- Jared Ayers
On the very first Easter morning, the two women who were the first witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection sprinted from his empty tomb into the early dawn bewildered and full of “great joy” (Matthew 28.8). I felt bewildered and overjoyed this Easter, too. Just six years ago, Liberti barely filled a living room. And now, in God’s strange grace, our church community is a flourishing multi-site church community, connected to 800 to 900 people throughout Philadelphia’s Center City and Main Line neighborhoods.
I was overjoyed on Easter at the thousands of dollars given and hundreds of people who volunteered to give 3,000 meals to impoverished families earlier that weekend with the Easter Outreach project. I was overjoyed at the palpable sense of celebration in the room at our services, and the record attendance for worship at both our campuses. But mostly, I’m overjoyed at all the lives that the risen Jesus is transforming with his grace at Liberti. This is the essence of what the For the City initiative is all about: putting down roots in the city of Philadelphia to extend the grace of Jesus to friends and neighbors near and far for the long-term.
On Easter, we shared Caroline’s story- she’s one change life among so, so many at Liberti. Check it out…
MERCY MINISTRY UPDATES
- Vito Baldini
As construction around the building gets underway, I can’t tell you how excited I am about the new ways that our mercy efforts will grow after the renovations! Here are the three things I’m most excited about:
1. A New Kitchen
Through your generous pledges and contributions, a new kitchen is being installed. This will help us expand the quality and quantity of meals we can serve at ministries like Emmanuel every Saturday.
2. Expanding Partnerships
Transitioning to owning the Historic First Baptist Building has enabled us to look toward expanding our partnerships in the city. The Philadelphia Access Center is a faith-based social work agency in South Philadelphia. We are hoping to place one of its social workers in our building on a weekly basis! We are excited to be in conversations with the Bethesda Project to make 17th and Sansom a place of refuge for the homeless in Center City. This could be an amazing opportunity to love some of the most unloved people who sometimes literally sleep on our front steps. Lastly, we are discussing a new partnership with the Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia to offer its services in our building on a monthly basis.
3. Easter Outreach
This year's Easter Outreach was more impactful than ever. Please pray with us as we dream about dramatically expanding this citywide effort to celebrate Jesus and help churches across the area build relationships with those in need around them!
Liberti Kids Update
- Ashley Somers
The noise and dust of renovations are officially here. I'm excited that in just a few short months, our children will having class in brand new rooms! New carpet, fresh paint and clean bathrooms will serve our children and families well into the foreseeable future! We're not just getting better rooms, we're getting more of them. As you may know, each year, more and more young families find Liberti and make it their church home. Recently, that has put a real strain on the number of rooms available to care for children during services. Because of your generosity through the For the City initiative, we’re dramatically expanding the number of rooms available and dramatically expanding our ability to serve families in Center City Philadelphia. Oh, and don’t forget that our community play groups that meet in the building during the winter months will have a great new fellowship hall in which to gather, as well!
Check out these cute pics of kids from our Center City play group.
- Joseph Traynor
Demolition and construction are fully underway at the Center City campus of Liberti Church! Demolition and abatement began last month. You probably noticed the temporary partitions and plastic in the Sansom Street lobby that temporarily eliminated access to the basement. Behind that temporary wall work is in process to create our new bathrooms, classrooms and an elevators that will give better access to each floor.
I'm very pleased to report that we are projecting that phase one of the renovations will come in on budget and on schedule, with a completion date of Oct. 31, 2015.
Here are a few pictures I snapped the other day that give you a peek into the demolition. There is not much to look at yet, but in a few months you’ll be enjoying beautifully renovated spaces.
Keep posted for more updates.