Your Amazon purchases made through Redeemer’s website link always generate money for Redeemer. However, today your purchase will generate 10 times more money for Redeemer! Amazon is celebrating its #1 ranking in customer satisfaction by the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI)! Today March 16, Amazon will donate 5% (10 times the usual donation rate) of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC. Get started here!
enCourage is a blog of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) Women’s Ministries. Women’s Ministries seeks to equip, connect, and encourage women in the church to know Christ personally and be committed to extending His kingdom in her life, home, church, community, and throughout the world.
A plug from Redeemer member, Mary Beth Anderson:
The biblical wisdom that this blog provides women is incredibly nourishing. I love it how there are multiple women from all different seasons of life who contribute posts each week. It provides amazing encouragement as we join together as sisters in Christ in living out the Gospel. It truly embodies 1 Thessalonians 5:11- “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
Read more about the blog, its writers, and encouraging posts by visiting their site:
Attention, ladies! We’ve just updated our Amazon-powered book store The Red Door with a list of wonderful titles for women that comes directly from the trainers we enjoyed hearing at our recent women’s training session in March. Check out the list of books in the For Women category; and if you decide to purchase them (or anything else on Amazon!) through our special link, then Redeemer gets part of the proceeds.
One of the titles Relationships: A Mess Worth Making comes highly recommended from our own Frankie Bennett who said: “This is a terrific book, very helpful and very practical!”
So check out our book list for women plus the many other recommended titles listed in The Red Door!
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!
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.
The latest recommendation from our Red Door Book Store is an autobiography called Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi.
I have just finished reading in one afternoon an autobiography to recommend HIGHLY: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus: A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity by Nabeel Qureshi. The book is highly recommended in the opening pages by Ravi Zacharias, Josh McDowell, Os Guinness, and several other Christian scholars and professors. I would never read an expository book on Christian apologetics, but this book is a narrative, the eloquent testimony of a man who had to examine closely both the claims of Islam and the claims of Christianity. It is the testimony of a man who grew up in a loving home, admiring his parents, trusting all that they taught him. He handles his discussion of them and their faith with respectful, loving care, yet he seeks relentlessly the TRUTH in every page. His search made me realize how much more rigorously we need to research the solid foundation on which our faith rests, and it shows how we must LOVE the men, women, and children to whom we present the gospel, for it was the LOVE of his friend David that urged and challenged the author to keep asking honest questions and seeking TRUTH. –Frankie Bennett
At Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Charleston, SC, we’ve recently added two new books to The Red Door Book Store from our current Christian-Education class for adults, titled Christ and Culture. As our class winds down, check out two of the books that were often quoted and discussed. Redeemer benefits when you shop on Amazon for these titles and others.
Moving to a new city can be daunting. Between finding appropriate housing or discovering the best schools in the district, sometimes “church shopping” feels like another overwhelming task on the list. Yet we’re all built for community, and when you’re new to an area you want (and need) a church home quickly.
So what’s the best, easiest, and quickest way to find your church home? Though everyone’s journey to find his church home is different, here are a few tips to help you quickly narrow your search, so you can find the church community that’s been waiting for you.
- Listen to sermons online
Many churches post their sermons online, so you can begin listening to sermons even before you’ve moved to a new city. Listening to sermons can help you narrow your search dramatically and quickly especially in southern cities that have a church on every corner. Sermons can give you a sneak peek into the style of preaching at a particular church (e.g., topical, expository) and the depth of theology preached from the pulpit. Without even spending a Sunday morning in the pew, you can determine in a few short hours whether a church is possibly the right fit for you and worth a Sunday-morning visit.
- Read through websites
Most churches have a web presence. Explore a church’s website, including their list of beliefs. Read through the website top to bottom to find pictures of their members, stories of their ministries, lists of staff and leadership, etc. You can quickly narrow down your search of area churches by accessing their public information available online without even visiting on a Sunday morning.
- Ask for recommendations
Before you move, ask your friends, family, and coworkers if they know anyone who lives in your destination city. Small connections between friends of friends can reveal a church option you may not have tried or heard of otherwise. As you meet coworkers, realtors, neighbors, even fellow grocery-shoppers in your new city, tell them you’re new to the area and interested in finding a church. If they go to a church, they’ll gladly share that information with you or at least tell you some of the churches they’ve heard of in the area. (Then you’ll have another church or two to add to your list.) Be sure to ask why they like their church because a personal story and recommendation can help give you a sense of what that church is like. If your new neighborhood or apartment complex has a Facebook group, that forum can be a good place to ask for church recommendations.
- Seek out directories
Many cities have local listings of churches, and most denominations have online lists of churches that are part of their denomination. The online Yellow Pages also lists many churches. Visit the local Christian radio station’s website where many offer lists of local churches. If they don’t have an online church directory, many radio stations will email you a list if you ask. “I look on Christian events pages to see what events are in the area and who is hosting them,” Lauren Moore, a military wife and experienced mover, said. National Christian organizations, such as The Gospel Coalition, often have church directories available on their websites.
- Double your exposure
Sunday morning only comes around once a week: If you have a long list of churches to check out in person, consider visiting one church on Sunday morning and another Sunday night if it offers night services. Perhaps the church offers small groups or Bible studies during the week that you could try out before you spend your limited Sunday mornings sitting in their pew.
With these quick and effective tips for narrowing your list of good churches in your new city, you’ll be enjoying the fellowship of your new church family before you’ve even found all the good restaurants in town.
Our sister PCA church here in the Charleston area is hosting a parenting conference titled Parenting Adolescents: A Season of Opportunity. Eastbridge Presbyterian Church in Mt. Pleasant, SC, invites parents of adolescents to hear Dr. Tim Lane, author and president of the Institute for Pastoral Care, on Friday-Saturday, April 17-18. Get details and register for the conference here.
The latest recommendation from our Red Door Book Store is a short book about infant baptism called What Christian Parents Should Know About Infant Baptism by John P. Sartelle.
This is one of the best books on why we do infant baptism! It’s a really short, easy-to-understand book. –Leslie Paladino