It was a nice drive up the east coast of Maryland, and then into New Jersey on Wednesday. On Thursday we drove into Newark, New Jersey and spent most of the day with Renato and Claudia Bernardes. Renato is the senior pastor of Christ Community Presbyterian Church, which is a PCA church that holds services in three languages, English, Spanish and Portuguese.
Renato has served as the senior pastor of CCP since 1994, since that time they have seen some incredible growth. The church is located in a neighborhood known as "Ironbound" Which is mostly an hispanic community. They also have an outreach to the children that live in a nearby impoverished neighborhood. Their Wednesday night children's program is full of children living well below the poverty line, who are bused in and have an opportunity to hear about the love of Christ as well as have a healthy meal.
Renato has been actively involved in the PCA's efforts in planting more Brazilian Churches. He was very involved in helping with the West Boca Brazilian church led by Ederson Emerick. SRC was a major contributor in this church plant.
The building that CCP occupies is a well used facility. The church has a day care operating out of the building as well as church activities and three weekend services. CCP has plans to add a second floor to this facility which will include space for a gym and more classroom space for the children.
Newark is a city that is home to five large universities, and many of the students serve at CCP. It is Renato's prayer that CCP can have a greater outreach to these students as well as have a church that ministers to the entire multi-ethnic community. Please keep Renato and Claudia in your prayers as they serve at Christ Community Presbyterian and minister to their community.