Newly created Darien church launches global initiative
DARIEN — A little over a year ago, Christ Community Church of Darien did not exist. Now they’re planning on making their impact all over the globe.
The result of a merger between the former Cavalry Baptist and Encounter churches, the Christ Community Church came to be last fall. According to Christ Community Church lead pastor Landon Reesor, the past year has been a time for the newly merged congregation to find their footing and identity. But now, with a solid footing beneath them, the church is launching a new initiative, “Vision 2020,” where they hope to make their impact across the town, region and globe by 2020.
“Over the last year, we’ve invested a lot of time and energy coming together as a singular congregation, getting to know the leadership from each group and developing a unified culture,” Reesor said. “We need to turn our vision statement into something measurable and practical.”
From there, Vision 2020 was born. Through Vision 2020, Reesor said the church hopes all 110 active parishioners will become involved saturating Darien with church efforts. In November, Reesor reached out to different organizations and invited them spend a week with the church. The goal of this Outreach Celebration Conference was to help these organizations understand the vision of Christ Community Church and how the church can engage with these organizations with a more strategic way.
From this conference, the church developed partnerships with the likes of Hope Line Crisis Pregnancy Center, Darien Human Services Commission and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Darien, Lifeline Chaplaincy which provides support for first responders. Overall, they connected with 21 organizations.
On a regional level, Reesor would like to see members serve in the city, but to develop another Christ Community campus in the metro New York area. He also said church members will be traveling to Central America, Africa, Europe and Asia on mission trips to help make a global impact.
“The goal is to be an image not only of God’s grace, but also a voice of truth,” Reesor said. “So our passion is to serve our community, our city and our world in a way that compellingly represents the compassion of God.”
The Christ Community Church is also making changes to their schedule in 2018 by merging their two services into one on Sundays at 10:30 a.m.
“After a year of being together as a church, but not together in the same room, our people really began to inquire about the possibility about merging two services into one,” Reesor said. “The chance to get to know each other better has increased the pool of volunteers and the opportunity to get to know each other better.”
For more information, visit christcommunityct.org.
Reesor said he’s seen an overwhelming response from the congregation since the church presented its plan in December. The church also had an offering that month to help close out a year and launch Vision 2020. The goal of the offering was to raise $50,000. They raised $78,000.
“As leaders, we felt that was a huge affirmation of the vision God has given us and what we’ve laid out for our people,” Reesor said.
Michelle Hylton is one of those parishioners eager to help. Hylton has been a member of the Christ Community Church for five years and volunteers to do their marketing.
“I think Vision 2020 will push our church body to grow in ways we haven’t had a chance to before,” she said. “There’s more accountability and action involved. It’s not solely about the pastors and elders achieving this vision - they can’t do this alone - it’s about all of us as a unified body working together to do God’s work. I think this will help us all to grow as individuals spiritually and will help us to build more intentional and deep relationships with one another as a whole. I look forward to seeing where this Vision takes the CCC leadership, body and it’s mission partners this year and beyond.”
Hylton said she’s excited to join in with this mission through her marketing work. Her plan is to work with local partners and businesses to help spread the influence of the church throughout the community via marketing strategies, a goal that aligns with Vision 2020.
“For Vision 2020, one of the goals was to work more with local ministries and also local businesses in the area just to see how we can partner going forward,” she said. “One of our goals is to saturate the community, so we’re reaching out to all the local businesses and seeing how we can partner, be it putting up fliers for event. We have a long list of those we’re tackling through.”
Hylton added she’s also going to meet with the organizations the church is partnering with to help improve their collaborations.
“I’ve never done that in the past, but from a marketing perspective, I want to get more involved,” she said. “One of my goals is to choose one of those partners and each quarter have heart-to-heart with those partners and see how they feel where partnership is going. I really want to dive deeper into those relationships.”
These funds will go toward church outreach project and to help them reach their initial goal of connecting with every home and business in Darien. The money raised will help with outreach events, such as the church’s women’s self defense event on May 5 and vacation bible school.