A Ministry of Hospitality and Evangelism to Visitors

Our current pastor, Rev. W. Reid Hankins was ordained and installed at our church on January 11, 2008 after his candidating process with the church through much of 2007.

However, his first visit to the church was actually years earlier on January 16, 2000.  Yes, that’s 21 years ago to the date of this post!  You can note this from the attached snapshot from the church guest register.  At the time, he was traveling from Southern California to visit the woman who would eventually become his wife, whom you will note visited the church herself for the first time the Sunday before.

Besides being an interesting bit of history, the bigger fact presented in this snapshot of the church’s historic guest register is that our congregation’s ministry over these fifty years also includes all the guests who pass through.  While we are thankful for the many God has brought into our church who eventually go on to become long-time members, we are also thankful for the visitors God brings to us for just a short time, or maybe even just one Sunday.  Over fifty years, this represents a great number of visitors that have been a recipient of our church’s ministry. This is a reminder of the ministry of hospitality that God calls Christians to, that in Christ’s name we would welcome in love those who visit the church (Hebrews 13:2).  It is also a reminder that we ought to make the most of every opportunity to share Christ and the gospel to whomever would visit us, for we never know if someone who visits our church will return the next week (Ephesians 5:16, 1 Corinthians 9:19).

May we each be renewed in the call to serve as hosts in showing hospitality and in sharing the gospel to those who visit our congregation!

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An Orthodox Presbyterian Voice in the North Bay

It seemed timely to post this local newspaper article regarding religion and Christmas from 44 years ago to the date (posted December 29, 1976). It’s a relatively brief article surveying six pastors in Novato regarding their perceived religious significance of Christmas among their congregations and the community. You will notice that the last pastor quoted was our own Pastor Richard C. Miller.

Over our fifty years of ministry, there have been various opportunities like this in print, radio, online, and elsewhere to contribute a reformed perspective to various issues under discussion by our community. More recently, Pastor Reid Hankins had the opportunity to contribute to an article in May to the Marin Independent Journal that surveyed thoughts from different area pastors regarding responding to the coronavirus.

While such opportunities for press can be limited and sometimes even suffer from undesired editing, it nonetheless represents our church having opportunity to be a present voice for Christ in the community and to provide a sound biblical perspective to issues under discussion. As the diversity of other voices seems to be ever growing in our community, with increasingly non-biblical viewpoints being presented, this is more important than ever. Let us pray that we would continue to have such opportunities to be a reformed witness in our area. God has placed us in this community to bear witness for Christ and his Holy Word.

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But This is 1976!

Our next snapshot from the past is another article written by Pastor Miller for Outreach, this one published in the May, 1976 edition. In this article, Pastor Miller recounted the hardships our church faced in 1975. Such hardship led the congregation to a renewed commitment to prayer. Pastor Miller then joyfully reported how the next year in 1976 saw many refreshing answers to prayer and much improved circumstances for the church.

This article by Pastor Miller reminds us what a difference a year can make. As the challenging year of 2020 nears its end, may we look forward to what refreshing blessings and improved circumstances the Lord might bring for us in 2021. However, may Pastor Miller’s article especially remind us to yet labor long in prayer and through these trials to count them all joy as the Lord teaches us to depend on Him.

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The Reformation Rally

Celebrating God’s work in the Protestant Reformation has been a long standing tradition in our church.  In the early 1980s, Pastors Richard C. Miller and Carl E. Erickson (of New Covenant OPC in South San Francisco) would conduct joint reformation services complete with dramatic and colorful reenactments of various reformation scenes.  Then in 1990, a long tradition of combined evening worship services on Reformation Sunday began between our church and the churches pastored by Pastor Kevin Kirby (Petaluma Community Church, and later Sovereign Grace Community Church).  Popularly known as the Reformation Rally, these combined services have become an annual ecumenical event in the best sense of the words, with participation from various churches from our presbytery and the local community.

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