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Sunday Recap for January 13, 2019:
The Way of St. James

Mission Highlight: This Sunday, we heard updates from our ministry partners in Spain--the Phillips family: Steve, Naime, Sebastian, Stephen, naime, and Sofia. Christ Church has been partnering with the Phillips family for eight years now, and two years ago, Christ Church sent a team of 13 people to help at a church they have been serving for 18 years in Vilassar de Mar. They serve in Catalunya, an autonomous community in Spain; an extremely beautiful place with delicious food and warm people. Traditionally, Spain has been a Roman Catholic country. Today however, it is one of the most secular countries in Europe. Most Spaniards are agnostic; many are atheist. Evangelical Christians make up less than half a percent of the population. It is no surprise most Spanish Evangelical churches are very small and struggling to survive. Few of these churches have solid preaching and teaching ministries. There is a great need for church revitalization and for planting new churches in unreached areas.
The church the Phillips served and we visited in Vilassar de Mar grew enough to be made up of the local community, and the Phillips family have now been sent to Good Shepherd Church in Barcelona. Steven’s words: “The Good Shepherd Church is a small but enthusiastic community of believers that seek to be the light in Barcelona. The congregation is made of people scattered throughout the city... What I love most about this call is that the opportunities for proclaiming the Gospel each Sunday are truly great. Since I have begun, not a Sunday has gone by without a visitor joining us and most of them not from an Evangelical background. My desire is to preach the gospel as clearly and compellingly as God enables and to pray for much fruit.

"Good Shepherd Church meets in a church building originally built to be a multi-faith chapel during the ‘92 Olympic Games. It now belongs to the Roman Catholic Church, but we are able to use it for our services and other activities for 50€ a month. It is a gift.  And because it is used for mass earlier on Sunday mornings, we regularly get visitors in our service thinking they are coming to mass.  This affords us a wonderful opportunity to preach the Gospel to people that would probably never visit an Evangelical Church. 

"We definitely have challenges as well as opportunities.  Our family does not live in Barcelona, so I need to come up with creative ways for us to cultivate a shared life as well as to engage in mission.  We are also very small in number right now.  Please pray for growth.  A bit like you guys, we meet in a large space which is a blessing, but we need to trust in the Lord to fill it. 

"One of the ministries I have launched is a Bible study method where we divide people into groups of 3-4, follow a reading plan, post our thoughts on a WhatsApp group, and meet up in person periodically. Currently we have two groups with a third starting next week. (The second picture shows a local non-believer Steve is doing Bible study with, whom he met from building human castles with, a Catalonian tradition)

"I am very thankful for the involvement and support of my family. My wife makes coffee & cake each week and welcomes newcomers.  Stephen helps me lead worship playing guitar & piano (not at same time).  And Sebastian regularly reads Scripture and is helping me launch a book club that will meet up once a month and help people cultivate a Christian mind. Sebas will be leading the discussions. 

Lastly, we want to thank Christ Church for partnering with us now for so many years.”

email Steve if you would like to receive mission updates from the Phillips family. Also, Christ Church has been invited to lead another English camp this summer in Vilafranca, the city where the Phillips family now lives. Let's pray for wisdom and discernment if we are to answer the call, and if so, that God raise up people in the congregation to be sent.
Then we prayed for the Phillips family, Good Shepherd Church, and the people of Spain, as well as guidance on the English Camp and to live on mission here in the Bay.
Question #1: What is our only hope in life and death?
Answer: That we are not our own but belong, body and soul, both in life and death, to God and to our Savior Jesus Christ.
Link to this Week's Sermon: “The Way of St. James" (James 1:1-4)

Pilgrim (parepidēmos) tells us we are people who spend our lives going someplace, going to God, and whose path for getting there is the way, Jesus Christ. We realize that ‘this world is not my home’ and set out for ‘the Father’s house.’…Jesus, answering Thomas’s question ‘Master, we have no idea where you’re going. How do you expect us to know the road?’ gives us directions: ‘I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me’ (Jn 14: 5-6).”
    — Eugene Peterson, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction
Main Idea: Life looks different with Jesus.

Sermon Slides / Sermon Application Questions
This sermon series: The Way of St. James

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