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“The one who calls you is faithful.” —1 Thess. 5:24

Wednesday, February 4

Presbytery of Los Ranchos

California

First United Presbyterian / Little Brown Mission, Long Beach Photo by Jeff McCrory

 

First United Presbyterian / Little Brown Mission, Long Beach

 

Photo by Jeff McCrory

 

The Little Brown Church was founded in 1905 as a Presbyterian presence in downtown Long Beach. For many years, the church remained viable. But neighborhood change saw members move farther away and die off. During this time, the church continued to focus on former members rather than engage the changing neighborhood.

During 2013, with my arrival as a missional pastor, a small group of people created a plan to refocus the congregation’s mission toward the changed neighborhood. Jesus was calling the Little Brown Church to become the Little Brown Mission, an ecumenical partnership for the kingdom of God.

Through contacts in Long Beach, I met Bishop Rodrigo Romano of Mision Apostolica Catolica del Divino Nazareno (MACDN). From my assessment of Long Beach demographics, I knew that Little Brown Mission’s outreach had to include Latinos if we were to follow Jesus into the community.

As my wife and I drove up on the first Sunday that MACDN met in Little Brown’s building, we were excited to see people walking to worship from the neighborhood. “This is what the Spirit of Jesus wants to do at Little Brown,” we exclaimed. Since then, Rodrigo and I have met weekly, sharing concerns, reading Scripture, praying for each other, and planning shared ministry events. Most recently, NorthEast of the Well, an outreach to “those who have been broken by chronic abuse, addiction, and incarceration,” decided to partner with us. We are on our way to becoming an ecumenical partnership for the kingdom of God and a model of hope for other dying downtown churches.

The Presbytery of Los Ranchos serves 49 congregations.

—Pastor Jeff McCrory, Little Brown Mission, Long Beach

Let us join in prayer for

Presbytery Staff

Tom Cramer, associate presbytery pastor
Forrest Claassen, stated clerk
Bonita Carr, administrative coordinator
Kathy Hill Long, accounting and business manager
Elvira Ortez, executive secretary

PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff

Sondra Brown, BOP
Andrew Browne, BOP
Rev. Vernon Broyles, OGA

Let us pray

Lord Jesus, lead your people to look beyond their walls to the community around them. Open our eyes to see that you truly have left the building and are waiting for us to follow. Amen.

Daily Lectionary

Morning Psalms 96; 147:1-11
First Reading Isaiah 52:13-53:12
Second Reading Galatians 4:21-31
Gospel Reading Mark 8:11-26
Evening Psalms 132; 134

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