I haven’t found a love more reflective of the love of Christ than the love you have for your children. I am a mother of three and fell in love with each of my children before they were born. I have loved my children through toddler tantrums, adolescent mistakes, and probably most importantly, through our adult relationships. I have loved my children despite hurt and even when they didn’t love me back.Read More
A few years ago, an old college friend sent me a text: “Hey, do you still live in Houston? I’m driving through in an hour. Want to grab lunch?” Even though it had been nearly twenty years since we had seen one another, we didn’t miss a beat. We ended up getting together several times over the next few months, including on November 1, 2017 to watch the Astros win the World Series.Read More
I was born and raised in Tyler, Texas, and I come from a blended family with five sisters. Growing up I was challenged to try new things and make my own choices, but most importantly I was taught what it looked like to follow Jesus. My family continued to encourage me to do just that as I headed to College Station to attend Texas A&M. I didn’t come from a long line of Aggies, but after one visit (really one visit to Kyle Field) I was sold. I was unsure what was ahead but excited to be a part of it.Read More
I was born and raised in the church. I’ve always believed that God existed, but for a long time I had what I would call a "surface relationship" with him. I just never felt good enough. Some Christians seem to cruise through life without a care in the world. Well, that’s not me.Read More
Two weeks ago, the City Youth got to go to Arlington for a mission trip. I was so excited when I heard that we would be teaching kids about Jesus. When we got to Arlington, we stayed in a small-ish apartment without furniture or beds. Every morning we would wake up, have breakfast, have devotional time, and head to our first stop.Read More
“We are all the same” is one of the core tenets of City Church. We believe everyone is made in the image of God and so all humans have inherent dignity and value. The question of how to communicate that dignity and value comes up when we interact with our neighbors at The House of Blues—the homeless.
A couple Sundays back, City Church formally welcomed 39 people into the City Church family. City Church exists as a church not for itself, but for our neighbors and for our City. And yet it takes a family to make City Church home for others.Read More
This past Sunday, we celebrated Jesus’ resurrection—we remembered his escape from the tomb and sang about his victory over death. And maybe you are still humming the triumphal songs we sang. Maybe you haven’t gotten the stain out of your shirt from the Steel City Pops. Or maybe you are at a place where you are doubting all of it.Read More
Houston knows about work. Many people move to Houston for it. As the fourth biggest city in the United States, only New York City is home to more large public companies. We have the largest concentration of health care and research institutions. The Port of Houston ranks first in the U.S. in international waterborne tonnage handled. We don’t just do industrial: Forbes observed how 7 million people each year come through our Museum District. Houston gets results. Houston knows about work.Read More
The Year of Magical Thinking chronicles an agnostic’s grief after the death of a husband and ailing of a daughter. Joan Didion, author of The Year of Magical Thinking, upon first hearing that her daughter was in brain surgery told herself: “Read, learn, work it up, go to the literature. Information is control.”Read More
Lent is a fitting time to explore the gathering of people to hear the Word of God preached and receive bread and wine. This last part goes by a few names: the Eucharist; the Lord’s Supper; communion . . . And while different groups of Christians have believed different things about exactly what it is and what it does, the science of it, this practice established by Jesus fosters gratitude, community, a longing for a future feast to come—Christianity believes history ends with a feast. The Eucharist in Greek means “giving thanks,” and this is the mysterious texture of it.Read More
Observing Lent can be an activity filed under, ancient practices. It began with early Christians as the season before Easter to prepare new believers for baptism, and developed into a historic and church-wide practice. Lent starts with Ash Wednesday, where ashes get smeared on your head and you are reminded, “you are dust and to dust you shall return.”
What a sales pitch.Read More
Last Summer we kicked off a new program called Jump Start. A simple way to describe it is a high school internship focused on job readiness, character building, practical life skills and spiritual development. Every day the Jump Start kids started off their work day with a Bible study taught by our executive director.Read More
My husband and I got married in April 2015 and moved to Houston a few weeks after our honeymoon. Our first year and half in Houston was both blissful and hard. I was happy to start a new adventure with my best friend, but I was also struggling to see how my dreams and desires fit into my new world. All of my comforts back home in Virginia had been swiped out from under me: family, friends, church, home, career, etc. I tried to stay positive and be thankful, but when I was honest with myself and God, I felt like he was silent. I felt purposeless.Read More
This past weekend, some women from City Church gathered at a retreat center forty miles west of town. It had large front and back porches complete with rocking chairs. Nine rooms with six beds each. Farmhouse-style tables and an open kitchen. We spent a lot of time in an expansive meeting room made to make any odd-mix of people sound like a well-trained choir. And this past weekend, that's what we became—a choir.Read More
Many years ago we were pastored by a dear friend who then moved to New York to study under Tim Keller. Almost a year after we moved to Texas, we reached out to him for advice. He knew Leo Schuster and recommended City Church. But City Church did not have what we needed for our special needs child. We prayed, God gave us patience and He told us to stay.Read More
A few years ago I was flying to Nashville and struck up a conversation with an older woman sitting in the window seat beside me. I ended up sharing my faith with her and asked her about her spiritual beliefs. She shared a somewhat confused belief in an afterlife muddled with much uncertainty. There are details I’ve forgotten, but I will never forgot this one thing she said to me: “I wish I could have your faith.”Read More
Ever since I can remember I have loved to sing for anyone who would listen! I remember watching an old “home video” when I was singing my heart out into the hose of an active vacuum cleaner. As a natural-born performer, I quickly learned that a good performance merits affirmation, accolades and attention, but a poor performance can lead to criticism, condemnation and feelings of failure.Read More
Our partnership with IJM sent the organization's Mumbai team into some of the darkest corners of the modern-day sex trade—where girls and young women are deceived, humiliated and sold for a profit over and over. Whether in a dirty brothel or hidden in a private apartment, victims of sex trafficking face unspeakable violence and abuse, and they are taught they cannot trust the world around them.Read More
This spring our City Youth are studying the Beatitudes during our Sunday night Bible study. We will be using Iain Duguid’s Heroes of Heroes: Seeing Christ in the Beatitudes as a guide. While we encourage students to get a copy of the book to read on their own, it is not necessary. We will provide a handout each week that summarizes the lesson for the following Sunday that can be used for preparation.Read More
The mission of City Church is to renew Houston by bringing beauty into broken places. Recently, I joined twenty middle and high school students to do just that. Under the leadership of Blake Thomas and Jennifer Welch, we participated in an experience called Bridge Builders. I did not know what to expect. On previous mission trips that I’ve been on, the focus has been manual labor - building fences, mulching playgrounds, painting houses…stuff like that. Community service is important, but it’s pretty easy to return to a rather normal, undisturbed life, when it’s over.Read More
When I was a kid I loved two things - drawing and playing baseball. When I was about 14 and basically clueless, I was completely pre-occupied with comic books and television. My dad, knowing my strengths, and that my baseball career would top out on the Bellaire High School baseball team, said I should consider being an architect. As soon as I realized that an architect draws and designs buildings, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. I now realize how fortunate and unusual this is; to know the career path I would follow at 14. I was able to set my course through high school and beyond.Read More
Our youth participated in Bridge-Builders, an inner city mission trip in Houston, June 14-17 here at the Forge. Bridge-Builders is as a unique opportunity to be a part of a service-learning experience designed to provide teens an urban immersion experience in the Third Ward neighborhood.Read More
Jennifer Welch, our extraordinary Children's Coordinator recently moved from part time work to a full time position at City Church. She increased her hours in our growing children's ministry, enabling her to not only continue the excellent Sunday morning programming but also devote time during the week to spending time with families, organizing family events and planning City Kids summer activities. Additionally, Jennifer will begin assisting with our City Youth.Read More
By Sarah Lee
I am a professional carpool mom. I like to refer to my car as “my office,” and it is often filled with kids and animal crackers. I usually see my office as nothing more than a simple mode of transportation. While driving, my main task is to field questions—usually too many to count and most of which I have no idea how to answer. My oldest daughter is the queen of questions:Read More
By Curtis Castleberry, Assistant Pastor at Oaklawn Presbyterian
On Saturday, October 29th, Oaklawn Presbyterian Church had the great privilege of partnering with City Church to do some much needed work on our church home. Our playground is now safer, more functional, and much more attractive because of the work we did to beautify and makeover the area. Our nursery is now much more organized and clean. Our storage container is clean, and now, the contents of the container are fully accessible.Read More
As parents of four young children (ages nine, seven, six and five), children’s ministry has been very important to our family. Initially, I thought of it as a temporary relief from parenting for one to two hours each Sunday. I genuinely, and somewhat selfishly, looked forward to that time each week.
Join us in celebration for those who were baptized, received First Communion or graduated from high school in May 2016.
In Luke 10, an expert in the law posed an honest question to Jesus, albeit with some ulterior motives. In turn, Jesus responded with the parable of the Good Samaritan where we see the Samaritan showing mercy to the individual in need, and he ultimately proves to be his neighbor.
Listen to the full audio from our Work | Faith Forum from Sunday, April 24. This event featured Katherine Leary Alsdorf, founder of Redeemer Presbyterian Church’s Center for Faith & Work (CFW) in New York City and co-author of Every Good Endeavor with Tim Keller. During this session, Katherine helped us explore a robust vision for the integration of faith and work.
For years I’ve been looking for a church community that I could call home. City Church is the first community I’ve been a part of in a long time that I feel connected to. I feel like I belong here. That’s partly because of how I’ve been welcomed and loved, but it’s also due in part to how I’ve invested myself here.
Having a kid has been the biggest help to my prayer life. And not because of the challenges or costs of raising a child. Every day my son reminds me of what I am supposed to be as a Christian. While he loves to play trucks, he cares more about just being with me. We will watch the same video one hundred times over because he wants to share it with me. Whatever he needs - even if he is capable to get it on his own - he asks me first. Why? Because it means daddy is with him. Every laugh, every smile, every “did you see that, daddy?” is the Lord tapping me on my shoulder. “You’ve grown old,” he says.
“Advent is a coming, not our coming to God, but his to us. We cannot come to God, he is beyond our reach; but he can come to us, for we are not beneath his mercy. Even in another life, as St. John sees it in his vision, we do not rise to God, but he descends to us, and dwells humanly among human creatures, in the glorious man, Jesus Christ. And that will be his last coming; so we shall be his people, and he everlastingly our God, our God-with-us, our Emmanuel. He will so come, but he is come already, he comes always: in our fellow-Christian (even in a child, says Christ), in his word, invisibly in our souls, more visibly in the sacrament. Opening ourselves to him, we call him in: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; O come, Emmanuel.”
“Jesus gave his body and blood to his disciples in bread and wine. Amazed at such a token, and little understanding what they did, Peter, John and the rest reached out their hands and took their master and their God. Whatever else they knew or did not know, they knew they were committed to him, body and soul; they were consenting that he should die for them, and that they, somehow, should live it out. The rooster had not crowed twice that night before Peter thrice denied, but still he knew he was committed to Christ, for Christ had given him his body and his blood. Christ’s body and blood lived in him, and Christ forgave him; there was no breaking of the sacramental tie. We are not worthy of Christ, but we are bound to Christ. With all the sincerity of our minds let us renew the bond, and pray to live for him who has died for us.”
“Advent brings Christmas, judgment runs out into mercy. For the God who saves us and the God who judges us is one God. We are not, even, condemned by his severity and redeemed by his compassion; what judges us is what redeems us, the love of God. What is it that will break our hearts on judgment day? Is it not the vision, suddenly unrolled, of how he has loved the friends we have neglected, of how he has loved us, and we have not loved him in return; how, when we came (as now) before his altar, he gave us himself, and we gave him half—penitences, or resolutions too weak to commit our wills? But while love thus judges us by being what it is, the same love redeems us by effecting what it does. Love shares flesh and blood with us in this present world, that the eyes which look us through at last may find in us a better substance than our vanity.”Read More
“Our journey sets out from God in our creation, and returns to God at the final judgment. As the bird rises from the earth to fly, and must some time return to the earth from which it rose; so God sends us forth to fly, and we must fall back into the hands of God at last. But God does not wait for the failure of our flight and the expiry of our days to drop us back into his lap. He goes himself to meet us and everywhere confronts us. Where is the countenance which we must finally look in the eyes, and not be able to turn away our head? It smiles up at Mary from the cradle, it calls Peter from the nets, it looks on him with grief when he has denied his master. Our judge meets us at every step of our way, with forgiveness on his lips and succor in his hands. He offers us these things while there is yet time. Every day opportunity shortens, our scope for learning our Redeemer’s love is narrowed by twenty-four hours, and we come nearer to the end of our journey, when we shall fall into the hands of the living God and touch the heart of the devouring fire.”Read More
On Saturday, October 17, City Church volunteers served at the Emergency Aid Coalition (EAC) here in Houston. This group helped the EAC make sack lunches, fill grocery orders and measure and hang up clothes for the 350 homeless and low income families that they serve.Read More
This past July I moved back to Houston and was searching for a new church and Christian community. Soon after being introduced to City Church by one of my best friends, I immediately felt that God was using this church to shed His light into the depths of this city.
Psalm 133 opens with the exclamation, “How good it is when brothers dwell together in unity!” What comes to your mind when you consider relational wholeness and unity? Imagine a scene that most captures this desire for you. Who is there? What are you thinking, feeling, doing? Why is the scene so compelling? Are you giving and receiving? What is it that allows everyone to be unified?
Communities are former strangers turned friends through shared experiences—rich times of vulnerability and openness. We have found no better way to make fast friends out of strangers than breaking bread together.Read More
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Mathew 13:1-3Read More
"Leo is an unusually gifted and skillful pastoral leader, and I believe that his time here in Manhattan has given him many valuable insights into urban ministry that will equip him to be even more effective in Houston, a city he already knows so well."Read More
We are thrilled to announce Brandon Davidson is joining our staff team as Youth Director and Pastoral Associate. Brandon will spend this fall getting to know families with youth while working to shape the vision and programs for our youth ministry.Read More
We love children at City Church and have placed a high priority on identifying an exceptional team to lead this ministry. We are therefore delighted to announce that Kim Stephenson will be joining our staff as the Director of Children’s Ministry and Spring Rawlings will serve as a consultant to us.Read More