- Phone: (202) 558-9745
- Mailing Address: 1616 7th St, NW, Washington DC, 20001
To The District Church,
From the very beginning of The District Church, we’ve sought to be a church that is committed to multiplying leaders and churches in Washington, DC, and beyond. We’ve always believed that it is through planting the gospel in new neighborhoods and starting city-wide justice ministries that this amazing city would increasingly be reached for Christ.
It is that vision that led to the starting of the East Side Parish nearly four years ago. Just as in Columbia Heights, where TDC began, there was a group of people in Northeast and Southeast DC, who cared deeply about their city and their neighborhood, and had a desire to see the gospel take root there. Now, four years later, the East Side Parish is flourishing and growing and, on Easter of this year, had its largest Sunday attendance ever.
As the East Side and Columbia Heights parishes have grown and matured, the pastors and Executive Board have come to recognize the need for the two parishes to become two autonomous congregations. We believe this will allow each to pursue their unique vision and calling.
Therefore, in the months ahead, the East Side Parish will transition to becoming its own church with a new name on August 1, 2017.
The arrival at this decision didn’t happen lightly nor without prayer – in large part because the two parishes and the pastors love each other and love serving together. While there is sadness in this, there is overwhelming joy and anticipation at how God will continue to use both parishes in the seasons ahead and how God will use the two parishes together.
As the East Side Parish moves forward, it will carry the TDC DNA with it – worship, community, and justice. And the two parishes plan to partner together in mission efforts such as DC127 and the new justice initiative that is being planned and prayed for. Additionally, the two parishes are exploring times for joint worship services, such as Ash Wednesday.
This transition serves to strengthen both Columbia Heights and the East Side by giving them the freedom and space to flourish more fully – specifically in the areas of leadership, vision, and ministry development. What drove this decision is our desire to see the gospel shine brighter so that our city can be most strategically reached for Christ.
In the short run, not much will change for either parish. We will continue to have worship at CHEC for the Columbia Heights Parish and the East Side will continue to worship at Miner Elementary. Matthew Watson will continue to pastor the East Side and Aaron Graham will continue to pastor Columbia Heights and as the Lead Pastor of The District Church.
The District Church will continue to move forward with the vision of Impact DC as planned. TDC remains committed to multiplying parishes, starting a counseling and recovery ministry, housing Fellows, providing a hub for DC127, and starting a new justice ministry. The new ministry center renovation in Northeast will help The District Church continue to realize this vision.
Growing in its TDC roots, the East Side Parish will continue to be a church for the city – proclaiming and displaying God’s love in the greater H Street neighborhoods, investing into the Miner community, engaging in meaningful acts of compassion and justice with the poor, and growing in the beautiful diversity represented in our city.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask us.
We are grateful for your commitment as a church to Christ and to reaching our city.
Aaron Graham, Lead Pastor
Matthew Watson, Parish Pastor, East Side