On June 16, 2013, about 80 people attended the first worship service of Providence Reformed Church at its new location in Des Moines. The beautiful sanctuary was filled with filtered light during a celebratory service emphasizing the lordship of Christ and the blessing of His completely accomplished atonement.
As part of a continuing series on the book of Matthew, Rev. Jody Lucero preached from Matthew 16:13-20 on Peter’s confession, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
He began by sharing the “trilemma” of C.S. Lewis—Jesus was either a Liar, Lunatic, or Lord—and noted that many today would add a fourth “L” to consider Jesus merely as Legend. But in His day, Jesus was known to be at least a prophet. Peter’s confession demonstrated that Jesus was more than a prophet; He was truly the Christ, the Son of God, who as true man was anointed by God to be our Savior-King.s part of a continuing series on the book of Matthew, Rev. Jody Lucero preached from Matthew 16:13-20 on Peter’s confession, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
“Do you embrace Jesus with a believing heart?” Rev. Lucero asked. “Do you rest in His finished work?” He stressed that living is not merely about Christ or with Christ or anything less than, “To live is Christ.”
Providence Reformed Church previously met for six years in a business park space. Worship is now in a church building in a residential area. “We have a neighborhood,” Rev. Lucero says.
He explains that the previous site had virtually no visibility, only a few separated rooms, and numerous maintenance challenges. That rental was also “barely” affordable for the congregation, making it difficult to save toward a church purchase. A few months ago, the owner notified Providence that the building was likely to be razed in 2014.
“As we begin a new phase in ministry,” he said, “God has been gracious to us. The Lord has also put us here to be an outpost and an embassy. It’s all for Him, to know Him and to make Him known to others. It’s not something for you to think about; it’s something for you to confess.”
Providence’s search for a different worship space resulted in a new rental agreement with an established Lutheran church close to Drake University in Des Moines. Many years ago, Redeemer Lutheran Church had outgrown its original building, constructed in 1955, and built a larger facility on the same property. The older building was converted to classrooms and connected to the newer one by hallways and the site’s original structure, a farmhouse over 100 years old.
Declining membership led the church to rent out the original building about ten years ago. That space had not been used for some time and board inserts still covered the front windows.
When Providence recently acquired the building, it needed a lot of cleaning and painting. Mandy Ives chose a pleasing color scheme to coordinate basement classrooms and fellowship area with the upstairs worship space. She and Amanda Lucero made an interesting discovery while working together.
“The day we painted the front sanctuary wall,” relates Amanda, “we decided to try to take the wood out of the windows to see what it looked like. The wood was really stuck in there and dirty. We were using everything we could to get those wood pieces out.”
The women discovered a stunning arched window at the front of the sanctuary. They brainstormed ways to allow its light to enter without too much glare behind the minister. Sheer curtains provided the perfect solution, minimizing backlighting while permitting natural light to filter through the beautiful window.
“We are so excited about our new space,” Amanda says. “It finally feels like a church, and it’s nice that we’ve been able to make it our own. We look forward to reaching out to the community and to the Drake students.”
Providence Reformed Church meets at 9:00 am and 5:00 pm in the smaller section of the Redeemer Lutheran Church complex at 3615 University Ave. Parking is in the back with Providence’s entry on the lower level of the east side. Fellowship meals are held after every evening service. On the first Sunday of each month, the Lord’s Supper is celebrated at the morning worship service, followed by a fellowship meal.
The above article by Glenda Mathes appeared on pages 18 & 19 of the July 10, 2013, issue of Christian Renewal.