Church planting is the term used for beginning a new congregation from the ground up. Usually a group of people begin getting together normally to worship, and over time that develops into something more formal.
Christ the Word Church is a young church plant in Rolesville. Its earliest members began meeting in 2012, but it was 2015 before they called Patrick Cherry to be the church’s first full-time organizing pastor.
“We started in a living room, meet briefly in a mausoleum, a generous businessman lent us space in an office suite for a bit, and now for a little over a year we have had the great privilege of connecting with our friends at Thales Academy in Rolesville.”
Rolesville is seeing fast-paced growth, but Cherry says that was not the prime motivating factor for planting a church there.
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“We want to help. We want to serve. We want to be a church that is for the community instead of leveraging the community to build our church,” Cherry said.
Christ the Word represents a young denomination known as ECO: Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians. There are about 320 ECO congregations nationwide, and Cherry said the name is not an acronym.
“It reinforces our passion for strengthening the ecosystems of local churches. We believe that the church is a living organism that needs life-giving resources to help it grow, thrive and multiply. ECO is committed to cultivating a healthy, diverse, resource-rich ecosystem where pastors and congregations can flourish.”
The full name of ECO, with the words Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians, outlines the core commitments of the denomination. Covenant stands for accountable relationships encouraging collaboration. Order is for a shared life united around a theological core. Evangelical speaks to advancing the news of Jesus and planting new missional communities, and Presbyterians are the reformed heritage that celebrates the life of the mind in the faith.
Cherry hopes the congregation continues to grow and make a positive impact on Rolesville.
“Starting anything new has its obstacles and challenges, but our journey at Christ the Word has been a long lesson in trusting God’s provision. We dream of a community not dominated by fear, division, insecurity, hopelessness nor skepticism, but one led into a peace, purpose and prosperity that can only be found in Jesus.”
Oberlin cemetery cleanup
The Friends of Oberlin Village invite all helping hands to a cleanup of the Historic Oberlin Cemetery on Feb. 18 from 9 a.m. until noon, rain or shine. The Friends of Oberlin Village is a nonprofit that cares for the cemetery and preserves its history.
Oberlin Village was a prosperous African-American community after the Civil War, but historians also believe the cemetery was in use before that as a burial ground for slaves. Researchers have identified about 600 graves on the almost 3-acre property.
If you can help at the cleanup wear work clothes and closed-toe shoes. Garden tools are welcome. The Historic Oberlin Cemetery is at 1014 Oberlin Road and is accessible behind the InterAct building.
Carla Turchetti compiles Faith in Focus. Email her with details of upcoming events at firstname.lastname@example.org