Internationals from MUSC gathered at Redeemer for our inaugural Pizza and Ping Pong event a few weeks back. Friendly wagers and rivalries, delicious pies, and raucous cheering ruled the fun night. Contact Kurt Brewer for more information about the next event.
This Sunday, October 16 at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC, we’ll be kicking off our shoebox drive for Operation Christmas Child. Read about how these shoeboxes full of gifts start a journey that results in evangelism and discipleship, and join in the fun!
Ways to help and get involved:
- Pack a shoebox! Pick up an empty specially marked box from the narthex of the sanctuary this Sunday, October 16. Then visit Operation Christmas Child to learn how, and this missionary’s blog post has great suggestions, too. Print a $7 label for shipping online, and return your full shoebox to the church by October 30.
- Donate $35 by writing a check payable to Redeemer (with Operation Christmas Child in the memo), and the Carolina Bay Women’s Bible Study will do the work of packing a box for you.
Our goal this year is 100 boxes! Check out last year’s results.
Last Sunday, April 24 the adults gathered in the flag-decorated Fellowship Hall to hear from Redeemer folks who are passionate about answering the call to “go and make disciples” this summer. From the Far East to Kenya and Lebanon, Redeemer will help send some of our own members into all the world to preach the Gospel.
We usually gather for missions prayer breakfasts every quarter during the Christian-ed. hour to pray for our Redeemer-supported missionaries and missions projects around the world.
At Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC, we’ll enjoy a special missions focus this Sunday, April 24 during the Christian-ed. hour. Join us at 9:15 am in the Fellowship Hall (both kids, youth, and adults) for a short explanation of why we pray for the world. Then the kids will head to the courtyard for their snack and special activities. The adults will remain in the Fellowship Hall for a continental breakfast provided by the missions committee and prayer for Redeemer’s missionaries and the world.
Our Christian-education classes at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC, have journeyed through The Story of God since last fall, and this Sunday, April 17 is our last week in this great, epic story of God’s faithfulness to his people. Use the handout titled Epilogue: The Church at home this week to prepare your children and generate discussion with your family. Then join us at 9:15 am!
Then on Sunday, April 24 we’ll enjoy a special treat: missions prayer breakfast. Join us in the Fellowship Hall (both kids, youth, and adults) for a short explanation of why we pray for the world. Then the kids will head to the courtyard for their snack and special activities. The adults will remain in the Fellowship Hall for a continental breakfast provided by the missions committee, and we’ll pray for our Redeemer-supported missionaries, missions projects, and the Church around the world.
Saturday was a hot Charleston morning for Team Redeemer as they participated in the annual Walk for Water. Our team from Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC, raised over $850 for Water Mission, a Charleston-based charity that has a global impact. Water Mission is a nonprofit Christian engineering organization that designs, builds, and implements safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) solutions for people in developing countries and disaster areas. Since 2001, Water Mission has used innovative technology and engineering expertise to provide access to safe water for more than 3 million people in 52 countries. You can still donate to our team here!
Want a fun, family-friendly event that has worldwide benefits? Join Redeemer’s Walk for Water team this year! Redeemer will raise money to benefit Water Mission, a Charleston-based charity that has a global impact. Water Mission is a nonprofit Christian engineering organization that designs, builds, and implements safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) solutions for people in developing countries and disaster areas. Since 2001, Water Mission has used innovative technology and engineering expertise to provide access to safe water for more than 3 million people in 52 countries.
Join Redeemer’s team with hundreds of others on Saturday, March 12 to walk the average distance that so many around the globe must travel to find a water source. Whether you want to donate to Redeemer’s team or join our team in walking for water, find details here. Or contact our team captain Thomas Szymanski or our Facebook event page (Walk for Water 2016!) with questions.
Last week Redeemer hosted our 6th Annual Chili Cook-Off and Square Dance with our international friends from MUSC. This family-friendly event combines (and introduces to the internationals) two wonderfully American experiences: chili and square-dancing. With the coveted gold spoon handed out at the end of the night to the winner chosen by the internationals, Redeemer’s chili-makers put in a star performance. This year’s winning chili by Will Riddle was named “Chili a la Willy.”
The Chili Cook-Off was a great opportunity to host our international friends for a fun night of good food and dancing. You couldn’t help but smile as the students and their families tried all the variations of chili represented. Watching our Redeemer friends try their hand at square dancing put a smile on my face, too. It was such a fun night, and I’m already looking forward to next year! –Will Riddle, winner of the 2016 golden spoon
A favorite Redeemer event, the 6th Annual Chili Cook-off and Square Dance with MUSC Internationals will be Wednesday, February 10 from 6-8 pm in the Fellowship Hall. We bring pots of chili, and our international friends are the judges. The winners get the coveted gold, silver, and bronze ladles!
After the chili eating, we’ll enjoy learning how to square dance with our international friends from professional square dance callers Merrill & Pam Ridgeway.
We have a limited number of tickets available for Redeemer participants, and childcare will be provided. If you’re able to come and help welcome our international friends, then we’d love to have you participate in this fun event! Let Kurt Brewer know if you’re able to bring a pot of chili or some fixin’s like cornbread, shredded cheese, sour cream, chips, and drinks.
As we train our Apprentices here in London, one of our main goals is to instill Kingdom values into the whole of their lives. We point to God’s Kingdom as the big picture story that God is weaving all of our stories into, and how viewing our lives through that lens can open our eyes to greater purpose and joy, in particular in the midst of difficult circumstances.
We also spend significant time teaching and discussing the role of the worldwide Church, along with the local church, in God’s Kingdom work. The language we use for this is something our London Field Director has taken from the British theologian Lesslie Newbigin who described the Church as a sign, instrument, and foretaste of God’s Kingdom on this earth. This description of the role of the church starts from a belief that God’s Kingdom is something that is coming ultimately in the future in the new heaven and new earth, but that God is also bringing glimpses of His Kingdom into this world in the here and now.
The Church serves as a sign of God’s Kingdom as we point people to the good news of the gospel. I have been reminded of how good that news is during my time in London and other parts of the world. I see people desperately trying to give enough of themselves to gods who will never be satisfied. This comes in many forms: financial sacrifices and endless prayers to Hindu gods who seem to always require more, service to Allah with no assurance that anything they do is enough, shoppers on the high streets trying desperately to be pretty, thin, and well dressed enough to be deemed worthwhile by the culture around them. Our news is good because we have a God who is satisfied, and not because of anything we have done or can do to fulfill an obligation to Him, but because He became one of us and paid the price himself through His own life, suffering, death, and resurrection. That is good news indeed!
The Church also functions as an instrument bringing God’s Kingdom in this world through acts of love, kindness, and justice. I see many examples of the church as an instrument in this city: homeless film club, kids camps, youth clubs, and our charity shops in the city. Those are the more programmatic ways of serving the communities around us, but my favorite moments are when I see Apprentices in our churches being an instrument through becoming friends with someone so different from themselves, taking the child of single mum out for bowling and ice cream or helping to find temporary housing and work for a refugee who just arrived in London. These are the seemingly small acts that have great and eternal purpose in God’s movement in this world.
The final, and I must say my favorite, way the Church helps to bring God’s Kingdom in the here and now is as a foretaste. This is my favorite because it brings great kingdom purpose to every part of our lives. We are a foretaste of God’s Kingdom when we have a party because celebration will be one thing that marks the Kingdom. We are a foretaste when we share a meal with people because one day we will all sit at God’s table in fellowship. When I see my pastor holding the 6-year-old son of a member of our church, I see the familial aspect of God’s Kingdom. When we dance, sing, eat together, laugh, enjoy one another, and love one another, we have become a glimpse of God’s Kingdom to ourselves and to the world around us.
Using this framework for how the Church serves the coming of God’s Kingdom in the world around us has given me great hope and joy in the midst of very real difficulty and the darkness that I see and experience. It reminds me that nothing is without purpose, and that purpose is about more than just my circumstances or those of the people around me. The purpose is God redeeming the entire world through the entirety of time and space for our good and His glory. It is a wonder that I, or any of us, get to be a part of that.
**Please do not share or repost to social media.