nothing! In Christ, by grace through faith, we receive full pardon for our sins, imputed righteousness, and everlasting life. Through faith in Christ we are justified, adopted, and sanctified. Therefore, He is worthy of our obedience and our affections. Indeed, when we get a true view of Christ in his gospel, we cannot help but love him and long to know more of him. Do you believe this? Is Christ preeminent in your heart today?
My prayer for the Christ Church family during the Christmas season and into the new year is that we would see more clearly the loveliness of Christ our Savior, and that nothing would rival Him in our often cold and duplicitous hearts. May the One who was born of a virgin in Bethlehem, and died on the cross outside the city walls of Jerusalem, be our matchless treasure. He is worthy.
The following are a few important announcements that I would like you to be aware of as we celebrate Christmas as a church family and transition into a new year:
Christmas Eve | Lord’s Day Worship: Our normal meeting place for Lord’s Day worship is closed on Christmas Eve— Sunday, December 24th. The good news is that we will be worshipping in two beautiful sanctuaries instead. Our morning service will be at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Cross Anglican Church on Sullivan’s Island. And our beautiful Christmas Eve Service will be at 8:00 p.m. downtown at St. Johannes Lutheran Church. If you are in town, we look forward to seeing you there. Invite friends and extended family to come as well!
Evening Worship | Beautiful New Location: I am excited to announce that beginning in January Christ Church will be holding our evening worship services in the beautiful historic sanctuary of St. Paul’s Lutheran in the Old Village of Mount (604 Pitt Street). In addition, violinist Tomas Jakubek will be joining the weekly accompaniment for evening worship. If you are not currently attending evening worship, let me warmly encourage you to bookend the Lord’s Day with God-centered worship, feasting upon the riches of God’s Word and enjoying Christ-centered fellowship with God’s people.
New Women’s Bible Study: A new Christ Church women’s Bible study taught by our own Joanna Hodges will commence early next year. Joanna is a graduate of Westminster Seminary California (M.A. Biblical Studies) and a gifted Bible teacher. All ladies of Christ Church are warmly encouraged to make this study a regular part of your week. Nursery will be provided. More details to come.
New Men’s Bible Study: After spending a year and a half in the Book of Romans, a new Christ Church men’s Bible study will begin on Thursday, January 18th. The men will study Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians and use Ian Hamilton’s new commentary on Ephesians from the Lectio Continua series (copies are available at the Christ Church offices—104 Broad Street, Charleston). The study will continue to meet at the Christ Church offices on Thursdays at 6:30 a.m. Men, I hope you will make it a priority to join us for this great time of fellowship in January.
New Position | Church Life Coordinator: After much deliberation and prayer the elders have approved a new position for Christ Church— Church Life Coordinator. The full or part-time position will include women’s and children’s ministry, assimilation, as well as many administrative responsibilities. The candidate must be godly, theologically sound, outgoing, and administratively adept. Please pray that the Lord will provide the right person for Christ Church. We hope to have someone in place by February or March.
Pastoral Response to Presbytery Worship Service: Many of you attended the Low Country Presbytery Reformation 500 worship service in October. The service was wonderful, but the sermon left many confused, upset, and discouraged. The following article is my reflection upon that sermon (and another Reformation 500 sermon), comparing the two and asking some questions about the future health of our denomination— the Presbyterian Church in America. http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2017/12/reformation-500-social-justice.php
Dr RC Sproul (1939-2017)
In case you haven’t already heard, one of the greatest pastor/theologians of our time has died and gone to be with the Lord. Dr. RC Sproul has faithfully served a generation through his teaching, preaching, and writing. He is the founder of Ligonier Ministries which produces numerous resources, the most notable being Table Talk Magazine which goes to over 250,000 readers monthly. I cannot put into words how influential he has been my life over the past 25 years. I know that many of you could say the same. If you are unfamiliar with his work, the best place to start is his classic book entitled “The Holiness of God.” I will be representing Christ Church at his memorial service next Wednesday down at Saint Andrew’s Chapel in Samford, FL. Keep his family in prayer. The service will be live-streamed at 2:00 p.m. if you are interested in watching: https://rcsproul.com/memorial-service/
Well, that’s all I have for now. I am so thankful for each of you. It is an honor to serve as your minister. I pray for you regularly, and rejoice at what the Lord is doing in our midst in and through Christ Church Presbyterian. Let’s continue to pray earnestly for a permanent facility, and trust God’s perfect timing for all the blessings and challenges that are before us. See you on Sunday.
Your Pastor, Servant, & Friend,