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How persecution grows us as Christians

We face all kinds of suffering. We suffer on a daily basis due to the nature of our fallen world. We are affected by disease, poverty, natural disaster. We also suffer as a result of our own sin and foolishness. But there is one kind of suffering that is a distinctive mark of what it really means to be a church, and that is suffering due to persecution of our faith.

The other side of the lake

On Sunday we heard about Jesus leading His disciples to a region called the Gerasenes and restoring a demon-possessed man (Luke 8:26-39). It’s a story that can startle us, especially if we tend to gravitate towards stories that display Jesus’ power over nature.  This miracle, however, reminds us of Jesus’ power over death, sin and the enemy. It’s a story that points directly to what He would later do on the cross.

Making Christ known in Baltimore’s independent schools

Last Sunday we got the opportunity to hear from Tim Foster, Area Director of FOCUS in Baltimore. This is a Christian ministry committed to exploring "with independent school students a life of faith that is real, adventurous, intellectually sound, and eminently practical.”

He is not just the Bread Giver. He is the Bread.

When Jesus fed the five thousand (John  6:1-15), His intent was not only to display the miraculous power of God in turning a meager lunch into a tumultuous feast. He was also revealing to us, as He does throughout Scripture, that He alone is the Bread of Life.

New Year, New Location, New Time

Beginning Sunday, January 4, City Church will be gathering for worship at 9:00 AM in the Knott Auditorium on the campus of the Notre Dame of Maryland University. The Knott Auditorium is located on the first floor of the Knott Science Center. This will be our new time and location for the foreseeable future. It is a great space that allows for growth in our worship offerings, kid's program offerings, and adult education offerings. So, join us on Sunday, January 4 as we break in our new space. Allow some extra time to find us on your first visit.

Cutting Room Floor - Easter Weekend

cutting room floor.001Often there a lot of footnotes, quotes, links, and illustrations that go into worship and a message on Sunday mornings. Some of those items make it, other's don't. The cutting room floor includes a little bit of everything. Here is a sampling from Easter Weekend: Good Friday: "The Forsaken God" from Psalm 22

You can download the sermon here: City Church iTunes Podcast.

Here is a link to Trent Bell's photo gallery entitled REFLECT: Trent Bell Reflect. It shows the images of 12 convicts superimposed on letters they wrote to their younger selves. Here is link to a video produced about his art: REFLECT Video. Here is a piece the Huffington Post did on the project: Convicts Pose With Heartbreaking Letters to Their Younger Selves.

CNN posted a photo documentary on the execution of an Iranian man named Balal. You can see the powerful photos of his forgiveness here: Iranian Execution Halted

Easter Sunday: "God Raised Him Up" from Acts 2:14-41

You can download the sermon here: City Church iTunes Podcast.

Here is a link to the Lincoln Memorial Interactive.

"The good news, the great news, of Jesus is that with his resurrection it becomes clear not only that he is Messiah and Lord, but that in death he has dealt evil itself a blow from which, though it still retains some power, will never overcome." - NT Wright

"Join this movement, allow the death and resurrection of Jesus to become the badge you wear, the sign of your identity, with you and your children sharing in the new life of the baptized community..." - NT Wright

Expanding Our Team

One of the core values of City Church is a passion to care for family and children. We believe church should be the highlight of every kid's weekend, not just because it is fun, but because it connects them with the Good News of Jesus Christ. Our hope is that every child who attends City Church feels valued and loved by our church community and ultimately, by Jesus. Do you share our passion for family and children? If so, consider joining our team. City Church is searching for a part-time City Kid's Director.  It is our hope to develop this position into a full time position down the road. Check out the attached description: City Kids Director.

A Lenten Journey

  A Lenten Journey.001

In its simplest form, Lent is a season of reflection and preparation. It has been a practice of the church for centuries across many denominational backgrounds. This forty day season begins with Ash Wednesday and concludes with the celebration of Easter Sunday.

We invite you to journey with us during this season of preparation and reflection as we commit to reflect on the Gospel of Christ. The attached guide is designed to help you walk through this season of reflection and it is designed to be used in community. Consider joining one of our community groups throughout the season of Lent.

Throughout history, Christians have recognized Lent by “giving up” something. We are not asking you to give something up, simply to make the time to pray, read, gather, and worship. The catch is that it will require time, which may inadvertently require giving something up. Time is a precious commodity. We understand that. But we also know time spent journeying through prayer and reflection will be time well spent with the Father.

Lenten Guide 2014

A favorite in our City Kid's program is the "Jesus Storybook Bible" by Sally Lloyd Jones. Here is a Lenten Guide for you and your family to use that walks you through the "Jesus Storybook Bible" from Creation to Resurrection. Your kids will love it and you will find yourself caught up in the story, too. You can find digital copies of the "Jesus Storybook Bible" online for your iPad or Kindle.

Lenten Kid's Guide 2014

The Cutting Room Floor - 2.16.14

cutting room floor.001 Often there are lots of footnotes, quotes, links, and illustrations that go into worship and a message on Sunday mornings. Some of those items make it and others don't. The cutting room floor includes a little bit of everything. Here is a sampling from this week's message entitled: "The Substance of the Mission" from Acts 1:6-12.

You can download the sermon here: City Church iTunes PodCast.

Summary: God gives His people a substantial mission. Acts 1 tells us of the nature of the mission, the extent of the mission, the carriers of the mission, and the object of the mission. Ultimately, the mission is not about what you do, but about who you know.

Extent of the Mission

Check out "The Blog Post That Exploded: Baltimore and Broken Hearts" for an account of the recently viral Baltimore blogs. Make sure to read "Baltimore, You're Breaking My Car."

Screen Shot 2014-02-18 at 1.25.02 PMWe referenced Antero Pietila's comments on the neighborhood divisions that exist in Baltimore. His book "Not in My Neighborhood" is an excellent resource on understanding the real estate practices that led to the current make-up of Baltimore City neighborhoods.


Carriers of the Mission

Here's a quote written in the 2nd century by church father Athenagorus about the carriers of the mission:

“Among us you will find uneducated persons and artisans and old women, who, if they are unable to prove the benefits of doctrine, yet by their deeds they exhibit the benefits arising from their persuasion of its truth. They do not practice great speeches, but they exhibit good works. When struck, they do not strike back. When robbed, they do not go to law. They give to those who ask of them. And they love their neighbors as themselves." 

Object of the Mission

Here are photos from the Baltimore Sun's Darkroom on the Great Fire of Baltimore, 1904.