Christ Reformed Church in Washington, DC (www.ChristReformedDC.org) has been richly blessed during its short existence in the heart of our nation’s capitol, and all of us affiliated with it are deeply grateful for the Lord’s provision. In April of 2007, a small group gathered to study the Heidelberg Catechism and explore the possibilities of planting a church. Seven months later, November 4, 2007, we held our first service in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC.
Planting a confessional Reformed church from scratch means gathering people from a wide range of backgrounds who are united primarily not by worship style or geography or ethnicity, but by the truth of the gospel, and a deep desire to see the church faithfully proclaim Christ crucified to a dying world. It has been remarkable to see a small body of believers be knit together in such a short time through their common confession of Christ. Most of us were strangers to one another a year ago, and now we linger long after our weekly service sharing our joys and burdens as the body of Christ.
Compared to the people, a building is far from the most important thing needful when planting a church, yet in the urban core of Washington, securing a suitable space in which to worship seemed like it might be a nearly insurmountable obstacle. It was a happy providence indeed when we learned that a historic stone church was available for rent on reasonable terms. Thrilled to have a foothold in the city and a roof over our head, the elevated stone pulpit and prominent baptismal font were an unexpected bonus that instantly convey to visitors the focal point of our worship: Word and Sacrament.
We sit on 16th Street NW, one mile due north of the White House on a major north-south corridor, and a number of our congregants are able to reach us by public transportation. While many of our members drive in to the city from the neighboring suburbs in Virginia and Maryland, it is our prayer that we would continue to be a faithful witness to the many city-dwellers who live a short walk from our facility. One benefit of this central location has been a regular stream of out-of-town visitors who come to Washington for business or on vacation. We have been joined by believers of all stripes, many seeking Reformed worship, and they have come from all across America, Canada, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.
Our growth has been gradual but steady. We have been encouraged by URC families moving in to the area, and we have already been blessed by a marriage and a few births — all to different members, mind you. One highlight of our brief existence was my ordination service, during which Rev. Steve Arrick and many members from Covenant URC in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania joined us. We have been privileged to have this young church, some three hours by car north of us, extend itself in kindness and goodwill. Their prayers and direction have been a constant source of encouragement and wisdom.
Please visit us online at www.ChristReformedDC.org, where we seek to keep a semi-frequent update of our news and needs, as well as a few pictures of our lovely church home. We also have sermons available for download or podcast — I am happy to see a small picture of Christ Reformed Church pop up among many other URC ministers when one searches for “Reformed sermons” on iTunes.
Thank you for your continued prayers.