CHRIST REFORMED PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN AMERICA (PCA)
1102 Montgomery Street
Laurel, MD 20707
Table of Contents
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
Christ Reformed Presbyterian Church (CRPC) is committed to the gospel of Jesus Christ and to the Great Commission the Lord gave to His church.
- We are committed foremost to a living person – Jesus Christ, to the entire Bible, including His gospel, as the inerrant and infallible Word of God with a Reformed and evangelical understanding which relies on the ordinary means of grace towards personal and corporate gospel renewal.
- We are committed to Biblical, expositional preaching which distinguishes between religion and the gospel, makes the truth clear, reveals Christ from every text for personal holiness, and proclaims the love and grace of God to both believers and non-believers.
- We seek to worship our Lord to his glory, honor, and righteousness with a recognition of His love for us and His forgiveness to us.
- In addition to corporate worship and expositional preaching, we seek to grow in our discipleship through fellowship, shepherding, small group ministries, mercy ministries, missions, and evangelism.
OUR STATEMENT OF PURPOSE
Glorifying and enjoying God through worship, discipleship, and evangelism.
Share the gospel, serve the community, engage our neighbors, build and strengthen the body of believers, and in all things worship and glorify God.
We believe the Bible is the written word of God, inspired by the Holy Spirit and without error in the original manuscripts. The Bible is the revelation of God’s truth and is infallible and authoritative in all matters of faith and practice. We believe in the Holy Trinity. There is one God, who exists eternally in three persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
We believe that all are sinners and totally unable to save themselves from God’s displeasure, except by His mercy.
We believe that salvation is by God alone as He sovereignly chooses those He will save. We believe His choice is based on His grace, not on any human individual merit, or foreseen faith.
We believe that Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God, who through His perfect life and sacrificial death atoned for the sins of all who will trust in Him, alone, for salvation.
We believe that God is gracious and faithful to His people not simply as individuals but as families in successive generations according to His Covenant promises.
We believe that the Holy Spirit indwells God’s people and gives them the strength and wisdom to trust Christ and follow Him.
We believe that Jesus will return, bodily and visibly, to judge all mankind and to receive His people to Himself.
We believe that all aspects of our lives are to be lived to the glory of God under the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
These Biblical beliefs are further developed and instituted in “The Constitution of the Presbyterian Church in America”, which is subject to and subordinate to the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, the inerrant Word Of God, consists of its doctrinal standards set forth in the Westminster Confession of Faith, together with the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, and the Book of Church Order, comprising the Form of Government, the Rules of Discipline and the Directory for Worship; all as adopted by the Church.
Borrowed from: http://www.pcahistory.org/documents/believe.html
OUR CORE VALUES
Classical Christianity. We cherish the Holy Scriptures and work towards knowing them in richness and depth. The Westminster Confession of Faith reflects the core of our theology so we read it in our worship and Sunday school. We strive for theological precision and clarity.
Excellence in worship. We have a high view of the Lord’s Day and of worship. We value excellence in every aspect of our worship service from music and the structure of the liturgy to the proclamation of God’s word. We observe the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper every week and gather at the end of the Lord’s Day around His Word and prayer. We believe that our experience of God in worship should be transformational and wholly engaging as we pray, sing, and hear God’s Word. We expect that God is among us and is conforming us to the image of Christ.
Prayer. We gather each week to praise God for his answers to our prayers and His blessings. On Sunday evenings we pray for the nations, missions, countries, and congregation. Prayer is part of every gathering. Our prayer expresses our hunger to know God, to repent of our sins and idols, to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and to impact our community in ways that bring greater glory to God. We will employ special seasons of prayer which may include fasting.
Community. We love being together and demonstrating our love through encouragement and practical help.
Giving. We are generous: cheerfully giving ourselves and resources.
Gospel-Centered, Grace-Oriented Living. We believe the Gospel is the central value of Biblical Christianity, and grace is its distinctive. We should be free to live as God intends and be genuine in our church home.
Shepherding and Oversight. As the head of shepherding groups, our leaders care for each member in our high and low experiences.
Wisdom, Gifts, and Creativity. We desire to unleash the energy and gifts of the congregation. All members are encouraged to find their spiritual gifts and use them to contribute to the life of the church and community.
Leadership Preparation. More leaders must be developed continuously from among us. We will regularly offer leadership training and remove unnecessary barriers without compromising our leadership standards.
Cultural Relevance. We want to improve our reach to our neighbors by understanding their hopes and values to communicate the life-giving gospel persuasively. Great Commission. We desire to be faithful in communicating the gospel to those who are without God. We equip ourselves to share Christ wisely and winsomely with others in our community.
Christ Reformed Presbyterian Church (CRPC) in Laurel will be known as a place where the gospel is preached and lived. We will enjoy Christ-centered worship and preaching that glorifies God builds up the body of Christ and speaks to the hearts of believers.We will be a thriving congregation made up of a diverse mix of groups, including youth, young adults, singles, young families, and older adults. We will attract people of God from every nation, tribe, people, and tongue. We will have a unified and diverse body having love for each other while serving those in the surrounding community.
CRPC will engage in special prayer and fasting to seek renewal from the Lord. CRPC congregants will come together regularly with invitees, friends, community members, and others to seek the Lord in prayer. It is often during these special times of prayer that His people experience breakthroughs and wonderful blessings. CRPC will be a place where people seek the Lord in times of trouble.
CRPC will have strong and impactful ministries to the community. The Lord has given CRPC our building in Laurel to serve Him. We will build relationships with our neighbors through outreach to get to know them and communicate the gospel of Christ. As a visible expression of the unity of the church, we will connect with other local churches from different denominations to meet people’s spiritual and practical needs and give them hope in Christ.
CRPC will minister to those needing compassion and companionship. CRPC will establish a care and mercy ministry team to meet the practical and spiritual needs of singles, widows, widowers, divorced, single parents, and the aged to ensure that the entire body thrives.
CRPC will focus on building a youth group strongly grounded in the gospel. Our youth program will provide a strong Biblical foundation and fellowship for our youth. They will have opportunities to participate in community outreach efforts through service activities and other avenues for engagement.
CRPC will nurture, support, and grow our young adults. Our young adult small group will be an encouraging and supportive environment. We will offer a wide variety of activities for young adults to fellowship with each other, encourage our youth, and interact with our older members. CRPC will seek local, national, and international opportunities for mission work. We will partner with other churches and Christian organizations to communicate the gospel and provide support and relief to communities in need in the United States and other countries. We see a unique opportunity for CRPC to engage and host international organizations in support of local mission work.
Christ Reformed Presbyterian Church is a member of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), Potomac Presbytery. Thirty-two years ago, we were planted in Laurel, Maryland by Wallace Presbyterian Church in Hyattsville, Maryland with 180 members from Wallace and the surrounding community following an aggressive mail and phone outreach. Our membership steadily declined year after year, and our youth group dwindled. Seven years ago, we purchased our building, and attendance grew from about 90 to 120, lessened, and leveled off at about 100. Recently, our pastor of 30 years resigned following a disciplinary action involving the Presbytery, and we lost several key families and friends. National reconciliation counselors were hired twice with very limited success. We were heartbroken. Since then, our interim pastor has given us renewed hope while new families, singles, and seniors have joined the church. We are currently more diverse in race and character, more united in spirit and purpose, and more hopeful for the future than ever before.
GROWING AND DIVERSIFYING
We have 74 communicant and 23 non-communicant members on our rolls, comprising 34 family units. Some no longer attend. Our average current in-person attendance at morning worship is 63 with approximately five families joining the live-stream service. A majority of our members actively serve and contribute to our church life. Geographically dispersed as a congregation, we live in nineteen zip codes located in four different counties. Reflecting the metro DC area, our congregation is composed of professionals who are highly educated. We hope our new vision and outreach will help us attract more diversity from our community.
Our Officers and Staff
- Cliff, 65, founding 32-year member
- Mark, 65, founding 32-year member
- Tom, 62, founding 32-year member
- Lance, 47, 7-year member
- Marty, 58, founding 32-year member
- Rick, 65, 25-year member
Interim Pastor: Rick Holmes, 67
Part-time Administrative Assistant: Merry, 25 Musicians: Alicia, 19; Merry, 25
SOLID BEGINNINGS, PRESENT GRACE, AND EXCITING FUTURE
Music: At CRPC, we love music and want to use it to glorify God and edify each other. Although we gladly and gratefully use of the gifts of trained and skilled musicians, the mainstay of our music program is the congregation’s singing.
Morning Worship: Our morning worship to God is through expository preaching, singing hymns, Scripture readings, confession of our sin and our faith, along with the weekly sacrament of communion.
Evening Teaching and Prayer: During the evening we have a time of informal Bible teaching and praying to God for our blessings and needs, individually, locally, nationally, and internationally.
Children in Worship: While we encourage children of all ages to attend our worship services, a nursery is available for young children where adults and teens volunteer to watch the little ones.
Small Groups: CRPC has several small fellowship groups of believers; most meet together in a home twice a month. More than Bible studies, they include prayer, worship, fellowship, sharing of God’s work in individual lives, spiritual nurturing, accountability, and service opportunities. They are also part of CRPC’s pastoral care network. Groups are led by trained, member lay leaders who receive continued oversight and support. Each group expects Jesus Christ’s presence and power, enabling lives to be transformed through mutual ministry in ways that cannot happen individually. As lives are woven together in Christ, and when the Christian community is nurtured, Christians are then equipped and released for God’s work in the world. Each group is inaugurated with a statement of expectations for participants to understand the nature of their commitment to accountability and confidentiality. The group is a safe place to be open to others and promote spiritual growth.
Children’s Ministry: We offer Sunday School for children following the Sunday morning service for ages 2 through high school.
- Preschool uses the First Catechism with fun games, songs, and Bible memory along with Children’s Catechism.
- Primary grades 1 through 4 study the history of God’s people and His mighty works as found in the Old and New Testaments using materials that include fun learning activities, followed by a short time of Scripture memory.
- Middle School studies the Westminster Shorter Catechism.
- High School is studying The Truth Project from Focus on the Family to gain a Biblical perspective and to be wise and faithful to Him in a fallen world. When pertinent questions are raised, we take a detour from the planned course for a time to address the issue from a Biblical framework.
Young Adult Ministry: Young Adults’ Small Group meets weekly. A Fellowship Lunch meets monthly in an Elder’s home.
Women’s Ministry: Meeting twice monthly, the Women’s Bible Study is a Small Group currently focusing on Women in the Bible.
Men’s Ministry: A monthly men’s group is examining what it means to be an authentic man as modeled by Jesus.
Parent’s Ministry: Parent’s Night Out is offered on even months for parents to drop off their children. Four hours of fun with Bible stories, Bible memory, games, crafts, and prizes are part of the scheduled activities.
Hospitality Committee: Greet newcomers, note and remember their names, call them during the week, and invite them for a meal.
Laurel Pregnancy Center: Each year, a special offering is taken for the Laurel Pregnancy Center. A CRPC member volunteers as a nurse-counselor once a week at the Center. A yearly 5K race sponsored by the Center has had participants from CRPC as racers or funders.
Mercy Ministry: The Deacons are entrusted with funds and decisions in helping both members of the church and walk-in requests from the community in a financial crisis. In conjunction, the Deacons also provide budgetary counseling and oversight, when appropriate.
Homeless Ministry: Each winter, CRPC and twenty other churches in the Laurel area partner together with Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services (LARS) to provide shelter and food to the homeless in the area. The winter shelter program provides food and shelter on a rotation through the churches to over 100 men and women annually. The winter shelter program starts sometime during the last two weeks in November and continues through the coldest part of the winter until the middle of March. Also for the homeless, CRPC collects plastic shopping bags for a member to crochet into sleeping mats.
Operation Christmas Child: Members of CRPC fill Christmas boxes for Operation Christmas Child. In past years, CRPC teens visited the Baltimore distribution center to fill boxes and prepare them for shipment.
Christmas Cookies for College Students: Each Thanksgiving, CRPC begins to fill the church freezer with cookies to be boxed and mailed to our friends at college.
Local and Overseas Missions: The Primary Sunday School class sends notes to the missionaries twice a year. We regularly support:
- African Bible University
- Barnabas Fund
- Christian Witness to Israel
- East-West Ministries
- Laurel Advocacy & Referral Service
- Laurel Pregnancy Center
- Mission to the World
- Peru Mission
- Reformed University Fellowship – University of Maryland
Our Special Events
Monthly Fellowship Meal: On the first Sunday of every month we have a fellowship meal after the morning service.
Annual Church Picnic: We host our annual church picnic on the first Saturday of July. This past year featured water games and a bounce castle for the children and teens.
Annual Church Workday: Every Spring we have a workday to freshen our property and building: landscaping, maintenance, cleaning, painting, and overall camaraderie and fellowship, followed by a shared lunch.
Annual Christmas Party: To celebrate our Lord’s birth, we have a Christmas party in the Fellowship Hall. In past years, we have included Christmas caroling in the neighborhood.
Annual Fall Retreat: Each year our church hosts an annual fall retreat at White Sulphur Springs in the mountains of Pennsylvania. Our goal is to connect with one another away from our busy lives in a relaxed atmosphere. We encourage everyone in our congregation, both members and visitors, to come for a time of fellowship, worship, and refreshment. A Talent Show on Saturday night of the retreat is a yearly highlight. People of all ages participate in various acts including singing, sketches, poem reading, stories, dancing, and musical performance (such as violin, piano, guitar, etc.).
Preaching: Our preaching historically is strong on sound doctrine, clear Biblical truths, and practical applications.
Worship: Our worship is Biblical and God-centered, and follows the Regulative Principle. We enjoy a semi-liturgical order of worship.
Strong ministries: Church-wide participation.
Preaching. In our systematic, expositional preaching, we need to improve our focus on evangelism and proclaiming the whole Gospel to correct, rebuke, and encourage.
Evangelism. There is a need for new ideas and equipping for outreach. To be faithful to Christ we will need new forms of ministry to reach our neighbors. Several ideas we have considered include English as a Second Language (ESL), Mothers Morning Out, Vacation Bible School, Pioneer Girls, afterschool programs such as tutoring, or outdoor activities on our property, e.g., garden.
Discipleship. We need an enlarged vision for discipleship ministries that will result in making disciples both inside and outside the church, especially children’s and teen ministries. (II Tim. 2:2)
Fellowship. We need a more deliberate plan to support our leaders and integrate new people. Some ideas include informal ad hoc meals, game nights, youth fellowship, and topical studies. Our fall retreat is a highlight, but we are striving for deeper fellowship. We need to encourage members to identify and use their spiritual gifts and create outreach opportunities.
OUR PROGRESS IN TRANSITION
Partnership with our Presbytery to shepherd the church through its transition
Healing through a formal reconciliation process
Interim Pastors Ministries is leading us through our pastoral transition to strengthen our church for greater effectiveness
Growing membership from our recent lowest level
Non-members and guests are growing in numbers and attending introductory membership classes
Small groups are launched and growing in Biblical knowledge, fellowship, and grace
Mission and vision statements are rewritten and published
Officer training and discipleship classes are ongoing and well-received
SMALL TOWN WITH BIG OPPORTUNITIES
Established in 1658, Laurel is a quiet suburban community, situated a half-hour drive from Baltimore, Annapolis, and Washington D.C.; two hours from Philadelphia to the north and Richmond to the south; a three-hour drive to the Blue Ridge Mountains in the west and the Atlantic Ocean in the east. Our location offers short commutes to major cities, and day trips to mountains, lakes, ocean, and an abundance of historical sites from early Jamestown settlers to the Shanksville Memorial. Laurel is located in Prince George’s County, Maryland, the county with the largest and most affluent African American majority in the United States.
CROSSROADS TO EVERYWHERE
Laurel City has its own library, museum, police, fire department, ambulance service, mayor, sheriff, and City Hall which hosts many community gatherings, including a spring Main Street festival, Independence Day parade and fireworks, bike & hiking trails, walking tour of the city, summer camps, summer movie nights, fall hayrides, and several municipal pools. Lessons in swimming, archery, soccer, dance, and painting are offered by the city. A variety of adult and youth athletic leagues are available. A Senior Center plans dozens of excursions each season to museums, shows, festivals, and dinners as far away as New York City.
Forty-one hospitals are within a half-hour drive of Laurel; several are nationally acclaimed: Johns Hopkins, George Washington, University of Maryland, and Children’s Hospital. The Laurel Hospital emergency room features a wound center, rehab center, and Med Evac capability. Also spread around the city are several walk-in clinics, including a specialized pediatric clinic on Route 1.
Sights within one or two hours include Smithsonian Museums, the Museum of the Bible, the National Zoo, the National Cathedral, the National Archives, the White House, U.S. Mint Headquarters, and Mount Vernon. Under three hours away are Harpers Ferry, Gettysburg, and several amusement and water parks. The Appalachian Trail winds through 41 miles of Maryland state parks. Special interest museums abound in Maryland, such as the Harriot Tubman & Underground Railroad Memorial, and the National Cryptological Museum.
Laurel is served by three international airports within an hour’s drive: Baltimore-Washington (BWI), Washington National (DCA), and Dulles (IAD). Laurel has local access to the Washington-to-Baltimore commuter railway line, U.S. Route 1, and Route 95 stretching from Maine to Florida. Three subway lines into Washington DC are twenty minutes away. Public bus routes to the University of Maryland and Washington D.C. have several stops in Laurel. National train terminals are a half-hour away in Baltimore and Washington. The Baltimore Penn train station services trains to New York and Boston; Washington Union Station services trains south to Florida and New Orleans, and west to Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, and Chicago.
Several universities are nearby, most notably the University of Maryland, College Park. Johns Hopkins University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, and American University are within commuting distance, and many universities are accessible from Laurel by public transportation (commuter train, subway, bus).
Prince George’s County has a variety of magnet schools in arts and sciences, and an International Baccalaureate program located at Laurel High School. Several Community Colleges are nearby which cater to homeschoolers.
Laurel has lush vegetation with a climate featuring hot humid summers, cool to mild winters with an average yearly snowfall of 11 inches, and over 100 days of yearly rainfall. The average temperature is 63 degrees, typically ranging from the teens to the nineties.
Summary of zip codes surrounding CRPC and comprising a three-mile radius.
All numbers are approximations.
Annual growth rate: 1.7% (US average is .53%)
55 & up 22%
Less than $25,000: 8%
More than $125,000: 35%
Live near or below the poverty level: 9.5%
Affluent families and “young and coming” are the dominant groups
Apartments, duplexes: 63% (US 32%)
Single-family homes: 36% (US 62%, CRPC 84%))
Owner 59% (CRPC 95%)
Adult: 52% have at least a Bachelor’s Degree; CRPC 68%
Preschool: There is a 56 : 44 ratio of Public : Private
K-12: 86% Public School
FAITH AND PREFERENCES
Two-thirds are at least nominally involved in a church with 80% of households claiming to be “historic Christian”
56% of people claim no affiliation (the US average is 51%)
The typical worship style is slightly more traditional than contemporary.
The average annual income of the community’s church adherents is $130,000.
34% of households give $500 or more to the church annually (the U.S. average is 31%).
OUR HOPES FOR A PASTOR
Our congregation is looking for a pastor to prayerfully seek God’s provision to lead, share, and carry our vision forward with us, as God wills it and directs it. Specifically, we are prayerfully looking for a Christ-centered man, ordainable by the Presbyterian Church in America, who will:
- Deliver engaging preaching that faithfully and boldly proclaims the beauty and majesty of the unchanging and eternal Gospel of Jesus Christ – instructing the listeners according to the inspired and inerrant Word of God – calling them to repentance, growth in their spiritual walk, and a deeper dependence on and rest in Christ
- Relate well with people, be loving, approachable, and genuine, willing to share life, and proclaim the unchanging Gospel of Jesus Christ openly and in a contextually sophisticated manner, be it in conversation, visiting, and/or counseling
- Teach the truths of the Bible and the doctrines of the reformed faith as presented in the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms
- Provide leadership as Moderator of the Session, ministry leaders, and members at large for the edification, unity, peace, and purity of the church and the furtherance of the church’s ministry and witness to the community
- Work with Session to develop and gracefully lead worship in accordance with our classically-Christian format and style
- Be devoted to prayer and the ministry of the Word
Our new pastor shall also have the following qualifications:
- Have at least a Master of Divinity, or equivalent, degree from a Presbyterian or Reformed Seminary
- Meet the requirements of 1 Tim. 3, Titus 1, and the Book of Church Order of the PCA (i.e., Chapters 8, 13.6, and 21)
- Agree with the Westminster Confession of Faith and the Larger and Shorter Catechisms
- Have at least five years of experience as an assistant, associate, or senior pastor.
How To Apply
If you believe you may be called to this ministry and would like to apply, please download the below questionnaire. Please email any questions or the completed questionnaire to the CRPC Pastoral Search Committee at [email protected].
CRPC AVERAGE ATTENDANCE
- Christ Reformed Presbyterian Church/PCA (CRPC) Website
- Presbyterian Church in America Website
- Presbyterian Church in America Book of Church Order
- Presbyterian Church in America Historical Documents
- Interim Pastors Ministry (IPM)
- Wikipedia entry for Laurel, Maryland
- Directions to CRPC in Laurel, MD
- Laurel Historical Society
- City of Laurel Classes
- Maryland Department of Transportation Maps
- White Sulphur Springs
- Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services