Start here for information about Redeemer--whether you're new to Charleston, just visiting for the … Read More
As we focused this past Sunday, August 30 at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC, on Deuteronomy 20:5-9, we see the Lord telling men on the battlefield to go home. Since God wants undivided hearts on the battlefield, he tells some to go home to be with their new wives, live in their new houses, and enjoy their new vineyards. God knows how weak we are and that our hearts aren’t always undivided. Yet there’s no condemnation in this passage because God is not desperate. He sends some to war and some home. For us, there are many, varied facets to building his kingdom: Some of us are on the “front lines” (like serving as a missionary in Africa or telling college students the Good News), but those of us who love our families and our neighbors are advancing the kingdom, too. Listen to the whole sermon here.
Our Redeemer Kids gathered in the Fellowship Hall this past Sunday, August 30 for their Christian-education class, and they loved the new format and location of their learning. Here’s the recap of what they learned, and enjoy the pictures from their morning. And we’ve captured a video, too, including one with singing.
As I signed up to write this blog post, I ashamedly realized that my own bulletin from last Sunday was in the trash under my desk with old minty gum smashed between the first two pages. I was brave and pulled it out anyway. I started to flip through the pages trying to figure out how the words here could be used throughout the week. A good way, I think, is to use our bulletin as a guide for daily prayer for our church body.
Monday: Praying for our Purpose
The bulletin always states Redeemer’s purpose: Our church “exists to glorify God as a Gospel presence in downtown Charleston by being a grace-filled community that worships Christ and develops disciples who serve Him in our families, neighborhoods, and the nations.” In this one carefully crafted sentence, we have ten things to pray about (if not more). We can ask:
- That the church upholds this entire mission statement daily (not just on Sundays)
- That we each glorify the Creator, whether we “eat, or drink, or whatsoever we do” (I Cor. 10:31).
- That we carry the gospel not just to other nations, but also to those lost in Charleston.
- That we exhibit grace.
- That we are a community that loves one another.
- That we worship Christ with pure hearts.
- That we create disciples.
- That we serve the Lord in His calling for us.
- That we present the Gospel to our families and our individual neighborhoods.
- That we reach out to foreign lands and people.
Certainly, this list could be developed even further as we pray for specific needs of our church body in each scenario.
Tuesday: Welcome to Redeemer
In each bulletin, we welcome visitors to Redeemer and tell newbies how to become part of our church family. New faces walk through our old red doors every Sunday (and Gray somehow remembers them all). On Tuesdays, may we pray that they heard the Gospel and that they’ll find a church to call home (whether it be with us or another congregation in Charleston).
Wednesday: Wee Ones
We all desire for the children of our congregation to grow to love the Lord. We can pray that seeds of the gospel will be planted, that parents will lead by Christ-like example, and that true learning will take place in our Christian-education classrooms.
Thursday: Who’s Who
Redeemer doesn’t function without our leaders, and those leaders who constantly pray for us need prayer, too. Our elders and deacons work diligently each week to serve the congregation spiritually and practically. May we pray for them to carry out their duties effectively and with a heart of servitude. More pragmatically, we can pray for their time management and their ability to organize and plan. We can remember Craig who studies Scripture each week to bring us truth from the pulpit. Furthermore, we can pray for Fred as he uses his gift of music, JaiLynne as she handles the day-to-day functions of the church, and for Gray as she meets new members and serves as a beacon of communication for us.
Friday: Where in the World
Redeemer supports a handful of missionaries around the globe, and one is highlighted each week in the bulletin, along with his or her specific needs. Let’s use Friday to pray for that missionary. (Only printed bulletins contain missionary info.)
Saturday: Within the Community
Our church hinges on our six thriving community groups that act as mini-churches within the Charleston area. Each group exists to provide in-reach (support to its members), out-reach (service to our respective communities), and up-reach (praise to our Savior); every group needs the prayers of the other five in order to thrive.
And, would you look at that? Suddenly it’s Sunday again, and we have a whole new bulletin to pray over!
Attention, ladies!! Register this week for our annual women’s retreat in Myrtle Beach. Get more details and register HERE.
This past Sunday, August 30 all the children gathered together in the Fellowship Hall. First, they gathered for snack time and used fruit roll-ups and pretzels to make scrolls as they learned that God’s Word used to be read from scrolls. Next, the children did a fun activity with the parachute while learning about all the books that make up the whole Bible. For music time the kids sang and clapped to songs about the Bible and how God’s Word will never fail.
Finally, the children gathered on the carpet to listen to the story of how the Bible came to us. They learned that the Bible was first written on heavy stones and later on paper scrolls before we ever had Bibles we could buy at the bookstore. The children looked at all kinds of books and had to determine which are true and which are pretend. The children all agreed that the Bible is a true book, and they all worked to memorize I Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is God-breathed.”
Here’s our electronic bulletin for Sunday that’s easily viewed on any tablet; we do offer paper bulletins (including a LARGE PRINT edition) on Sunday morning as well. Use the song lyrics and sermon passage to help prepare yourselves and your families for worship this weekend.
You’ll also find a schedule for who’s serving in our various nurseries, a list of how to get involved in current ministry opportunities, and other details about our worship service and church life. Or read the current edition of our weekly email newsletter below:
The Lowcountry Biblical Counseling Center offers marriage and family training sessions this fall including the following courses:
- Christian Singleness & Dating
- Parenting By Faith: 8 Essentials
- Unity in Marriage: 2 Becoming 1
- Divorce & Remarriage
Read here to get more information about each course and to register.
Over the last few months, I have learned a valuable lesson about the power of prayer. This past May, in the midst of saying goodbye to almost all our members, and feeling uncertain about the future of Side By Side, we chose to pray continuously for God to grow this ministry and to bring 5-7 women who were willing to commit to our group and eager to learn more about how the gospel plays out in a medical marriage. We also prayed that we would find a local church to partner with us, giving us a place to meet new women as well as a church to invite women to.
In June, Redeemer agreed to partner with our ministry, giving us a much-needed “home base.” Then came our anticipated first meeting in July. Imagine our surprise and delight when we had 24 women at our very first meeting! Just last week, we had an entire pew at Redeemer full of Side By Side women! God heard our faithful prayers and answered them tenfold! Side By Side is now a vibrant group of women serving one another, our husbands, and most importantly, our faithful God!