August 25, 2010
Dear Christ Church Family,
What an adventure we have been on! We have seen the hand of God over and over again in the hearts and community of this part of His body. We have seen miracles, big and small, all of them only possible because of the Holy Spirit’s work among us; it’s new wine, a sign of God’s blessing at Christ Church, as I preached on last Sunday.
I am writing you to tell you of an exciting development for which we have been praying for several years. One of the beautiful aspects of being Anglicans is that we live under a broad tent of worship. We get a taste of heaven’s mosaic of worshipers, in that Anglicans worship in reflective, quiet, contemplative and traditional ways as well as in exuberant, expressive and contemporary ways. Anglicans encompass both high church and low church, from London cathedrals, to American storefronts to tribal village huts. We have longed to allow for more of this breadth under the “roof” of Christ Church for many years, but the “kairos” moment hasn’t been right until now.
Beginning November 7th, Christ Church will worship in two services, at 9am and 11am. Our worship in the first service will be more reflective and traditional, drawing from our ancient liturgical roots. Our worship in the second service will remain similar to our current 10:30am service, anchored in our Anglican roots, while allowing for creative and contemporary worship. Christine and I have worshiped in Anglican churches which offered this kind of breadth; we loved to attend the different ones depending on where our hearts were with the Lord. CC leadership is very excited to launch in this new way.
The other great advantage to moving to two services is that we will be able to make more room for you and your friends. We were very full before summer. We saw the usual summer dip in attendance, but an unusually high number of newcomers. This fall we will see a return of all the regulars, plus summer newcomers as well as a new group of fall newcomers! We’re hoping we can make it until Nov.7th without sitting in each others’ laps! Also, as we have been praying and as the Reveal Study challenged us, we will soon have new avenues in place for outward focus and hospitality as we reach out to neighbors, friends and co-workers who are lost, broken or looking for a church home. We will be serving the city of Austin in new and creative ways, and we want to make room for people.
We aren’t interested in numbers; we are interested in people, in particular people who long to encounter Christ. Those of you who have served so beautifully, faithfully, and sacrificially…THANK YOU! Did you enjoy the Stromboli last Sunday? (Thank you, Randy Lewis!) Christ Church will continue to need your service. We are an “all hands on deck” kind of a community, so we ask everyone, those who have been serving already and those who are new and consider this body your home, to come on board! There are several teams that will need a significant boost of new team members. Please jump in with your gift of time; we don’t go to church, we are the church…Be the church by helping Christ Church realize her mission to reach, love and disciple a lost and broken world, for the praise of His glory. Plus it’s a great way to connect with the community and get to know people. You can contact Jack McCool JMC1965220@austin.rr.com for more information on how to serve.
The adventure continues…we are deeply grateful for new landscapes and even the particular challenges we face. These are the challenges of new wine. Many hope for this kind of new wine, and the Lord has blessed us abundantly!
I am filled with deep joy to serve as the Rector of such a missionary people,
The Rev. Clifton D. S. Warner
P.S. Please see the FAQ below for responses to some questions you might have about our move to two services.