Charter Service and 1st Half of 2011 Update

Leave a comment

Now that July of 2011 has rolled around, our church has been meeting publicly for a year and a half, and there are several things to note from the last six months. God has been at work in our church, so we want him to be magnfied as we talk about what’s been happening recently.

Probably the most significant event of the last six months was our charter service, which was held Sunday, June 26. Chartering as a church involves accepting members and adopting a Constitution and set of Beliefs to follow and uphold as a church. We were very encouraged to have twenty-four people  sign on as charter members during this service. 

It was also a special blessing to have several representatives from our sending church (Heritage Bible Church in Greer, SC) with us for this charter service. These representatives included five former or current elders at Heritage along with their wives. One of these elders, Will Arndt, currently leads Heritage’s church planting ministry, so it was good to have him with us as well as Eric Sipe, the pastor who formerly oversaw this ministry when Redeemer was first started. These elders were also present to help us with the appointment of our own elders, Todd DavisRyan Fisher, and Matt LaCava. This is the first time that Ryan and Matt have served as elders, so we had a time for questioning them on Saturday the 25th as the last step in training and assessing them according to the qualifications for elders set forth in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 1. Following this meeting, the five elders mentioned above along with Todd happily recommended Ryan and Matt for affirmation by our church as elders. So, the charter service on Sunday also included the appointment of Todd, Ryan, and Matt as Redeemer’s elders along with two deacons—Erik Frelund and Paul Hurst—all of whom were unanimously affirmed by Redeemer’s new members.

It is very exciting to have our own members and leadership now, and we thank God for what he’s done to bring us to this point. The charter service was a time of rejoicing in Jesus Christ, praying for God’s help and blessing on us, and challenging ourselves from the Bible regarding our responsibilities towards God and each other as a church. Fittingly, we had a fellowship meal following the service as well that gave us further opportunity to celebrate together God’s grace toward us.

Though we are very encouraged with God’s work in our church to bring us to where we are now, we recognize that we’ve just gotten started and there is much work to be done. God has further challenged us from his Word through some recent studies regarding our responsibility to share the good news of Jesus Christ with as many people in our communities as we can, and he has given us some exciting opportunities to do so. Please pray with us that God would bring spritual fruit from these relationships through his life-giving Word and Spirit. And, we’d appreciate your prayers for more such opportunities in the days ahead as we seek to be faithful witnesses in the ordinary course of our lives and through new ways of meeting people that we’re planning for the near future.

We’re very aware of how much we need God to be at work through our efforts, so we continue to devote ourselves to prayer as a church. We have now observed two evenings of prayer together, once in March and once at the beginning of July. We intend to continue this practice at least once each quarter. For an evening of prayer, we gather together on a Friday evening and spend a couple of hours together in prayer around a particular theme. We have a time of singing and praying together as an entire group, and then we break into smaller groups and move together through three or four different rooms in each of which we pray for fifteen to twenty minutes regarding a particular aspect of our theme. For our last evening of prayer, we drew our theme from Acts 19:20 “The Word of the Lord continued to increase and prevail mightily,” so we’re excited to see how God will use our prayers to continue this work in our day as he did in the first century.

As far as some of our future plans, we’re considering adding in a teaching time on Sunday mornings before our corporate prayer time. We see the need for another forum for teaching the Scriptures and for training each other in the ability to use them for evangelism, discipleship, counseling, etc. So, we’re excited about this possibility but still have some details to work out. The same thing goes for other part of our church ministry that we’re seeking to develop, so we would be grateful for prayers regarding God’s direction for these things as we certainly need God’s wisdom for all our decisions.

Before I close, I figured I’d let you know that we’ve also updated our website recently, and we’re excited about that as we hope for it to be a tool God uses to direct people to us and a tool for building up our own body. Our sermons are easily accessible on the site as will be the blog posts, which we hope to make more use of in the days ahead. Check it out at www.redeemercolorado.com.

For those of you have been praying with us, we want to say “Thank you,” and we thank God for you. We believe God is hearing our prayers to further his kingdom and build his church, and we trust that he will continue to do so. Please pray that God will draw many to himself in salvation through the gospel of his Son that we are privileged to share. Please pray that he will also bring any other Christians to us that he wants to be part of Redeemer and that he’ll build us all up in the image of his Son, all to his awesome glory.

End of 2010 Update

2 Comments

We’re well overdue on an update, which lets you know that a lot has been going on here, which also means that there is a lot to report since the last update, so here we go.

Maybe I should just start with a snapshot of a typical week in the life of Redeemer as of right now. We are now meeting in a new school building that was just opened in August. The school is Foundations Charter Academy, and we began meeting in the building on Aug. 15. We’re very grateful that God has provided this place for us to meet and has given us a good relationship with the school. The school is right in the middle of the neighborhood the LaCavas are living in as well as another family that is now part of the church, and it is more than sufficient for all our needs on Sundays right now. So, we get to the school building at about 8:30 each Sunday morning and begin setting up. We were able to purchase a sound system a couple of months ago that has been a big help for our services, so that has to be set up along with the chairs, tables, nursery, kids’ classroom, etc. We begin a time of prayer, as we’ve been doing since January, at 9:30am, usually using one of the Psalms as a guide for our prayer. This prayer time runs until 10:15, and then we transition to the worship & teaching service, which begins at 10:30.One new thing to note about our morning service is that we’ve added in several instruments to accompany Danielle as she plays the piano for our worship. We have a clarinet, a cello, and a couple of guitars, so this has been a good addition to help us as we sing to our awesome God. As far as the sermons, we’re going through Luke right now and are into chapter 5. We finished up our study in Ephesians in August and thought it would be good to move next to one of the gospels. God has been teaching me much about Jesus Christ through this study and, I trust, the rest of the congregation as well. We usually finish the service at 12:00, and then we fellowship together and begin tearing down and cleaning up, which usually takes us until about 1:00 or 1:30.

For the middle of the week, we meet in two fellowship groups, one of which meets on Wednesday evenings and the other on Thursday evenings. The groups are being led by Ryan Fisher and Matt LaCava and have created an opportunity for even more meaningful fellowship and personal relationships since we broke our one midweek group into two smaller groups back in October. We meet in each other’s homes for a time of praying together, sharing with each other what God is teaching us & doing in our lives, and looking into the Bible together. We’re going to begin reading through a book together for the fellowship groups in the next couple of weeks, probably Living the Cross-Centered Life, by C. J. Mahaney, to provide something focused for us to discuss together when we meet in the fellowship groups. We’ve also talked about following a Bible reading plan together throughout the week so that we’ll also have the benefit of discussing what we’re learning from the same Scripture passages.

On Saturdays, we alternate between ladies’ Bible study and our men’s group meetings. The ladies began a few months ago a study through Proverbs at a local bakery every other Saturday, and this has been very good. The men have been meeting for several months now on the other Saturday and have finished two books together: Don’t Waste Your Life, by John Piper and Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, by Donald Whitney. Both of those studies were very challenging and helpful, but we’re excited to be moving into a new study now through the book of Deuteronomy.

So, that’s a typical week for us, and now I need to cover some other things that didn’t necessarily get noted in that snapshot. In the last update, I reported that Matt & Kate LaCava arrived in Colorado in May. Since then, Matt finished his internship with Heritage Bible Church, they found a nice house to rent, Judah (Jude, for short) was born in August, and God provided Matt a full-time job in November, while Kate has started voice lessons with her first two students. God has been very good to them and to Redeemer in bringing them to Colorado to serve with us & grow in Christ with us. Matt prepares and leads our worship for Sunday mornings, which has been a great blessing to us, along with other normal church ministry stuff.

In July, God led a fourth couple from Heritage Bible Church to Colorado to be part of this church plant—Paul & Tara Hurst. Paul & Tara are both teachers, and it was remarkable to see how God provided them both with jobs teaching school at a time when it’s very hard to find a position as a school teacher because of budget cuts. They both got jobs in the Brighton area, Tara at the school in which our church meets on Sundays. They were getting close to the point when they had to make a decision about the next school year with their then-current schools in South Carolina when God provided the position for Paul. They planned to move to Colorado with just him having this job, but shortly before their move, God provided Tara with her teaching position. This was another evidence of God’s faithful provision & direction for them and us as a church, and they have also been a great blessing to our church, especially by their service in leading our new children’s ministry.

In the beginning of August, a college-aged team from Heritage came to Colorado to help us pass out fliers about Redeemer in the community in preparation for our move to the new meeting location August 15. The fliers also included an invitation to a community outreach we held Aug. 13 in an effort to meet people so that we could teach them about Jesus Christ. We passed out around 2,000 fliers I think and had around 50 people or so come to the outreach event. The event included a 9-hole miniature golf course that we built along with face painting for the kids, and it allowed us the opportunity to meet several people from our community, to have spiritual conversations with some of them, and to show God’s love to our community in a small way. We had a few families visit our church on Sunday mornings as a result of the outreach event or the fliers, and one family has become a committed part of Redeemer. We think we’ll try a similar outreach event again next summer using the miniature golf course we have built now.

Around the same time as our move to the new meeting location, God brought another couple of families from the community who have been a great addition to Redeemer. Also, since we started meeting at the school building, we’ve had a steady stream of visitors, particularly from the neighborhood where the school building is located. Just to give you an idea of the makeup of the church currently, we usually have 45-55 people on Sunday mornings with about 60 people or so who are regularly connected with our church. We’re grateful for the people God has brought together to form our young church, many of whom are mature believers who are very committed to growing in Christ themselves and helping others to do the same. At the same time, because of what God has already done, we are greatly challenged to invest ourselves fervently in reaching out with the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Word of God to more and more people in our community.

One outreach effort we engaged in was putting together Thanksgiving boxes for some needy people in our community. We were made aware of five families in the community who could use some help, and God provided the resources through the giving of our people to put together boxes for these families with some money left over that allowed us to include a grocery gift card for them as well. It was really encouraging to see how God worked to make this effort successful, using his people. One of these families has been coming to our Sunday morning services consistently since we passed out the boxes, so we’re grateful for the opportunity God has given us for discipleship through this ministry.

I should also include the news that in the last couple of months, God has led two more families to move to Colorado to be part of our church. In both instances, God has provided jobs for the men in this area, which again shows us the sovereign leading & provision of God in light of the tough job market throughout the country currently. Please pray for the McDaniels and the Lees as they make the move out here and try to sell their houses in Atlanta and San Antonio respectively.

At the same time, we’ve definitely experienced some difficult things as a church family. Some of the members of our church family have endured the loss of a close family member, one of our men losing his wife after a 5 year battle with cancer. We’ve also experienced challenges with the jobs of some of our people and continued physical difficulties, but in all these things we’ve seen God’s faithfulness and his Fatherly work to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ. We face the same things every church faces, and so when you pray for us, please pray for God’s gracious provision as well as for the fulfillment of his always good purposes in the trials we endure. We can certainly say through all these situations that God is good and God is great.

We’re overwhelmed by the work we’ve seen God do so far, using our imperfect efforts and sometimes apart from anything we’ve done. We’re grateful for the people he has brought together to make up Redeemer both from this community as well as from other parts of the county even. This compels us to work still harder in seeking to spread the gospel of Christ in our communities and to teach Christians how to follow Jesus Christ as we depend on God through prayer and reliance on his Word and Spirit. Please continue to pray that God will make the members of our church more and more like Jesus Christ on a daily basis. Please pray that he’ll use our witness of Christ to draw many to himself in salvation from their sins, and please pray that he’ll bring still more people to us that we can disciple and who will join with us in our service to God here. In particular, please pray for God’s leading and provision as we look towards constituting as a church in 2011 and appointing elders and deacons. We certainly need God’s powerful working in all these ways, and we trust that he will work to accomplish his purposes for the sake of the glory of his name and the joy of his people in him. What an awesome privilege to be his servants in this work and, even more, to be his children! All praise and glory to God for what he’s done so far and for what we anticipate he’ll continue to do!

Softball Update

Leave a comment

As many of you know, several men from RBC participated in a community fall softball league. The last games of the season took place this past Tuesday in a double header, and the team that several of our men played on won both of those games, the last one on a walk-off single by Paul Hurst to score Matt LaCava from third base. It was great fun to win in that way, and we’re thankful for the grace to have been able to play well, hopefully with attitudes that have reflected Christ. So, in terms of statistics, a 5-2 record is, by some measure, a success. But more importantly, we were able to build relationships with the men from RBC who participated and with those not from RBC who were also on our team. By God’s grace, Christ was glorified, many of us were edified, and those on our team who do not know Christ were pointed to Him.

Feb. ’10 – May ’10 Update

Leave a comment

Well, plenty of time has gone by and plenty of things have happened since our last update, so I’m sure I’ve got enough to fill up a new report. I’ll try to cover a lot quickly.

First, an update on the church plant team. I mentioned in the last update that Nate Klimek was planning to move to Colorado from Pennslvania to be part of our church plant. He made the move the last week of January and has since found a job with Denver Health Paramedics. God led him through some trying days with his work situation and has used the process to strengthen his faith greatly. He and Neill Marks now have a house in Brighton that they are splitting the rent on. Neill also has found work with a company called Handy Man Matters, and he’s staying very busy now that spring has set in. We’re extremely grateful to God for bringing these guys out here, and it’s been very encouraging to see God’s faithfulness to lead them & meet their needs. We’re also rejoicing to watch God working to grow them in Christ and to use them as servants in the church.

The last update also noted that Matt and Kate LaCava were praying about moving out here from Heritage Bible Church (our sending church in SC) to be part of our team. God has confirmed this leading in their hearts and in the hearts of the people at Heritage, and the LaCavas arrived in Colorado very early Sat. morning, May 22! We’re loving having them out here and are excited to see what God is going to do in them and through them too. Matt’s finishing up his pastoral internship here throughout most of the summer, and then he and Kate are planning to stay here, so please pray that God will provide for them so that they can. They’ll also have a new part of the family later this summer, so I’m sure they’d appreciate your prayers for the last few months of Kate’s pregnancy and for baby Judah. Several other people at Heritage are continuing to pray and think about making the move to Colorado too, so please join us in praying for God’s direction and provision for these people, particularly for a group that is hoping to visit in early July.

God isn’t just building our team with imports, though. He has also gathered together a great group of believers from out here in Colorado who are part of our core group now. We are thanking and praising God for this work that he’s done because it has been our desire to see such a core group gathered together, and that’s exactly what God has done. While we’re trying to go out and meet and minister to people here, we’re seeing God bring people to us through our website, other internet listings, or printed materials that have been distributed. It’s a reminder that we need to be faithful to work diligently, but we can also trust God to be building this church by his own work and for his own glory. We’ve been so encouraged to see his wisdom at work in bringing just the right people from various ages and life situations to be part of this church, and we believe he’ll continue to do so.

Now that this core group has been gathered, we’re trying to equip each other and encourage one another to be reaching out with the gospel of Christ into our community and other relationships. God has been providing such opportunities and helping our people to be faithful in taking advantage of them. Please pray that Christ will bring spiritual fruit from our existing relationships, that he’ll provide us with more relationships, and that he’ll give us grace to be faithful servants for his sake. It’s been especially exciting to see people coming out of their “winter shells” since the weather has gotten nicer this spring. People love to be outside in Colorado because the scenery is beautiful and the weather is great, so it makes it easy to meet people when out in the parks or working in the yard. God has brought together a neighborhood Bible study in our (the Davises) neighborhood, and we’re hopeful that it will be a good means of sharing his Word in our community. We’re also praying and thinking about other potential ministries to our community right now. There are one or two teams that are planning to come out from SC this summer to help us with outreach and to see a church plant in its early stages. Please pray that God will use us and these teams to effectively minister his Word to our neighbors in the coming days.

Currently, we’re continuing to meet first thing on Sunday mornings for corporate prayer before our worship and teaching service. We are just starting into chapter 5 in our study of Ephesians on Sunday mornings, and we’re loving the great truths God is teaching us through this portion of his Word of all that we have in Christ and how we’re to live because of these truths. We usually have between 30 and 35 people who join with us for our Sunday morning service, and we’re continually seeking to grow in our corporate worship and in our learning and living of God’s Word through this time together. A couple of weeks ago, we had our first church-wide fellowship on a Sunday afternoon, and it was a great time for deepening our fellowship as a church. This is something we’re planning to do either monthly or quarterly. We completed a 3 to 4 month evangelism study in our mid-week shepherd group time a few weeks ago. Now, we’re getting started with a study using the book Why Small Groups? to help us to know why we have shepherd groups and what we hope to accomplish through them. We’re excited about this study and how it will help us very intentionally to disciple one another and care for one another. Sometime later this summer or early in the fall, we’ll probably split up our 1 shepherd group into 2 or more smaller groups. Along with these regular Sunday and mid-week meetings, the men are getting together every other Saturday for a study through a book called Don’t Waste Your Life. God is using this book to challenge us pointedly to wholly commit ourselves to living life in the passionate pursuit of him and his glory, and we’re enjoying the time of encouragement together as men. The ladies also are getting together once a month currently for a time of fellowship and are considering the possibility of starting up a Bible study together. So, that’s a typical week right now in the life of our church corporately.

Like any church, we have needs that we’re praying for on a regular basis that range from new babies with more on the way to persistent physical difficulties in the lives of our people and those close to them. We’d appreciate your general prayer for God to shed his grace on us continually for these needs, that he’d accomplish his purposes in our hearts through them, and that he’d display his great glory by relieving these difficulties completely or by faithfully enabling us to bear them.

I hope that gives you a good idea of what God is doing here in Brighton, CO right now and that it helps you to know how to pray. God has been working for which we are very grateful, and we know that we need him to keep on working if there is going to be lasting fruit for his glory. As God delights to hear the prayers of his people, we are extremely thankful for and desirous of your continued partnership with us in God’s work through your prayers. He’s certainly working in our own hearts as a church to make us more like his Son, and we long to see this work extend into the hearts of more and more people here in Brighton and throughout the Denver metro area and Colorado Front Range. When Christ sent forth his disciples to make disciples of all the nations, he promised to be with them wherever they went and assured them of his authority in all those places. Please pray that Christ would use us today as he used those first disciples to gather, teach, and train more people who gladly embrace him as Savior and King.

Thank you all again from the bottom of our hearts and may God’s continue to cause you to experience his grace and peace through our great Savior and King Jesus Christ!

Nov. ’09 – Jan ’10 Update

2 Comments

Sorry it’s been so long since we sent out an update. The holiday season and our preparations for the public launch of Redeemer Bible Church have kept us very busy recently. So, we have several months to cover, but I’ll try to do it as quickly as I can.

Mailing

Mailing

First, Sunday, January 17 was our public launch service. We’ve been meeting as a core group on Sunday mornings for a couple of months now gearing up towards this service. We passed out some fliers in preparation for this service and then mailed out another 13,000 to our community the week before the 17th. We were excited to see God use these fliers to bring 7 new families or individuals to the service. We had some more new visitors this last Sunday and some of the people from the 17th came back again. Additionally, some other people have called us expressing interest in the church as well, though we have not met some of them yet. God is also giving us the opportunity to build relationships with others in our community. We’ve been praying for God to bring people to us and to send us to them, so it’s great to see him answering these prayers. Keep praying with us along these lines and for God to accomplish his purposes in and through these people.

Nate Klimek, Neill Marks, Kate & Matt LaCava

Along with the new people God’s connecting us with out here, he’s also bringing some additional helpers from other places. Neill Marks moved out here on Jan. 14 from Heritage Bible Church in South Carolina. We’re super thankful to have him and are also excited about what God’s is going do in his life. He’s living with Ryan and Danielle Fisher until he secures a job and another place to live, so please be praying for Neill. Matt and Kate LaCava are also at Heritage (Matt’s a pastoral intern) and have been praying and thinking about moving out here later this year. They were able to make it out here for our service on Jan. 17 too, and it has confirmed their thinking for now that moving here is what God would have for them. So please pray that God would give them continual direction and that he’d make it possible for them to make the move if it’s his plan for them. One more person to mention, and he’s a longtime friend of Matt LaCava’s from Pennsylvania—Nate Klimek. In a relatively short time, through a number of providential means, God has laid it on Nate’s heart to come out here from Pennsylvania and be part of Redeemer. He certainly would appreciate your prayers for his move and for his new life out here as he plans to start the trek from Pennsylvania this coming weekend. God has been magnificently gracious to give us the team members and core group members that he has thus far. We know it’s his work, and it’s cool to see the servants he’s choosing to use in doing the work.

Nursery

Meeting Room

I should go back and talk a little more about our services. We’re currently meeting in the banquet room of a Hampton Inn here in Brighton. There is a divider that gives us a separate room for the children, and we have another room that we are using as a nursery. We were coming up empty on a meeting place for the short run back in November when I called up the Hampton Inn and got the manager. She told me that she had been talking with the owners that day about the desire to find someone to use this meeting space on the weekends. It was very encouraging to see God taking care of these needs in such an obvious way for the time being. In the long run, we’re hoping to be able to use a new school that’s being built for the 2010-11 school year and should be finished in July or August. I have spoken with the principal, and we have something of a verbal agreement regarding the space. Again, God is working to give us an ideal meeting place for the foreseeable future. Our space right now is perfect for us, but we’re also excited about the school which we think we’ll need by then for space reasons.

Game night at the Fishers

Now as to what we’re doing with the space. Thankfully set-up and tear-down is fairly easy on Sundays. We start setting things up around 8:45 on Sunday morning and then have a time of sharing with each other about God’s work in our lives and praying for one another at 9:30. Our worship and teaching service begins at 10:30. With our public launch service, we began a study in Ephesians, and we’re very excited to see what God will do in our hearts through this study of a treasured part of his Word. So that’s a typical Sunday. We also meet in one another’s homes on Wednesday nights for shepherding group. We completed a 7-week study a couple of weeks ago for shepherding group. The study is what we’re calling our Exploring Redeemer class, and it will be for new attenders and potential members. It goes through the documents that guide our church (Articles of Faith, Constitution, Core Values, etc.), so it was a good core group building study. Now we’ve started into an evangelism study, which we’ll be doing for the next 2-3 months. Along with these regular meetings, we also get together for other fellowships from time to time, and we’re planning to start up a men’s study in the next couple of weeks. In all these gatherings we want Jesus Christ to be praised and for his gospel and discipling work to be done in our lives and the lives of others in our community through his Word. Please pray with us that Christ will indeed work mightily.

Raef Davis, at 2 months

Now, for some final personal updates. Ryan and Danielle are continuing to do well and are staying busy with their work. Ryan is leading the worship in our Sunday morning services, and Danielle is playing the piano. Among the various other things they’re doing for the church, Ryan continues to take care of the website, which has a slightly new look to it within the last month or so, and he’s taking care of the finances. It’s a huge blessing to have them out here as friends and as co-workers in this effort. They’ve had several family visitors over the holiday season as have we. I should probably mention that on November 18, God brought our 2nd son into the world—Raef Hamilton Davis. He’s doing great now, growing and sleeping through the night, much to his mother’s joy. He’s a little over 2 months old now, and Carissa is planning to start working again 1 or 2 days a week. She lost the job she had before Raef was born, however, so we’re looking again. Please pray with us that God will lead us with these choices and that he’ll give Carissa a good job situation. We’re all enjoying our first winter out here (CO skiing is awesome!). We had snow covering the ground for a good long while, but it’s pretty much gone now, and it’s been fairly warm recently. God is so gracious to care for us and give us so many blessings to enjoy along with the richest blessings of being his children and his servants.

I think that covers the main things for now. I’ll try to keep the time between this and the next update shorter than the last time gap! One more thing—please pray for God’s work here and at Heritage Bible Church in SC when we go back there for a church planting conference the last week of February. We’ll be back there with the other Heritage church planters for the conference, so we’re really looking forward to it, though we’re a bit reluctant to leave. We know that God’s timing is always perfectly wise, however, so we expect him to do good things here and at the conference. Thank you for your prayers! It’s humbling and hugely encouraging to know that so many people are asking God to work in and through us. Please continue! God is working!

Sep. and Oct. Update

3 Comments

Wow! It’s been a long time since we provided an update. There’s been a lot going on, so we’ll try to catch everybody up on what’s been happening. Lots of stuff to cover, so I’ll try to be concise.

Carissa, Melanie, & Rachel

Carissa, Melanie Gann, and Rachel Berkheiser

Towards the end of August, we began our first Bible study with a family from Brighton named the Ganns. They are Paul and Melanie and their children Sarah, Jack, Ashley, John, Rebekah, and Abigail. We’re super thankful for them, and they’ve been very excited to be a part of this church plant. We began studying Titus, and a couple of weeks into our study, the Lord connected us with another family—Tom and Rachel Berkheiser and their two children Zane and Haukin (spelling again!). They’ve also been a great blessing to us, and we’re really grateful that God brought us together. We were meeting on Wednesday nights, but we had our first Sunday meeting today and did a review of Titus. So, we’ll be meeting on Sundays from here forward for services and still meeting on Wednesday nights for more of a small group kind of focus. Right now we’re just meeting in our houses, but we hope to secure a public place for our meetings very soon, so please pray with us that the Lord will make this possible and provide for us just the right place. This morning was a great blessing to all of us to be able to worship together and to hear God’s Word together on the Lord’s day. Unfortunately, the Berkheisers are on vacation, so we can’t wait until they’re back with us, and we are praying for the Lord to bring more people into our Sunday morning services as we take this next step forward in the church plant. To this end, we’re meeting people all the time and letting them know about what we’re doing, so please ask the Lord to give us more people to serve and serve with.

In addition to this group of people, Ryan and I have also been meeting with some other friends for a separate discipleship study. It is going very well too. We’re enjoying the opportunity to lead the study, and our friends tell us that they’re really benefiting from it as well. We’ll see in the next month or two if the Lord will lead them to join up with the rest of our group. We’re hoping so.

WebsiteWe’ve also gotten our website up! Credit and thanks to Ryan for all his work on this. You can check it out at RedeemerColorado.com. We know we have some things to iron out with the site, but Ryan did a great job on it, and we’re really pleased with the way it looks so far. In the next couple of weeks we’re also planning to go out into our neighborhoods and pass out some information about our church. Please pray that God will use these efforts along with our personal contacts to connect us with more people here in Brighton.

Also, since the last time we posted an update, the Fishers and we have both moved into our houses in the Brighton area. It’s so nice to be over here now, and it’s great to have the all-consuming moves behind us! Ryan and Danielle moved into their house toward the end of August, and we finally got moved into ours on Oct. 15. We’re all very thankful for the houses God has given to us. They’re great for having people over and for having out-of-town guests. We’ve both already been able to use our houses for church gatherings and for other guests. We’re trusting that God will continue to allow us to use our houses to serve people. We’re getting to know our neighbors and spending a lot more time in the Brighton community now, so please pray that God will establish good relationships with these people for the sake of his kingdom work.

We’ve had several visitors from our hometowns since the last update too. We’ve had a number of family members visit in the last couple of months, and we’re very grateful to God for allowing for this. I was able to go backpacking for a few days with my brother Steve in Rocky Mountain National Park, which was an extremely cold but great adventure. Another young couple also visited the Denver area recently, partly on vacation and partly on an initial “scouting” trip to consider the possibility of moving out here to help us. Please pray for them and for others we’ve mentioned before that God would continue to make their way plain and straight as they pursue his direction for their future and the possibility of moving out here.

Some final personal notes. Carissa is nearly 36 weeks now into her pregnancy, and she can’t wait for the end of it! This has been a very painful but otherwise good pregnancy, so we’re thankful for the Lord’s grace in it and are looking forward to the new baby. IMG_4336Ryan and Danielle got to experience their first Colorado snow last week (we had a few in March and April before they got out here), and it was a 14 inch or so dumping that’s pretty much all melted now. It was beautiful, but it also led to my first car wreck! I lost control on an overpass and we slid into a guardrail. The front of the car is pretty banged up, but the Lord was very gracious to keep our way clear of any other cars, and none of us was hurt. So, that’s some of the fun of living in Colorado. I guess I’ll have to learn to be a better snow-driver, and I’m buying some new tires!

We continue to love the life God has given to us here. He’s providing for all our needs, and he is beginning to build this church. We love the families with whom he’s connected us and we’re eager for more. We’re excited about the opportunity to teach God’s Word to his people and to spread the knowledge of the gospel of Christ to others. We’re grateful for all he’s done so far and prayerful and expectant about his continuing work for the sake of his name and the good of the people here in Brighton. Please keep on praying to the Lord for this work, and we’ll be sure to let you know how he’s using your prayers to build this church.

Aug. 18 Update

1 Comment

It’s great to know that God is in control of this church planting effort. It causes us to thank and praise him when things go as we hoped or better than we hoped, and it encourages us when things don’t go according to our plans. Whatever circumstances arise, it’s exciting to see God actively at work knowing that he cares more about the building of his Church than we do and that he also cares about building our lives in the process.

We are loving the opportunities for ministry to others that have arisen in the last several weeks. First, we have a family who lives in the Brighton area that is very excited about being a part of this church plant. The fact that God has connected us with them has been very encouraging to us. We are planning to start a Bible study and prayer time with them in the next couple of weeks, and it will be great to see how the Lord will use this in all of our lives and who else he will bring in to the Bible study. Ryan and I have also begun a study with some friends of ours who live in our apartment complex. cecoverThe study is called Christianity Explained, and like its title suggests, it provides a good introduction to the basic message of Christianity—who Jesus Christ is, what he has done, and how we are to respond to it. The study is going well, and our friends have expressed that they are learning much from it and really beginning to understand the gospel. We’re eager to see how God will continue to work as we go through the rest of the study. We also have the opportunity right now to be an encouragement and help to another friend of ours in the apartment complex who is in the middle of a divorce. It looks like Carissa is going to be able to begin a study with this lady using the book Trusting God by Jerry Bridges. It’s a true joy to begin to have these opportunities to minister God’s Word and grace to others, and we are eager to see God bless these opportunities and give us more like them. Please pray with us along these lines.

IMG_3445We really enjoyed having seven people from Heritage Bible Church in SC—Matt and Kate LaCava, Paul and Tara Hurst, Neill Marks, and Randy and Rebecca Davis—come out here to check out the area and visit with us in late July. They were here for about five days which gave us plenty of time to show them around the area, to talk about our plans and what’s already going on, and to have some fun too. This was another step for them in looking to see if God would have them move out here to be a part of this church. Now that they’re back in South Carolina, they are continuing to pray about this opportunity, to pursue it, and to see how God continues to direct. In particular, they all need jobs if they’re going to make the move, so they’re seeing what job possibilities the Lord may open up for them. We’d love to have all or some of them to be part of this church plant, but we’re most interested in seeing God direct them to where he wants for them to serve him, worship him, and grow in Christ. We’re confident he will, so please join with us in asking him to do it.

Along with this group from Heritage, we have also enjoyed seeing some other friends and family members who have been out here for various reasons in the last month. We’ve been able to spend some time with a friend from Grace Bible Church in SC, one of Carissa’s uncles, one of my brothers and his family, and Ryan’s parents. In the next couple of months, we’ll also get to be with Carissa’s parents, her grandparents, my parents, another one of my brothers, and some more friends from South Carolina. God has been very gracious to do this for us as we miss our family and friends. It’s nice to be in a place that people like to visit too! More visitors and definitely welcome as are others who’d like to make a permanent move out here.

We had hoped to go out into some of the neighborhoods in Brighton when the group from Heritage was out here to do a community survey and pass out some information about the church. We were planning to use this effort as an opportunity to invite people to some other studies and meetings we had hoped to start as well. A problem arose though when we got our material back from the printer and saw that it had been messed up. Then the printer wasn’t able to get the material fixed and back to us before the group left. This was disappointing, but we’ve been able to see God’s providence in this delay as well. We were having trouble finding a place in Brighton to meet for these studies, but this won’t be a problem now because of another piece of good news—Ryan and Danielle have closed on a house in Brighton. 756206-1They’ll be moving in the last week of August, so they’re very excited about this and we with them. It will be great to get moved in to the area, and we’ll have a place to do these studies. Also, Ryan came across some problems with getting our website published that he hadn’t foreseen. For those of you who are “techy,” you’ll know that different web browsers read the underlying code differently, which can cause some problems in the way that the website is displayed. Ryan found this out, and that has delayed us in getting our site out on the web as he tries to address the problem. So, we’re planning to take this material out into the neighborhoods in Brighton once the website is live. Hopefully this will be in the next few weeks, and then we will be able to begin the other meetings sometime in September. We plan to offer another Christianity Explained study and some other meetings to introduce people to our church. Please pray for God to work all of this out in his time and to use these efforts to build his Church.

As for us getting moved in to Brighton, our house is coming along well. IMG_3674They’re doing the drywall over the next couple of weeks, and then they’ll have about 30 days of doing the rest of the interior finishing. Hopefully, we’ll get to move in sometime at the beginning of October. Can’t wait. Also, for some of you who may be wondering, Carissa is doing very well with the pregnancy. She’s at 25 weeks now, so we’re getting there. I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned it before or not, but the baby’s a boy. I’m sure life is easier right now with just one child, but we still can’t wait until the next one is here.

I think that’s about all the news for now. Please ask God to work powerfully to accomplish his purposes in building his Church out here. And please ask him to keep growing us, strengthening us, and using us. It’s thrilling to be part of his work. May the grace and peace of Jesus Christ be multiplied to you all!

Older Entries