A new Royal Oak church, New City Presbyterian, which will hold its first service on Sunday, January 20 at 10:30 a.m. at Royal Oak Middle School, will hold a “sneak preview” Christmas service at the school on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 4 p.m.
Minister Ryan McVicar, 36, will conduct a brief service, with Christmas carols, followed by a get-together for adults and a cookie-decorating activity for children. For information, visit newcitypc.org or call 248-808-2523.
New City’s practices are rooted in the Bible as the source of teaching and inspiration and the driving force in the lives of its members. That said, creating a strong community within the church and serving the community in which they worship are equally important, according to McVicar.
“God invented cities and he wants his kingdom on earth to thrive,” McVicar said. “People at New City don’t just see each other on Sunday. We share meals and meet during the week. We also seek ways to engage with and serve Royal Oak and neighboring communities.” Some of the young families involved with the church donated their time to oversee the children’s area at the November chili cookoff at Royal Oak’s Farmer’s Market, he said.
For the past several months, New City has been worshiping informally and holding study groups in homes and local restaurants. Most of the people connected to New City are under 40 and many have young children. They say they love living in Royal Oak because of the vibrant community and culture and say that a church like New City makes Royal Oak an even more desirable place to raise their families.
Kelly and Scott Cairo, who live in the Grosse Pointe area, heard about New City and are now house hunting in Royal Oak. They have four children under the age of eight but still find time for the occasional date night in, of course, Royal Oak.
“We were looking for a church based on community and on the Bible,” Kelly said. “If you’re going to be a part of the community, you should live here, living your lives together.”
The Cairos will take advantage of New City’s Friday night study groups for married couples. Afterwards the church will provide baby sitters so the couples can enjoy private time on a date in Royal Oak.
Meredith and Jeff Ammons, both 33, like the fact that their two sons and the other children won’t be sequestered from services and are part of the small group studies in homes throughout the week.
“We want to belong to a community of people living life together, raising kids, sharing meals,” Jeff said. They liked what they found at New City: “They cared about us, not collecting us to make their church bigger,” Jeff said.
The young families joining New City differ from others of their generation. A study by the Public Religion Research Institute says Millennials are less likely than the general population to have a religious affiliation. When they do seek a formal religious experience, they may well choose a new church over an older one whose practices and traditions don’t match their interests or with limited opportunities for new members to play a meaningful leadership role. New City’s existence is an example of church planting, a process advocated by the Presbyterian Church in America, with which New City is affiliated.
“For whatever reason, it is easy for churches to lose their sense of purpose,” McVicar said. “New City is focused on people, on creating a community that reflects its members and the eclectic nature of Royal Oak. One of the things that helps us to be rooted in this community is the practical reality that our only meeting places are local homes and a local school. We love this!”
Source: Douglas Communications Group