Happy New Year! I know it has been a little while since I last communicated with everyone, but I know the Holidays are very busy for everyone, as they sure were around our house. Well, 2008 is here and with that the countdown has truly begun for the launch of Ephesus. I’m not sure how many of you know the whole story, but Casey and I first begin praying about planting this church in 2004 while we were pastoring in Southern California. Here we are nearly 4 years later and the vision God has been releasing is nearing its launch. What a journey God has taken us on. I know I’m not the same person I was in 2004 and praise God He knew that meant there needed to be 4 years until launch!
Your prayer and support is more crucial than ever as we continue to get closer to launch. I have to be honest; there have been several times in the last week that it has seemed a little daunting that in 2 months we will be starting a new church. There is much to be done, but then I reflect on all that has already happened. We have secured an amazing space at 219 S. Brevard St in Uptown Charlotte. If you live in the Charlotte area and have an opportunity to drive by I encourage you to check out the church we will be meeting in. It is on the corner of 3rd St and Brevard about 2 blocks south of Bobcats Arena. The leadership team is coming together. Keren Frederick will be overseeing our children’s ministry. That has been a huge answer to prayer. She will be working with Casey to establish a strong ministry to the children of Ephesus. Adam is building the worship team and getting ready to begin rehearsals. We are also beginning to see God’s financial provision as well. I’m sure many of you can imagine doing ministry in the middle of a large city can require financial support. We know that God is control of it all and He is providing. If you feel led to give to Ephesus, you can do so and it is tax deductible through Grace Covenant Church while we establish our IRS credentials. You can make checks out to Grace Covenant Church and write “Ephesus Church Plant” in the memo line. While we definitely appreciate any support, we want to encourage everyone to continue to faithfully tithe to their home church as a priority.
Very soon we will begin weekly gatherings at the church in Uptown. Through the month of February we are going to be meeting each Sunday evening to pray, plan and work on all of our set-up in our rented church facility. Then, on February 29th we are hosting a music and art show at the rented facility on Brevard St. This will be a free event with several local artists and musicians showcasing their work. Adam Wilson, our worship leader, will also be releasing his new CD at the event. I want to encourage you to pray for this event, as this will be our major outreach to the local community prior to launch. We prayed hard about an event that would allow us to promote Ephesus, while also being a great addition to our community. I’m excited about the possibility of this event. Please pray that local folks will come by and enjoy the music, art and food and also hear about Ephesus. And if you’re free that evening please come by and see where Ephesus will be happening!
Following this, we begin services on March 2nd with our official launch on March 23rd, Easter Sunday. The first 3 Sundays in March will be full services with children’s ministry available but will act as a sort of “soft launch” before the “hard launch” of March 23rd. If you plan on checking out what we’re doing at Ephesus I want to encourage you to attend beginning on March 2nd. We have also made the decision to actually have our Sunday services at 6pm. We feel this will better suit the needs and schedule of the community we are called to reach. I’m excited about the possibilities of a Sunday evening service from the outset.
Please continue to pray for Ephesus and especially for the people that will come to know Jesus there. We’re excited, and a bit overwhelmed but what is happening, right where God can do His work best! As always you can keep up with us at ephesuschurch.tv or at the Ephesus Church Charlotte group on Facebook.com or right here!
If you have any other questions or just want to let us know how you are praying for us, please call or email. We appreciate each one of you as we embark on this journey.