December 2018 / January 2019 - Vol. 101

Christ the
                  Redeemer 40th anniversary celebration
Community of Christ the Redeemer
is Celebrating its 40th Anniversary

The Community of Christ the Redeemer in St. Paul Minnesota, USA is celebrating its 40th anniversary this autumn – although its beginnings go back to a prayer group that started in 1972. That earlier version was called the Community of the Promise and it was reconstituted as the Community of Christ the Redeemer in 1978. The setting for the community was a youth center – and that setting provided not only a point of origin for the community, but an orientation toward mission: a mission of evangelization, discipleship formation and community life, particularly with youth and young adults. From the very beginnings the community and what has become the National Evangelization Teams (NET ministries) have shared a common origin, a common focus and a common sense of call and mission. NET recruits and trains over 178 young adults each year and sends them out to parishes and schools throughout the USA to do evangelistic work with teenagers. NET also has teams in Canada, Ireland, Australia and Scotland.   

This sense of mission also exists among the more “established” members of the community. In the past few years we have had a number of married couples move from St. Paul to help work with new and emerging communities. Brad and Betsy Schleeter with their six children, Steve and Kara Litzau with their three children moved to Kansas City to help with the Heart of the Redeemer Community. Sam and Patricia
Schoenfelder with their five children moved to Kansas City for four years to help with the work there. Brian Fischer moved to help with the work of outreach and community formation for three years in Columbus Ohio.

More recently Jon and Teresa Sergot and their three children moved to Tallahassee, Florida to help with the Fountain of Life community. Joining them within the past few months has been Robert and Maasa Fischer with their six children. There are more folks from the “established ranks” that are considering going on
mission in this way.

Internally in the community in St. Paul there are two areas of mission that are very important to our life
together. One is the formation district for post university students and
young adults. The name of the district is Emmaus. There are over 100 young adults in the district and they meet regularly for prayer, teaching and fellowship. They all are in pastoral groups that are led by members of the community. There are over 40 community members participating in this mission together. A second is the young married program. This is a two -year program for newly married couples: some of whom are in the community and some are looking into the community. There are currently 18 couples in the program. They meet monthly for teaching and fellowship, and they are pastorally cared for in small groups led by members of the community. The young married program helps couples get basic teaching on marriage and family life, form relationships with other couples that are at the same place in life, and helps introduce them into the lived reality of life in the Community of Christ the Redeemer.

The community is in a significant time of growth and development, which is a great blessing. It also brings a set of challenges. We are seeking the Lord’s direction, wisdom and grace. And most of all as we enter into the celebrations of the 40th anniversary, we are profoundly grateful for the many, many ways that the Lord has manifested his faithful and enduring love.

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