Where we are
It has been two months since we left Chicago and moved to Raleigh, NC. The transition has been emotionally intense; it is not an inconsiderable thing to leave a brilliant city and a deeply bound church. There are still periods of grief and yet an overriding joy which points us to the why: the furthering of God’s glory through the expansion of God’s church. “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.” (2 Cor. 5:14-15) Knowing that all do not yet know the great joy of living for Jesus, it has become our passion to plant a gospel-saturated church where his Name is not greatly proclaimed.
This has led us to the Treasuring Christ Together Network, and specifically to Treasuring Christ Church in downtown Raleigh, NC. As we looked for church planting networks who shared our passion for the supremacy of the gospel as well as the urban under-reached, it became clear that TCTN should be our next step. Treasuring Christ Church is the eastern regional training site of the network, and therefore the hub of our new work. Here, Craig will be participating in a church planting residency which will involve study, continual mentoring by the TCC elders, support raising, core team building, vision-casting, and church planter assessments. We are slated to begin this residency in September 2013. Meanwhile, we are developing relationships, digging in to the ministry of TCC, laying the groundwork for support raising, and fleshing out concepts for the new church. Craig is already meeting regularly with Pastor Sean Cordell to keep a pulse on our development here, as well as participating in a Bible and theology study targeting the development of leaders.
The greatest and most incomprehensible aspect of the gospel for us personally is that God brings life from death. “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:3-7 ESV) This passage has become the cornerstone of our vision. Life from death, kindness from hatred, obedience from disobedience — this is the unequalled, transforming power of the gospel. God himself has washed us thoroughly, renewed us completely. This causes us to rejoice, knowing that what God has done for us he will do for others. We desire to be in the exhilarating middle of his great work, conduits of his grace.
How can you partner with us?
There is much to be done. We need your partnership in many ways.
We need your prayers. We need grace and wisdom in building relationships, with the express intent on building a future team. We need God to direct us to key individuals with a heart for the gospel and a passion for the urban under-served. We need wisdom in the development of the vision for the new church. We need strength to endure through the emotional strain of the move out of Chicago and Northwest Church, strength to serve each other in our marriage and our family.
We need your financial consideration. While we are not yet officially raising support, we need you to prayerfully consider what, if any, financial help you can give. Would God have you be a monthly partner? We are grateful for the opportunity Craig has had to continue working with Transco, his downtown Chicago company, via telecommuting from Raleigh. This full-time job continues to provide for us financially. However, this relationship is scheduled to end with the commencement of the residency in the fall of 2013.
We need your relationships. We need you to be a part, whether through friendship and relational support or through participation in our core group. What part would God have you play?
We are grateful for each one of you and joyfully look ahead to what God will do through each of us!
Craig, Elizabeth, Elijah, and Anna
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. … And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 1:3-6, 9-11 ESV).