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A STATEMENT ON THE SHOOTING AT THE TREE OF LIFE CONGREGATION SYNAGOGUE IN PITTSBURGH, PA

Veritas City Church,

It is with a heavy heart that your pastors issue this statement on behalf of our church:

With each passing tragedy, let it not be so that our hearts grow immune to the evil that exists in the world today. Yesterday, on October 27th, a gunman opened fire at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA, killing 11 congregants while injuring 4 police officers and 2 others. With broken hearts, we pray for and mourn with the people, families and communities that were affected by this unspeakable evil. 

As details emerge, it has become apparent that this act of hatred was committed against these congregants on the basis of their religious beliefs. Despite what might separate us in belief, we denounce the horrific act of murdering another (Exodus 20:13), but furthermore denounce the heart that would have hatred for another (Matthew 5:22) that might lead to such a fundamental disregard for human life. We readily affirm the sanctity of life (Jeremiah 1:5, Genesis 9:6, Psalm 139:13-16, Job 12:10) and the dignity that belongs to all people, having been made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27; James 3:9-10). 

We would like to echo the statement given by Gov. Tom Wolf of PA in saying that “we simply cannot accept this violence as a normal part of American life”. We would say as believers, furthermore, that we of all people cannot accept this violence as a normal part of life, itself. Sin has wholly corrupted a creation which was once only good (Genesis 3:16-19), meaning all people are broken by sin (Romans 5:12) and participate in the subversion to and outright rebellion from God (Romans 1:18-32; 5:10). It is because of this sin nature that some will be driven to ugly and heinous acts of violence such as these. This is an evil that no amount of armed guards, legislation nor regulation can ultimately resolve; rather, our ultimate hope can only be found in Christ (1 Corinthians 15:17). Therefore, let us cling to the One who sovereignly rules over it all (Psalm 95:4) and gives peace that surpasses present circumstances (Philippians 4:7). Christians, our hearts ought to be burdened (Romans 8:22). Let this burden drive us further to Christ as we bear the pain of our neighbors. 

With each passing tragedy, let it not be so that our hearts grow immune to the evil that exists in the world today. Instead, let us abound only in the hope of Christ Jesus (Romans 15:13) as we grow in ever-increasing discontentment, looking ahead to that Glorious Day when sin and death will be no more (Revelation 20:14). 

For now, we mourn, yet we mourn with the hope that we will one day mourn no more. 

Your pastors,

Greg Gibson

Cameron Waterworth

Jordan Thigpen

A Veritas & Gibson Family Update

Dear, friends.

I am sitting in my living room surrounded by my family (Grace, Cora, and Iver), much like year’s past, on this frigidly cold New Year’s Eve in Georgetown; Washington, DC. We are bringing in the New Year in style by watching The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe on DVD (because our cable is out), and waiting impatiently for our Uber Eats order of pizza (for the kids) and Thai Food (for the grown ups).

Veritas City Advent Guide

This guide serves as an introduction to the Advent season to awaken the angst of waiting, longing, and yearning for Christ.

It consists of four weeks of material with each week containing Scripture reading, application, and prayers that can be read from December 2 to December 26.

We hope this guide serves you well as we refocus our hearts on Christ this Advent season and learn to wait well.

5 Reasons Why You Should Not Join Our Church Plant

1. We don’t have a big budget.

As a start-up, of sorts, we can’t compete with the other guys. In this lane, we do not have much to offer you in terms of smoke machines, $100,000 sound equipment, moving lights, or even comfortable chairs. But we do have pop-up banners. And they’re sick!

2. We don’t have stuff for your kids.

Again, our bandwidth is small right now. We don’t have Awanas (if you don’t know what that is, don’t worry about it) on Sundays, and we don’t yet have a sweet kid’s program at our gatherings. But we do give your kids goldfish every week.

3. We don’t have potential people for you to date.

Because we’re small, you won’t find what you’re looking for here, so don’t bother. And even if we were big, I’d probably kick you out if this were you’re main motive. Only kidding… sort of. You’d have better luck on Christian Mingle, bro.

4. We don’t have the best speakers and musicians.

No competition here. All of our speakers and musicians are C+ at best. If you’re looking for Hillsong United talent, please do not come to our church plant. You will be highly disappointed, because unfortunately, we do not have Australian accents.

5. We talk about money sometimes.

Yes, I know. Can you believe it? I can’t either.

But if none of that stuff matters to you, let’s go!

 

What Does It Look Like to Join a Church Plant?

I answer this question almost daily. What does it mean for a Christian to join a church plant? Here are five things that I would suggest:

ONE: It means that you redefine your expectations.

One of the hardest things for people in joining a church plant is fighting through the early stages of what I like to call the grind. In a church plant, we are just starting. In all reality, we are a start-up.

That means expectations need to be redefined. Redefining expectations for what the church is becomes a great starting place when entering the waters of a church plant. When you do this, things become clear.

The mission becomes more important than our personal comforts and needs.

You realize that you don’t need that perfect worship experience, or that amazing kids ministry, and you realize that you have an amazing opportunity to help make a church plant better each and every day.