News & Updates from Pastor Jon
Dearest Members and Regular Attenders of Christ Church,
What would you say to a large group of believers if you were about to die? What encouragement and warnings would you give? Shortly before Joshua died, the eminent general gave a memorable charge to Israel and her leaders (Joshua 23:1-16). After reminding them of God’s steadfast faithfulness, he exhorts them (and us!) to “be very careful, therefore, to love the LORD your God” (v.11). He then provides three principal ways to love God:
- Obey God’s commandments (v.6)
- Flee from idols (v.7)
- Cling to the LORD your God (v.8)
Joshua’s farewell message teaches us how to love God, and that the fruit of the Christian life springs from the rich soil of God’s faithfulness in Christ. In other words, we do not obey God’s commands, flee from idols, and cling to the Lord to earn a place in God’s kingdom. No, we do these things because, saved by grace through faith in Christ, we’ve been given a place in God’s kingdom. Our good works are not the root, but the fruit, of our salvation in Christ. Jesus paid it all! And so we reject the idols of this world and joyfully seek to conform our lives to God’s Word. Paul sums it up well in his epistle to the Romans: “Therefore, by the mercies of God … Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect (Rom. 12:1a-2).
In our men’s Bible study this morning, we discussed Joshua’s charge in context, and also how it powerfully speaks to us today. We reminded each other of how important it is that we meditate upon God’s love and faithfulness, and live with sincere obedience to His word, fleeing from the culture’s myriad idols and daily clinging to Christ. Christ Church, this is a charge for every one of us today! These are indeed strange times. In some ways it feels like our nation is coming apart at the seams; and perhaps it is. Some wonder how the Christian church will survive the rising cultural pressure against the objective truth of God’s Word. But the Lord is faithful. He always has been and always shall be! Christ will build his church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it (Mt. 16:18). Therefore, dear believer, be strong and courageous. Don’t live in fear and spiritual cowardice. The Lord fights for you. He loves you, and will never forsake his precious flock, redeemed by the blood of His beloved Son.
Renovation Project | Fundraising Campaign
It won’t be long before we are gathering together for Lord’s Day morning and evening worship services at our beautiful new location — 486 Wando Park Blvd. The renovation project is moving along very well. God-willing we will occupy the building by mid-October. Being in a larger facility will, among other things, provide more opportunity for social distancing. Moreover, it will be great to develop more mid-week ministries for our flock.
As you might expect, this project is expensive. But here’s how you can help. First, pray for the Lord’s provision. Our heavenly Father delights to answer our prayers more than we delight to pray them. Therefore, let’s boldly pray that God would move hearts to give towards this exciting and strategic renovation project. Second, give financially towards the project. Many of you generously pledged to give towards the purchase of the building last year. Of course, we were unable to proceed with the purchase, and instead were given the opportunity to sign a longterm lease. The $420k renovation project, which the congregation voted to approve, is an effort to make the leased space well-suited to our ministry needs, and make the building welcoming to visitors and guests. The ultimate aim of the renovated location is to bring glory to God through biblical worship and discipleship, and to see many come to Christ and enfolded into a healthy biblical church. Would you help us reach the $420k goal? Would you be willing to give your former pledge towards the renovation project? Perhaps you are a distant friend of Christ Church or are new to our ministry and would like to support the project. By doing so you will not only help us to achieve our renovation goals, but you will also take pressure off of our 2020 budget reserves which are down this year due to the pandemic. In a word, your willingness to give sacrificially towards this project will greatly benefit the future work of Christ Church. You may give online on our website or send a check (memo: CCP renovation) to P.O. Box 2246, Mount Pleasant, SC 29465.
Administrative Transition | Madeleine Herron
Due to significant deficits in our 2020 budget, and decreased administrative workload during the pandemic (e.g. no nursery, bulletin, or Sunday school, etc), the session of elders decided that it was necessary to eliminate the part-time administrative role fulfilled by Madeleine Herron. We are very grateful for Madeleine and her labors on behalf of Christ Church over the past year. Please send all future communications related to Christ Church to Pastor Michael or myself.
Outreach | Evangelism | Visitors
Many of our neighbors, friends, and family members are overcome with fear and anxiety about the future. They are disillusioned by the present cultural chaos. Many evangelical churches are responding to the current crises with assorted versions of “wokeness,” abandoning the faithful proclamation of the gospel for new works-based “gospels” related to public health and social justice. In many quarters, the evangelical church seems more concerned about masks and protests then the fulfillment of the Great Commission. We should be humbly sharing Christ with our neighbors, but instead we are judgmentally “cancelling” them at every turn. My prayer is that we would be different. We must be different!
Christ Church, don’t get caught up in the angry rhetoric of the election season. Take time to pray for the lost and reach out to the unreached. We have a wonderful opportunity — right now — to share the love of Christ with friends and neighbors. Many are reeling from all the bad news on cable television. We have an opportunity to share with them the good news that there is hope, peace, and salvation in Christ. Take time today to invite someone to church, to watch our online services, or attend our “in person” evening worship services. Share our new Christ Church welcome video (on our website) with a friend or on your social media page. Warmly reach out to the new families who have been visiting our congregation in recent weeks. What a privilege to be ambassadors of our risen Lord!
As we move into a new and exciting season of ministry at Christ Church Presbyterian, let us be on our knees in prayer, attentive to the means of grace (Acts 2:42), and zealous for the true mission of the church. May we be available to use our spiritual gifts and material resources for the health and extension of the church both now and in the future.
It’s a joy to serve as your pastor. Please let me know if you would like a pastoral or elder visit to your home, or if you have any specific prayer requests.
I write with the deepest love and affection for you, my dear flock.
Your Pastor, Servant, and Friend,