November 2016 Update
::From the Executive Director
Dear MA Partner,
In this issue, we celebrate the birth of a church in Fairfield, CT!
And think about what that means! According to the apostle Peter, the birth of a local church represents nothing less than the birth of a “chosen family, a royal priesthood, a holy nation! (1 Peter 2:9). To put it differently, the local church, just being the church as carefully designed and choreographed by apostolic design with Christ as the cornerstone (Eph 2:20), is the very epicenter of God’s kingdom power, the place of God's real, if mediated, temple-presence, the family of God!
And the significance? Let’s put it this way. The Gallup Poll describes the religious demographic of Fairfield CT, like New England generally, as the most non-religious region in America. The 12 least religious states in America comprise the entirety of New England. Church attendance in New England States is the lowest in the country. For instance, 31% of people in New England have never attended a religious service, 14% attend religious services once a week, and less than 4% can be classified in terms of gospel believing.
Humanly speaking, the situation appears bleak! But not so to the apostle Paul! So significant is the birth of the missional church that the apostle Paul considered a place “reached” only if there was a missional church planted there! (Rom 15:22). How so you ask? Lesslie Newbigin summarizes it this way:
"It is impossible to stress too strongly that the beginning of mission is not an action of ours, but the presence of a new reality, the presence of the Spirit of God in power…the church is not the source of witness, it is the locus of witness….The presence of a new reality, the presence in the shared life of the church of the spirit who is the guarantee of the kingdom of God!"
On October 23rd, we celebrated the the birth of a church by installing church planter Andrew Holbrook and with the initiation of public worship in Fairfield, CT. Check out the video of CPC Fairfield's “conception to birth” below. We are also excited to welcome to Mission Anabaino New City Presbyterian Church and pastor James Kessler. We invite you to read about their ministry in Columbus, OH below.
Affectionately and Enthusiastically,
Rev. Dr. Preston Graham Jr.
Executive Director, Mission Anabaino
Sr. Pastor, Christ Presbyterian Church New Haven