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A message about the CLOSING SERVICE for Communion Presbyterian Church on December 23, 2012
Grace and peace to the communion of the saints!
As I look back over these seven years of ministry, it is difficult to write a letter that expresses enough thanks to all of you who have been so instrumental in blessing this ministry, my family, and me personally. I am awed at God’s direction and provision in each of our lives, and I am so grateful that He brought us together in forming Communion Presbyterian Church.
Vivid in my memory is a late night meal at a local diner with a few young men who were focused on walking according to God’s Word -- sensing the call to plant a new church. Meetings like this became formal gatherings of folks who wanted to learn more about what kind of church a former youth pastor would want to bring to the OC. These meetings led to the identification of core convictions, future elders, a supportive denomination, a “launch team” eager to reach the city of Irvine, and a unique name shared by no other church: Communion Presbyterian Church. We were eager to have new friends join us on a pilgrimage to seek the Lord's will. Every Sunday morning at Communion became filled with reading, praying, singing, reciting, and preaching the very words of Scripture. It was by these words that we learned more of God’s truth for our lives and the direction of our shared ministry.
In seven short years, several young couples were married. Nearly two dozen babies were born and baptized (even two of my own!) and older children learned to come to the Lord’s Table. Wes, Dennis, and Verna now stand in Christ’s presence, and we thank God for their special time spent with us. New neighbors and members joined us. Choirs sang with Jenny and Kent Keller’s lead. Steve, Jim, Van, and eventually Seth shepherded us as Elders. We led a mission trip to Mexico. Musicians provided musical gifts as Chris, Robert, Mike, Ben, and George regularly led us. Midweek gatherings were plentiful. (Thank you to the Kurths, Offringas, Starks, Watts, Vidal, and Moorlachs for hosting many of these!) Annual traditions began with special holiday evening
Yet, always our primary reason for worshipping, fellowshipping, and disciple-ing at Communion Presbyterian was to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ – in our community, in our families, and in our personal lives! God has a mysterious way of sanctifying and refining His children in order to reveal the likeness of Christ in us. Often times His ways bring great change. As previously discussed at our recent congregational meeting, change is coming upon us now… but our primary purposes remain the same – to exalt Jesus Christ as risen, reigning, and returning!
For as many years now, I have also been encouraged by the friendship and ministry of Pastor James Kim of Jubilee Presbyterian. We have regularly met to pray for our congregations. We have shared special services with their congregation and assisted with their summer VBS programs. While we are not financially able to continue as a separate church entity, Jubilee has extended an invitation to unite with them in ministry to the Irvine area. Originally, this venture was planned to occur at our site, under the leadership of Pastor Kim and his Session with my role being a contributor to the leadership of the church and to continue in a teaching capacity. As the days have neared for our union, a possible full-time ministry opportunity has been presented to me which my family will explore over the Christmas vacation. Until God’s leading is clear, we will be worshipping with Jubilee and we encourage you to join us. We are confident that God will “work all things together for the good for those who are called according to His purposes (Romans 8:28)!”
On Sunday, December 23, 2012; we will be having our FINAL gathering as Communion Presbyterian at our regular facility located at 311 W. Yale Loop in Irvine. At this meeting we will worship the Lord and bless His name. We will also share fond memories and announce future possibilities. We are eager to have everyone who has played some part in Communion Presbyterian to be involved in our final Celebration Service.
We also look forward to gathering with the saints of Jubilee Presbyterian for future meetings at their nearby location of 125 Great Lawn, in Irvine. (www.JubileePCI.org)
My family thanks you for all your love these many years and we look forward to learning about the new ways God uses you for His glory. (Philippians 1:6)
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