>South Orange County Church planting effort changes frequency and venue

>After nearly two years of monthly mid-week home studies, South Orange County Reformed Fellowship is stepping forward in faith with weekly Sunday evening public meetings.

Beginning March 13, 2011, the group will meet each Sunday at 5:00 PM for a time of prayer, fellowship and Bible study at the San Felipe de Jesus Chapel, located at 26010 Domingo Ave. in Capistrano Beach, CA.

Under the supervision of the Oceanside URC consistory, Rev. Jon Moersch carries out the church planting work in a tent-making capacity. Rev. Moersch explains that the change in frequency and venue has been under consideration for some time.

“For the past several months, we have been thinking that a midweek home Bible study, held once a month, made it difficult for visitors to come,” he says. “Our thoughts were that if we could get a public facility and meet every Sunday evening, we could potentially draw a larger number of people.”

Obstacles to making the changes were finding a suitable location and the financial burden of renting a facility. But the Lord overcame those obstacles in an amazing way.

“Thankfully, I was able to find a small chapel near the beach that was available on Sunday evenings,” Rev. Moersch relates. “The building is owned by a large Roman Catholic church up the road and they use it largely for Spanish language mass. The priest was extremely gracious and is allowing us to use the facility for six months at absolutely no cost!”

The group’s initial goal is to spread the word concerning the work. A closely related goal is to gain as many core members as possible.

“Currently there are three families (not including my own) that are seriously committed to planting this church,” says Rev. Moersch. “Please pray for us that the Lord would see fit to bless our labors and add to our numbers.”

Oceanside’s pastor, Rev. Danny Hyde, reports that the Oceanside consistory approved South Orange County Fellowship’s changed venue and frequency for six months.

“If we grow to 6-10 families (singles, couples, entire families), we will proceed with public worship.” Rev. Hyde writes. “If not we will bring this labor to an end after nearly three years.”

The consistory of Oceanside URC adopted a church planting plan for the area in October of 2008. In February of 2009, Jon Moersch (member of the core group and previous Oceanside intern) was ordained to the work. The monthly home meetings began in San Clemente in May of 2009.

“For the past year and nine months,” writes Rev. Hyde, “Pastor Jon has labored with minimal success in terms of numerical growth, although we know his labors are not in vain eternally.”

The consistory of the Oceanside URC remains convinced of the desperate need for a confessionally Reformed congregation in South Orange County, CA.

“While we remain convinced of the need, only the Lord can grant success,” writes Rev. Hyde. “Will you boldly pray with and for us: ‘Save us, we pray, O LORD! O LORD, we pray, give us success!’ (Ps. 118:25)?”

Rev. Hyde requests not only the prayers of God’s people, but also the transmission of information: “We need your help propagating this info to anyone you may know in South Orange County who is not a member of a Reformed congregation.”

Readers are encouraged to point area family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers to the South Orange County Fellowship’s blog.

The above article by Glenda Mathes appeared on page 17 of the March 16, 2011 issue of Christian Renewal.

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