The weeks leading up to my move to California have been full of contemplation. L...
Renovate Stories – By Chris DiVietro and Farrar Griggs
At Home in ECOBy Chris DiVietro, PhD.Pastor, First Presbyterian Church, Reading, PA.
I am 32 and was raised Catholic, converted in a non-denominational church, was discipled in college by a Christian Missionary Alliance church, attended Reformed Theological Seminary, and spent five years as an associate pastor at a seeker-friendly Methodist megachurch in South Carolina prior to my call to FPC Reading. Including every junk-drawer term we can think of-young, restless, reformed, missional, incarnational, authentic, organic, millennial – I probably fulfill some stereotypes while breaking others.
God has been gracious in allowing me to experience a vast spectrum of theological, philosophical, and ecclesial settings, and has sovereignly used those experiences to help me realize ECO is the denominational home I’ve always looked for and longed for, but didn’t know existed until now.
This National Gathering was a joyous and celebratory experience, exposing me to the true identity of ECO. My wife and I left feeling refreshed, excited, and empowered for the long, yet worthwhile, journey ahead of both ECO and FPC Reading
Join us in praying for Chris and the aging congregation at FPC Reading – a 215-year-old urban church which has recently purchased a new location they’ll move to in January 2019, ushering in what we pray will be a revitalization of Kingdom proportions.
Renovating Buildings – and Renovating Hearts By Farrar GriggsPastor, Rocky Creek Presbyterian Church, Jefferson, SC
My tribe at Rocky Creek Presbyterian Church in tiny Jefferson, SC has been though a lot this past year. Last July, we arrived to ready ourselves for Sunday services amid the confusion and clanging of fire bells. Our fellowship hall was ablaze from a lightning strike some eight hours earlier that had smoldered through the night. In spite of the valiant efforts of three fire departments, the fellowship hall was lost. To deepen our sadness, the sanctuary was also a total loss, thanks to pervasive smoke damage. The last months have been about assessment, evaluation and ultimately, decisions, all bathed in prayer.
Rocky Creek has just about finished its grieving. Months of meeting at the local telephone company have helped form the catalyst to re-build and build for God. I returned to my church last Sunday from Houston to deliver a message on Renovation. At the end of the service, we voted to demolish the sanctuary!
We don’t need new facilities to be God’s church. We don’t need a sanctuary or a fellowship hall or classrooms to do Kingdom work. But we do need to act out our faith.
We are strengthening our hands for the good work—Kingdom work. We don’t just want to renovate our facilities. We want to renovate our commitment. We are going to begin again. It’s time to build something for God.