Visiting Our Neighbors

Wes CrawfordCliffNotes, Frontpage News

Today’s CliffNotes is by Wes Crawford, Christ Church Worship Pastor

August 26th is almost here! We have been working, sacrificing, and patiently waiting for our move into our new church home on the Downtown Eastside. We believe God has called us to not only be a worshiping community here, but also in many other ways to be a life-giving presence in the neighborhood. It’s so exciting to see it come to fruition.

God has been at work in the Downtown Eastside for a long time. There are many churches in our neighborhood, each of which represents stories of scrappy, faithful people who have labored in the difficult, long-term work of planting and leading congregations of God’s people, and of congregations who have, even if only by their very presence, protested and stood against the powers of darkness and despair in this place. We humbly enter into the neighborhood, aware that these churches have been on the front lines of the work of the gospel here before us.

In order to get to know some of these neighbors, and as part of our desire to enter with the posture of learners, on August 5th we will not have services at the Texas Federation of Women’s Club building, but instead disperse among several churches in east Austin. We have designated each of our small groups to visit a specific church, and if you’re not currently in a small group, we invite you to join them at one of these churches (listed below).

Some of these churches have been around for over 100 years, and others are newer church plants. In every case, there will be differences in the way they do things from the way we do things at Christ Church. I would encourage you to take a moment to consider how you can have as generous a spirit as possible in encountering these differences, and how you can most effusively communicate with your body language that you are a champion for their congregation. How quickly can you catch on to their songs and sing along with gusto? How straight can you sit up and listen to the word God has for you in their sermon? If they pass the peace or otherwise have a time of open greeting, how can you most fully revel in being among those also freely redeemed by the Lord Jesus?

An added bonus for us in dispersing among Eastside churches this Sunday is the experience of walking into a new church for the first time and seeing what it’s like to be a visitor. As we anticipate hosting many first-time visitors from the neighborhood in the coming months, this will give us a unique opportunity to gain empathy for these visitors.

Find your small group or last name designation below; here is an FAQ for more information. Peruse the website of the church you’ll visit to begin learning who they are, and join them for worship of the living Christ this Sunday. Give them a warm greeting on behalf of Christ Church.

Wesley United Methodist Church
Schneider & Beauchamp small groups | Last name A–J
Sunday worship: 10:00 a.m.
1164 San Bernard St. 78702

Salina Street Church
Padula & Snow small groups | Last name K–M
Sunday worship: 10:30am
Metz Recreation Center
2407 Canterbury St.

Church of the Violet Crown
Henry & Frazier small groups
Sunday worship: 10am
Metz Elementary School
84 Robert Martinez Jr St.

Emmanuel United Methodist Church
Perry & Mays small groups
Sunday worship (English service): 11am
200 Brushy St.

David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church
Gorman & Smith small groups | Last name N–Z
Sunday worship: 10:30am
2211 E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.

Church Under the Bridge
Crawford small group & Christ Church Youth
Sunday worship: 10am
I-35 and 7th St.