Tag: City Church York

Suburban youths do missionary work in city – The York Daily Record

Suburban youths do missionary work in city – The York Daily Record

(DAILY RECORD / SUNDAY NEWS -- BIL BOWDEN)
(DAILY RECORD / SUNDAY NEWS -- BIL BOWDEN)

“It’s been eye opening. You don’t realize the things that are going on until you see it.” — Bekah Toomey, 18, from Grace Fellowship

“I think I grew a fondness for the city.” — Tiffany Skinner, 19, from Grace Fellowship

via Suburban youths do missionary work in city – The York Daily Record .

Youth Mission Week Begins

Youth Mission Week Begins

(Daily Record/Sunday News - Paul Kuehnel)
(Daily Record/Sunday News - Paul Kuehnel)

An article about the youth mission project that City Church is involved with here in York City.

The Rev. Aaron Anderson prayed for the young volunteers and told them God calls them to work for peace and prosperity in their city.

The Bible says, “your own sense of wholeness and completeness is connected to your neighbors,” he said.

Read the article at the link below
Local youths begin weeklong mission trip — to York – The York Daily Record .

Sermon Audio & Notes from June 28, 2009: Jeremiah 29:1-14

Sermon Audio & Notes from June 28, 2009: Jeremiah 29:1-14

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City Church worshipped with students from three area churches who are spending the week in downtown York working on various projects.  Pastor Aaron Anderson preached “The Jeremiah Mandate” from the Scriptural text Jeremiah 29:1-14

click below to listen to the Sermon. or download it here

Sermon notes are included below.

Sermon Notes

The Jeremiah Mandate

Jeremiah 29:1-14

TELOS: To call the Church to patient, shalom-advancing, Gospel-living in a foreign land while we wait for Jesus Christ to return for us.

I. Intro: Read Jeremiah 29:1-14

II. The Jeremiah Mandate (the letter to the exiles)

A. Settle Down in Your Home Away From Home

B. Seek the Shalom of Babylon

“The webbing together of God, humans and all creation in justice, fulfillment, and delight is what the Hebrew prophets call shalom. We call it peace, but it means far more than mere peace of mind or cease-fire between enemies. In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness, and delight-a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as its Creator and Savior opens doors and welcomes the creatures in whom He delights. Shalom, in other words, is the way things ought to be.”-Cornielius Plantinga, Jr. in Not the Way It’s Supposed to Be: A Breviary of Sin

    1. Seek the shalom of your enemy.
    2. THIS DISCUSSION RAISES TWO QUESTIONS

WHY DOES THE LORD TELL US TO SEEK SHALOM?

HOW CAN A GOOD GOD ALLOW SUCH SUFFERING?

Epicurus-3rd century Greek philosopher “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?”

C. Remember the Gracious Promise of God

III.     Gospel Conclusion

A. Jesus became a voluntary exile from His home.

B. Jesus relinquished His shalom to purchase our own.

Whatever we say about suffering, we CANNOT say that God doesn’t understand it or has done nothing about it.

“Christ the god-man suffers too, with patience. Evil and death can no longer be entirely imputed to him since he suffers and dies. The night on Golgotha is so important in the history of man only because, in its shadows, the divinity ostensibly abandoned its traditional privilege, and lived through to the end, despair included, the agony of death. Thus is explained the “Lama sabachthani” and the frightful doubt of Christ in agony.” (Albert Camus Essais p.444)

C.  Jesus was the benefactor of God’s gracious promise to remember.

See Psalm 16:10-“nor will you let your Holy One see decay.”

D. If Christ is remembered, then so will we be (see 1 Corinthians 15).

E. Our future state of shalom OBLIGATES us to work for the current state of shalom for others.

How do we seek the shalom of the Babylon in which we live?

Do you have personal shalom? Only found in the Gospel. (See Rom. 5:1; Jn. 16:33)

As we go to the City, remember there is no shalom without the Gospel because it brings men to God.

Pray for the city-1 Timothy 2:1-2

Work for justice for the oppressed, end wickedness-See Dan. 4:27

Christ’s peace goes with us. See Jn. 20:21

Why Be Positive About the City? Part Three: For the Gospel and the City

Why Be Positive About the City? Part Three: For the Gospel and the City

Why Be Positive Part 1
Why Be Positive Part 2 

timthumb2Revelation 22:14

Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city.

If you read my post from last week I argued that the Scriptures call the followers of Jesus to be for the City. In this post, I am proposing that if the Church claims to be for the Gospel, then it must be for the City.

There are many reasons that the Gospel connects to the City, through its life, culture, and issues. I will propose three that relate most specifically to the context of York City.

1. Cities Are Meant to Be Places of Shelter

Tim Keller writes,

The city was invented as a place of refuge from criminals, animals, and marauders. By its nature, the city is a place where minorities can cluster for support in an alien land, where refugees can find shelter and where the poor can better eke out an existence. The city is always a more merciful place for minorities of all kinds. The dominant majorities often dislike cities, but the weak and the powerless need them. They cannot survive in the suburbs and small towns. Thus, unlike villages, cities are places of diversity.

The sad reality is that, while cities are places of diversity, the weak and the powerless are not all that ‘sheltered’ in the city. The city can be a grueling, violent, and tragic place to live. York City needs to look no further than the senseless death of nine-year old Ciara Savage, caught between the cross-fire of a gang war on Mother’s Day of this year, for a stinging example.

The Gospel is Good News; really, really Good News to those who are most desperate. In my time in York City, some of the most deeply religious people I have met are the poor who have no one else to look to than God. Jesus said in Luke 4:18-19,

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

The message of the Gospel is unspeakably good news to the weak, imprisoned, powerless, and poor of our cities. So, it only makes that if we claim to be for the Gospel, we will be for the City.

2. The City is a Picture of the New Humanity Jesus is Creating

The City is a place of diversity, both ethnically and socio-economically. There are images in the book of Revelation (see verses 5:9; 7:9) that reveal that the eternal people of God are drawn from every tribe, tongue, and nation. Jesus is not in the business of creating His holy nation out of one national people or tribe, but out of all the tribes, tongues, and nations on earth. This explains His command in Matthew 28:18 to take the Gospel to ALL nations.

If you want to find the convergence of the world’s tribes, tongues, and nations, you go to the City. Major population hubs like New York, Chicago, and London, literally house the nations. Even a small city like York City houses people from many different cultures. Cities give us a picture of what God’s eternal city will look like.

One significant difference is that God’s eternal city will UNITE these nations around Jesus Christ. In fact, we should expect to see this happening in the Church, though sadly Sunday mornings in America continue to be the most segregated hour in the American week. The Church can bring the nations together only by uniting around the Creator, Jesus Christ. (See Galatians 3:28)

3.    History is Moving From a Garden to a City

The flow of Biblical history takes us from the Garden of Eden to the City of God in Revelation. There is a development that God intends with regard to humanity. Our final destination is not a garden, but a City. One may wonder why this is the fact, but I believe it is because we are made for each other. Human beings are meant to be in community together.

One of the big attractions for moving to the City was that people are out and about. They sit on their front porches, not on their isolated decks in their backyards. City people go to parks, walk to their destinations, and interact with each other. In the City, you have a chance to know your neighbors, for good or for worse.

The City is the ideal venue for loving your neighbor as the Gospel commands. Cities are places where churches should be planting, not retreating.

None of this positive vision of the City is intended to demonize the suburbs, as has so often been done by self-righteous City zealots. God loves human beings wherever they are and the Church is called to go to them wherever they are. As for me and my house, God has called us to be for the Gospel and the City.

Why Be Positive About the City? Part Two: The Scriptural Rationale

Why Be Positive About the City? Part Two: The Scriptural Rationale

Why Be Positive Part 1

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Last week I began to articulate our vision for why we think it is important to be positive about the City. This week I offer the Scriptural rationale for a positive approach to the city, beginning with the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 29:4-7 records these words:

This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

Jeremiah’s people, citizens of the land of Judah, had been invaded by the new world power, Babylon. The Babylonians came into the Promised Land and took the people of Judah captive and carried them into exile. During their period in exile, false prophets arose among the people of Judah who promised a short stay in Babylon. The LORD sent word through the prophet Jeremiah to tell the people that the false prophets were wrong. The people would be forced to live in Babylon for a period of 70 years. This period of exile was God’s punishment on His people for their idolatry.

A quick glance at God’s commands to the exiles reveals some surprising details.

  1. Verse four reveals that it was God who carried the exiles to Babylon.
  2. God commands the people to make Babylon their home by building houses, planting gardens, marrying, and bearing children.
  3. God tells His people to seek the peace and prosperity of Babylon, not to war against it, because Babylon’s prosperity would mean their own.
  4. They are commanded to pray to the LORD for Babylon.

So what relevance does this have to being positive about any city in the 21st century? Two New Testament passages reveal that the LORD’s people are in a similar position today.

The Apostle Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2:11-12:

Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.

The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12:

Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.

In light of these passages, the people of the LORD today are called to a similar plan as the exiles in Babylon. Notice:

  1. Peter calls them “temporary residents and foreigners.” This world, like the city of Babylon, is not our ultimate home. We are foreigners or aliens in this world. In the words of Hebrews 11:10, we are looking for another city that is not of this world.
  2. The people of the LORD are called to continue seeking the peace and prosperity of their cities. They are called to live properly among unbelievers with honorable behavior (1 Peter 2:12), resulting in the giving of honor to God. Paul echoes this in 1 Thessalonians in commanding God’s people to live quietly, minding their own business by working to win the respect of unbelievers.

God’s people are called to worship Him in everything they do. But notice that the very act of worship for which God calls is actively seeking the peace and prosperity of our cities. Real worship means being other-centric, working for the good of our cities, praying to the LORD for our cities. Though we are temporary residents in this world, looking for a heavenly city, God never allows His people to sit idly by in passivity or show a lack of concern for our cities. If we claim to be for God, we must be for the City.

 Next week I will look a little closer at why the Gospel compels us to be for the City. 

City Church Team Participates in YWCA Race Against Racism

City Church Team Participates in YWCA Race Against Racism

rarThe City Church Team participated in the 2009 YWCA Race Against Racism. Running the 5k for the team were Aaron & Gail Anderson, Warren & Jami Bailey, Grace Zubrod, Janeen Shober, Melanie Webb, and Jacob McKinley. Thanks to everyone else who came out to help watch the kids and cheer us on. 

Here’s looking forward to next year!