Psalm 133 opens with the words “Behold, how good and pleasant it when brothers dwell in unity!” Unity among God’s people is a holy and life-giving blessing according to Psalm 133. In 2012, when The Gathering International Church and Christchurch saw the departure of their founding pastors, both congregations felt a bit lost, weary, and scattered. Despite the difficulty of this transition, both groups were reminded that Christ, and He alone, is the true head of the church. It is true that being a pastor is an honorable and good calling with many responsibilities, but even the most dynamic, dedicated, and loving pastor is still just another part of the body of Christ and Jesus is still the head. (Eph. 1:22,23)
Moving ahead a few months, in November 2012, The Gathering International Church and Christchurch began meeting together for Sunday morning worship and teaching. Since that time, we have realized how much we have in common: a shared love of Christ, a love to study His word, a passion for worship and praise, a purpose of communicating Christ through our words and deeds, and a shared mission of making disciples of all nations. After seeing such clear unity between our congregations, we formalized our merger by combining our leadership, membership, and resources on January 20, 2013. Jeff Gagliardi, a long-time teaching elder at The Gathering, is our new pastor. We are continuing under the name Christchurch for now, but stayed tuned for a new name to reflect the newly merged congregation.
Our new church has experience unity in Christ in many tangible ways so far. One example was the ease and joy we had as we negotiated many of the merger details. A second example is our new community with members from around the world. Though these blessings are good, we know that an even better day is coming. We still look forward to the ultimate church merger in heaven:
I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21:2-5)
At Christchurch, we take the Bible seriously, whether it is Jesus’ command to “repent and believe in the gospel” (Mark 1:15) or his command to “forgive seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:21-22). However, occasionally we find instructions that seem to be the very opposite of what we would expect. Last Sunday’s sermon was on one such passage.
“Teach slaves to be subject to their masters in everything, to try to please them, not to talk back to them, and not to steal from them, but to show that they can be fully trusted, so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.” (Titus 2:9-10, NIV)
Today, we recognize the widespread practice and acceptance of slavery in the United States as a particularly grievous and wicked part of our nation’s history. We also admire Christian heroes of previous generations who were involved in the abolition of slavery and during the civil rights movement. Yet how is Christian zeal for the abolition of slavery and the end of racial prejudice commensurate with this command in Titus? Why wasn’t Paul an abolitionist?
Here’s the quick summary, but check out the Sept 16th sermon podcast for more details.
Here’s a few resources I referenced during or used to prepare the sermon. They either address slavery in the Bible, in American history, or both:
1950′s space invaders, upon their arrival to planet earth after a long space voyage, typically began their discourse with the human race with a simple request: “Take me to your leader.” Christchurch, after a voyage from Louisville to far-away Boulder, has a similar request of God: “Take us to your leaders!”
As a church, we are working through a pastoral search following the departure of our beloved founding pastor, Scott Kelly, to Evanston Baptist Church. We look to God and the Bible for wisdom for our next steps. Our current sermon series in Titus looks at some ancient instructions given by the apostle Paul to his ministry partner, Titus, who was stationed on the island of Crete in the Mediterranean.
This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—
(Titus 1:5 ESV)
The ability to identify and train good leaders is just as relevant today as it was in the early church. Please join us as we worship together and study the book of Titus on Sunday mornings at 10:15 at the Wesley Chapel. An archive of the recent sermons are available on the podcast page.
August 19th, 2012 Christchurch will begin meeting at the Wesley Chapel in Boulder, Colorado—directly across from Folsom Field. We are excited to take this next step in our vision to see Boulder County reached for Christ!
The church is not a building. It is the people inside.
Sundays – 10:15am
at Wesley Chapel
1290 Folsom St.
Boulder, CO 80302
½ Block N. of Colorado Ave.
Christchurch has been sharing the love and truth of Jesus with interested people at the Louisville Street Faire on Friday nights.
As long as you’re here, check out this video: