Sent out via e-mail in May 2009:
Family and Friends of Mission Pres, Greetings from sunny SoCal! I’d like to give you a quick update on what’s been going on at our church.
In February, we began running a once/week radio ad on local station KKLA, 99.5 FM. You can go to our website and hear the first version and the new version here: https://missionpca.wordpress.com/kkla-radio-ads/. KKLA also has an advertisers page on their web site – if you’d like to see our link visit: http://www.kkla.com/SubPages/KKLA-FM/Advertisers.aspx. We know that the ads have attracted attention and that there has been some response. So far that response has been in visits to our church web page. Please pray that listeners would take the next step and actually visit us in person.
In April we formally received our first members. What a wonderful day that was and an encouraging step as we continue to grow and mature as a church. We have a few more to receive, and we ask that you will pray for this to be repeated over and over in the future!
Coming up on July 4, we are planning to have an open house picnic at the church. We hope to get the word out to the local community, and that they will come visit and learn more about us. Pray that the planning and logistics of this will go well, and that God will give us wisdom as we continue to get the word out to our neighbors about who we are.
Of course, the most important thing is that we focus on Christ and His Word. Our Wednesday night study on the parables of Jesus is going very well. We’ve all gotten better insight into the teaching of our Lord and Savior, and been amazed at the simple yet profound truths that we learn from each and every parable.
Sunday nights we continue to go through the Psalms during our evening worship. Lately we have been hearing from the psalms from Ps. 51 on, psalms where David bares his soul and pours out his feelings and emotions, often very raw, before God, all the while maintaining his trust in Him. How can anyone remain “frozen chosen” after hearing these psalms? I contend that, in reality, we are “thawed by God.”
Recently we began a new sermon series in Ephesians during the morning worship service. We have learned a great deal already just in the first few verses of Chapter 1, especially how, united to Christ, the Father has lavished abundant blessings upon us as His chosen, faithful saints.
Please pray that we will remain grounded in the rock solid Word of God, that it will go out from us via faithful preaching and teaching and not return empty, and that we will remain humbly dependent on God’s means of grace, and be ready for every opportunity He gives us to serve as His Gospel ambassadors to a lost and dying world.
Thank you for your faithful prayers, encouragement and support. Come by and visit us if you can. Tell others about us. More than that – send them over for a visit!
God bless you all!
Sent out via e-mail in November 2008:
Sent out via e-mail in July 2008:
Sent out via e-mail in March 2008:
Dear Friends and Family, March 2008
Greetings again in Christ’s Name!
We have again been quite busy since the first newsletter I wrote to you in December. In three short months much has happened. And there is much more to come right around the corner.
Many of you know of the situation with my wife Kathleen’s eye. I won’t update all the details here, except to say that when her vision in her right eye deteriorated rapidly – she lost vision in that eye – our plans were changed so that we could focus on making sure she got the treatments she needed without interruption. What that meant is that our trip to the PCA’s church planting assessment center did not happen in February as planned. But after consulting with our presbytery’s church planting committee, the decision was made not to attend at this time, but also to proceed ahead with our plans and schedule for Mission Presbyterian.
This means that, Lord willing, I will go before our presbytery for ordination at our April meeting, and receive a call from the presbytery to plant a new church. In the meantime I am working very hard to complete all the exams and documentation for the ordination process. If all goes well and I pass, we hope to have an ordination service on the afternoon or evening of May 4, 2008. I will send more information on time and place when they are confirmed.
In early March we completed a Bible study in John that we started back in the fall of 2007. Each week we studied one chapter. This is a bit of a different approach, but provided some very valuable insights. For a book that many of us had read and studied many times previously, I think we all were pleasantly surprised by what we learned, and now have a greater understanding and deeper appreciation for the person and work of Jesus Christ for us. For our new study we are reading John Calvin’s Golden Booklet of the True Christian Life, an easy to read yet deep and convicting devotional work.
In January we began an informal evening worship service on Sundays. The service is modeled after one we had a few years ago at our current church: a time of singing, with songs sung by request; a time of prayer over various prayer requests; a shorter, more “devotional” sermon. I have been preaching through the Psalms one by one. This service will continue when we begin Sunday morning worship, so we’ll be hearing from the Psalms for awhile!
Speaking of morning worship, if the ordination process goes well we hope to begin our morning worship service in May. Times and details will follow. Our expectation is that worship will be preceded by Sunday School and followed by a time of fellowship and lunch together. I plan to begin with three sermons from 1 Corinthians 13, followed by a longer series through Paul’s letter to the Galatians.
As you can see, our “launch” time is fast approaching! Please pray for us as we prepare; and please pray for me as I work through the ordination materials and exams. I am very humbled and deeply moved to know that so many people are praying for me and for this work.
We can still use some help with startup costs, though God continues to provide in wonderfully unexpected ways. Many of the items listed in the last newsletter we now have, but there is still a bit more needed. If you would like to donate an item, or funds toward startup costs, contact me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can send a check made out to Mission Presbyterian Church to our mailing address above.
Thank you again all for your encouragement and support! Yours in Christ’s service,
Sent out via e-mail in late December 2007:
It’s time to update you all on our church planting work. A lot has happened this year, and we anticipate a lot more this coming year.
We began earlier this year with some informal meetings to plan and pray for the new church, and to go over a few key, appropriate Bible verses. Those involved were people who had expressed an interest in what we were doing; some of them have been encouraging me in this for several years. By September folks were interested in a more in-depth study, so we began working through the Gospel of John.
In the meantime I had been exploring different options for a church meeting place: schools, hotels, libraries, community centers, commercial office space, etc. The least expensive option was to rent space in an elementary school once a week for a few hours on Sunday morning. However, through a couple different avenues an opportunity arose to lease space 24/7 in a property on Imperial Highway, which is a major east-west street running through Brea and La Habra. The property is owned by Christians and the rent they have given us is less than an elementary school would have cost. It was also ready to move in. Since then we’ve had a grand piano donated, a desk, chairs and other items. God has graciously provided for us and opened doors unexpectedly.
We continue to hear from people interested in Mission Presbyterian, but most of them are more interested in visiting a Sunday worship service than a Bible study. With that in mind we plan to begin an informal Sunday evening worship service in January. Please pray that those who expressed an interest will visit and that many will continue with us. Of course, any of you are welcome to visit anytime as well!
Kathleen and I had hoped to attend the PCA’s church planting assessment center in Atlanta this past November. That trip has been postponed to February 11-14. We’ve heard that it is a very busy and intense four days, but are looking forward to it nonetheless. After that I hope to pass my ordination exams in April. Assuming all goes well, we will then begin Sunday School and morning worship in May.
Our plan for Mission Presbyterian has been a take-it-slow, pay-as-you-go type approach, with the intent that we will be able to support ourselves on an ongoing, month-to-month basis. So far this has worked very well, for which we are very thankful. Still, there are various one time startup needs, and if you are inclined and able, your support with these is greatly appreciated. Some things you can help with are:
- Refrigerator – energy efficient!!
- Short and tall bookshelves
- Communion supplies
- Filing cabinets
- Hymnbooks – we will be using the new Trinity Hymnal published by Great Commission Publications
- Church data management and accounting software (e.g., QuickBooks for non-profits)
If you would like to donate one of these items, or funds toward their purchase, contact us (see contact page). Or you can send a check made out to Mission Presbyterian Church to our mailing address (see contact page).
Many of you have already helped in so many ways. Thank you all for your encouragement and support as we’ve gotten closer and closer to the goal of starting a new church in north Orange County.
Yours in Christ’s service,