Four years ago Leah and I moved to Philly with a dream to create a place where people far from God, no matter what their background might be, could experience God in a life-changing way. A team started coming together in our South Philly row-home where we met weekly asking God to fill us with His love for Philly. But nine months later, even as our team caught that vision and began to grow, we still didn’t have a place to launch the church. Finally, at what seemed to be the last possible moment, God opened an incredible door!
I’ll never forget walking into the Academy at Palumbo for the first time three years ago and meeting the principal, Dr. Chew. She took a chance on us and opened the door to her school. For the past thirty three months it’s been an honor to gather at Palumbo every Sunday morning, and come alongside the school as a faith-based partner.
About six weeks ago our application to continue meeting at Palumbo was declined by the School District, and we found ourselves in a similar position again. Immediately, our church began praying the same prayer our launch team was praying three years ago, “God, open the right door so we can continue creating a place where THE ONE far from God can be filled with life in Christ!”
Yesterday I had the privilege of making a big announcement to CityLife Church that God has answered that prayer! Last week we signed a contract to rent the space at Penns Landing Caterers for our Sunday morning worship services.
We have been praying for God to open a door close to Palumbo, so we can continue to build on the impact God has allowed us to have these past three years. Thankfully, Penns Landing Caterers is only one mile away, at the corner of Washington and Columbus Boulevard.
I believe this new location is going to reposition us to accomplish our mission in an even greater way!
- Location: We can remain a church that impacts South Philly, while also having the opportunity to impact the region in a greater way.
- Space: The new building will give us the capacity to reach more than twice as many people as we currently reach!
- CityLife Kids: We will have safe, fun, and flexible environments for our kid’s ministry to continue to flourish.
- Lobby: Our new lobby is open and spacious and will provide more opportunities to connect with friends.
- Setup: The new location provides several strategic advantages for our setup and teardown teams.
- Air Conditioning: And all the CityLifers did a little dance!
- Parking: For the first time in our three year history we will have a parking lot (with hundreds of spaces)!
August 31 will be our final services at The Academy at Palumbo. We will take time that day to celebrate all that God has done during our time there. We also plan to continue our partnership with The Academy at Palumbo after we’ve moved. We love the administration, teachers and students, and want to continue to invest in their mission. Then, beginning in September, we will be meeting at the new location.
I expect that if God is moving us physically, He also plans to move in us spiritually. He is going to challenge us and strengthen us. He’s going to call us to recommit to love God, love people, and prove it! And even as we dream new dreams as a church, I believe many of you will dream new dreams in your life. You’re not going to want to miss any of the action over the next two months as we experience all that God has planned for us!
Let’s pray together that by God’s grace we will move forward with remarkable boldness and a deep sense of unity to make an even greater impact on Philly this fall!