I founded CITN (then Word of Faith Assembly of God) on Pentecost Sunday, 1985, which fell that year on May 26. Pentecost Sunday is always observed in the Christian calendar 50 days after Easter, and for all the years since our initial Sunday we've generally celebrated the church anniversary on every Pentecost Sunday. But because Easter came late this year, Pentecost falls on Sunday, June 12, so we're going to keep the anniversary observance closer to the original date of the church's inception.
We will have a wonderful service on the 22nd (I have a powerful word to share with you), followed by what is traditionally called “dinner on the grounds” afterwards. CITN will provide paper products, so I need for all of you to please bring a meal and/or a dessert sufficient for your family plus two. And also bring your lawn chairs so that we can enjoy a CITN family picnic together.
As many of you already know, we are entering a new and exciting phase in the life of CITN as we move to multiple locations around the metropolitan Atlanta area. This has been a dream of mine for some time, and we are now ready to begin implementing it.
The Conyers location will now be known as CHURCH IN THE NOW EAST (still meeting Sundays at 10 AM and Wednesday evenings at 7), and beginning June 2, there will be a CHURCH IN THE NOW MIDTOWN, which will meet on Thursday nights at 7 in the Imperial Ballroom of the historic Biltmore House. The Atlanta Biltmore, once known as the South's supreme hotel, has served celebrities such as Franklin D. Roosevelt, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Mary Pickford, Bette Davis, and Charles Lindbergh, and was the initial home of the Atlanta Historical Society and the meeting place for many of the city's civic organizations. For more than 30 years, WSB, the South's first radio station, broadcasted from its studios within the hotel and the radio tower on the hotel roof became a landmark on the city skyline.
Please mark your calendars for CITN MIDTOWN's premier service. There is free covered parking available, and there will be no childcare provided. If you look on the right side of the blog you can see a Facebook badge for both CHURCH IN THE NOW EAST and CHURCH IN THE NOW MIDTOWN. Please click on them and go to both pages and "like" them.
On the CITN EAST page you will find some great pictures of Conyers and Covington sites and events, including the Hollywood connection with both cities (the Conyers/Covington area is actually pretty cool, as it turns out).
And on the CITN MIDTOWN page you will find shots of famous Midtown landmarks, including 163 Ponce de Leon where I preached my first sermon. I hope that those of you who are Facebook-savvy will feel free to comment on the pics.
I don't think that it's any secret that CITN has faced some major challenges, especially in the last year, and that we have been in transition for some time now. In many ways, this past season has been "the best of times and the worst of times", as in A Tale of Two Cities.
But that's what makes this coming Sunday so sweet...we are going to celebrate the fact that He has brought us "from a mighty long way"
(..."hitherto hath the Lord helped us..." -
1 Samuel 7:12, KJV )
Most of you know that some of our members have gone around the corner from our current location and started another church because they believe that God told them to do so. We bless each and every one of them, because who are we to question the will of God? Besides, the Lord places people in the church "as it has pleased Him".
Unfortunately, there are still others who don't understand what we're about (and probably never will) who have reveled in what they perceive to be the demise of CITN. Some of the more hateful and mean-spirited religious blogs who have discussed me and my personal life ad infinitum over the last eight months have actually rejoiced in our hardships.
But they have rejoiced prematurely...
Do not rejoice over me, my enemy; When I fall, I will arise; When I sit in darkness, The LORD will be a light to me. (Micah 7:8 , NKJV)
...Church In The Now is not only alive and well, her best days are ahead of her!
Going to the multiple location concept is certainly a step of faith for us, but we are ready for the adventure, and look forward to establishing a CHURCH IN THE NOW NORTH and a CHURCH IN THE NOW SOUTH...and who knows where else?! We will continue to create that community of REAL PEOPLE, EXPERIENCING THE REAL GOD IN THE REAL WORLD, as we fulfill our prophetic mandate to do what has not been done before!
It really is all good.
I love you all...
See you on the 22nd!