Advent at CPC

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Not because of sentimental familiar songs and the shopping craze that consumes our society. It’s the most wonderful time of the year because it’s the time where we as the church slows down and are again astonished at the story of redemption.

Advent is the season where we remember that God is indeed the one who creates salvation. Salvation does not come from our efforts or abilities, salvation does not come through our own intuitiveness and wisdom. God’s salvation had to come down to us. And our Savior came down to us in the most unlikely counterintuitive way we could construe: born in humility, born in our likeness. Advent is the season where we stop and remember that our hope is not in human progress but in another coming, another intervention when Jesus will come to make all things new.

This Advent season at CPC we are distributing the devotional book, The Gospel Came to You, written by our very own Mike Pettengill, that is intended to guide you in your individual and family meditations on the glorious work of Christ in his incarnation. Make sure and pick up a copy for your family by next Sunday so that you can enter this season prayerfully and joyfully mindful of the true reason for the season. As Mike puts it, “In our modern busy lives advent is an opportunity for Christians to slow down and remember the real purpose for Christmas is not parties, gifts and ski trips, but is about honoring the birth of our risen King.”

New City Catechism

We hope that you have been able to incorporate the New City Catechism in the lives of your families whether it’s before school, at the dinner table, or at family worship. Our hope is that as the month goes on more and more voices (including the voices of our youngest) will be able to participate in the part of the service where we confess our faith together.

This month, we’re working through Question 1, which is all about hope. Hope is one of those realities that is fundamental regarding what it means to be a human being. What we believe about our future determines how we are experiencing our present. Maybe you’ve experienced the hopefulness of a vacation on the horizon or a three day weekend to break up a difficult spell at work. Maybe you’ve recently felt that the monotonous 90+ degree days we’ve been having are bearable because of hope that cooler weather is on the way (or at least Christmas time when we can pretend).

Human beings are hope-based creatures. But in the end we need more than just generic hope or baseless optimism. These realities don’t stand up to the pain and violence of our world or the reality of death that hovers over our futures. We need a hope that is sufficient to stand up to that which threatens it. We need the hope that only comes with being found in Christ. We need a hope that was secured at the cross and assured at the empty tomb. We need a hope that can face sin and death in certain victory. As Tim Keller has put it, “There is a joy that sorrow can only enrich and deepen until it completely gives way to it. This is hope indeed.”


Summer Book Study

The ladies of CPC will be reading through the book “Extravagant Grace” by Barbara Duiguid and meeting every other Wednesday. Grab a flyer from the Welcome table with the reading schedule and location addresses today!

Childcare will be provided for the morning studies at a (suggested donation) cost of $10 per child to cover all 6 weeks (with a maximum of $25 per family). You can get a copy of the book yourself or we have a few on the Book table on Sundays.

If you have any questions about getting the book, locations, childcare, or anything else – contact Cassie Recio at


VBS Space Odyssey 2018


Our kids (entering Kindergarten to entering 6th grade) will be seeking out the Creator and Lord of the Universe with Space Probe! We will be exploring from 9AM – Noon the week of June 25th at Rancho Bella Vista Park in Murrieta. We are in need of adult and teen volunteers to fulfill a variety of mission critical (but many easy!) positions to help make this week a blast (into space)! Please e-mail Pastor Robert at to volunteer or to get more information. Registration information is just around the corner!

Ruth: There is a Redeemer

This Sunday we begin a brief sermon series in the Book of Ruth, where we will meditate on a beautiful story of God’s gracious pursuit of his people. Ruth 1 consists of the story of the suffering and desperation of Naomi and the various hard providences that had come to define her life. Yet in her destitution and hopelessness, the Lord though at times hidden, continues to pursue Naomi in love. The Book of Ruth is the story of God providing redemption to a people desperately in need of it. What seems like a detour from the major storyline of Scripture is actually part of the beginning of God’s ultimate story of redemption as Ruth takes her place among the mothers of Jesus, Israel’s long awaited redeemer.


Vacation Bible School 2017 is quickly approaching! Kids entering kindergarten through the conclusion of 5th grade are invited to join us the week of June 26th for a week of fun, games, and learning. We’re also always looking for additional helpers to make the week a success. Please speak with Meredith LaBonte or Pastor Robert if you would be willing to volunteer.

You can register today by clicking HERE!

Reading God’s Word Together

For the past six months we have added a new part to our worship service as we read the Psalms together as a congregation. One of our intentions in the worship service is to be saturated in God’s Word and the corporate reading of the Scriptures is a powerful way to do just that. We are all full participants in the service called as men, women, and children to be reoriented according to our identities in Christ. This reorienting work doesn’t consist of merely listening to a sermon, it involves praying, confessing, repenting, and actively responding to God’s grace. In other words, it involves participating.

Part of God’s reorienting heart-shaping work of worship isn’t just about hearing the Word proclaimed to us (important as that is!) but also a time to let God’s Word fill our lips. This is one more movement in the service where we remember our roles and pick up our scripts as those united to Christ in faith. Writer Tish Harrison Warren puts it this way,

I like the parts of the worship service when we talk to each other. In historic liturgy this happens most often through the responsive reading of the Scriptures and responsive prayers. In my church we read the Psalms responsively every week. Instead of just one person reading to everyone else . . . we read together, in turns. Back and forth, we share the same sacred sentences. As we join together in responsive prayer or reading, I look at the faces in the congregation: some rapt, some bored, some pained, many weary. We made it through another week. We are being the church, speaking words of life to each other, showing up for each other. Again.

Let us embrace our high calling as a royal priesthood and holy nation (1 Peter 2:9-10) and speak words of life to each other, week after week.

Spring Sunday School

This week our Spring Sunday School session begins with classes available for kids from pre-school to adults. Our youngest kids class will begin working through a survey of the Bible focusing on how all of the Scriptures ultimately point to Christ, while our older elementary class will be working through the basics of Christianity.

Our adult class will be looking at the topic of covenant theology. We often talk about or allude to covenant theology and so for the next few weeks we will explore what exactly it is and how covenant theology helps us to better read the Bible and discern how we are to live out our day-to-day Christian lives. Hope to see the whole family at 9:30!

Acts: The Church’s One Foundation

This month we return to our study in Acts at what many consider to be the very heart of the book, the Jerusalem Council in chapter 15. This ancient deliberation of the early church that navigated Jew-Gentile relations stands as a central event in redemptive history and is absolutely relevant for the church in every age. Ultimately Acts 15 is all about determining and confessing the very heart of the Gospel. In Acts we read of the church being built up with men and women from the nations joining the body of Christ, not through external rites or obedience to Moses’ law, but through faith in Jesus as the crucified and resurrected Messiah. This is the kind of news and reality that defines a people and has everything to do with how we relate to one another as people of the crucified and risen king!

O that Birth Forever Blessèd

Last Sunday’s sermon was about the hopes, expectations, and faithfulness of Mary, as the angel Gabriel announces to her God’s plan of salvation in the birth of Jesus. The first couple of weeks in this advent series we’ve seen the testimony of creation (Jesus is the firstborn of all creation and the image of the invisible God), the testimony of the prophets (Jesus is Israel’s long-awaited redeemer), and now this week we turn to hear the remarkable testimony of his mother. A testimony that points to her need of the one she would carry in her own body. A testimony that directs our eyes to the God in whom she placed her trust. And a testimony that directs our eyes to the one in whom we find the forgiveness of sins and the promise of his kingdom of which there will be no end.

Listen to it here.

God in Christ has done everything He requires to reconcile sinners to Himself.

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