On Faith: Redeemer Presbyterian Reaches Out

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David Juelfs, Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, speaks to the crowd meeting at Temple Bat Yahm
David Juelfs, Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church, leads a prayer during service. The group has been meeting at Temple Bat Yahm since 2004.

“We’re moving into chapter two of our church with great momentum and great excitement,” explained David Juelfs, Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church.

If you didn’t know there was a church called Redeemer Presbyterian in Newport, you aren’t alone. David says changing that is a part of the second chapter of the church.

“We want to do a better job letting people know we’re here,” David said. “We want people to know we are committed to the area and we’re excited to love and serve our community.”

Redeemer was founded by Dr. Jim Belcher in 2000. It originally met at The Westin in Costa Mesa, and has been meeting at Temple Bat Yahm since 2004.

“God used Jim to build a tremendous foundation and gather wonderful people,” David explained. “He is now a seminary professor in Florida.”

David came to Redeemer in 2008 to partner with Jim, and was the interim pastor for two years when Jim left in 2010. The church called David to be the senior pastor.

“I’m looking forward to a long time here,” David said. “We are a church that is for Orange County, and God is on the move here. God wants people to love those around them and embody the values of Jesus in everything they do, whether housewives loving their children and neighbors, doctors taking care of patients or janitors taking care of buildings. Those of us in leadership are like cooks in the kitchen, helping care for those who do the real ministry in the community.”

“David is a wonderful shepherd and pastor,” said Laguna resident Pam Metherell, who attends Redeemer with her husband Alex. “Redeemer is great for young families looking for a church with depth of liturgy and worship, and a dynamic young pastor with a large family of his own. Children are part of a good 50 percent of the service. They watch, learn from and worship with their parents. Of course it’s a great church for more mature people like us, too.”

The Metherells first attended Redeemer when it was at The Westin.

“Some friends started going there and we liked the concept of a church starting from scratch,” Pam said. “We love the old hymns and the worshipfulness of Sundays, and we love the fellowship. Redeemer is a member of Presbyterian Church of America (PCA), a conservative branch of Presbyterian Churches. PCA churches rent schools and colleges; they spend money on missionaries and missions, not on bricks and mortar. Meeting in Temple Bat Yahm is a wonderful example of that; their chapel is available on Sundays.”

“Temple Bat Yahm is gorgeous and they’ve been wonderful partners,” David said.  “Every Thanksgiving we do a joint event, and discuss a topic of mutual interest.”

David explained that the worship experience at Redeemer is deeply rooted in 2000 years of history of the Christian church, but is also sensitive to the culture.

“We’re called to worship the God of the universe and respond with hymns and songs, both contemporary and those that have been sung for hundreds of years,” he said.  “Worship is the anchor to our experience. The rhythm of worship over the course of decades and generations is profoundly transforming. We respond to God with adoration, confess our sins and are reminded of His forgiveness and love. Then we’re built up through the Word and the sacraments, and sent out to be God’s ambassadors to the world for His work and renewal.”

“There is a growing willingness in our church to be vulnerable and honest about the mess that is inside us as well as outside of us,” David continued. “The authenticity, mixed with courage and strength, is so encouraging to see. We have a deepening love and commitment to the people and place God has us.”

For further information, go to redeemerpres.com


Cindy can be reached at [email protected].

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