Redeemer Presbyterian Church is the only PCA church in or around Waco. (Not to be confused with Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Austin, which I believe is where most of the Austinites at Providence came from.) So I didn’t have a lot of alternatives in case Redeemer didn’t satisfy my church-hunting.
Based on the first Sunday, I could not have asked for a better church.
The liturgy is extremely similar to Providence’s, with a lot of responsive readings, affirmation of faith from the Westminster Larger Catechism, confession of sin, assurance of pardon, even a “Thanks be to God” after the scripture reading! The pastor wore a robe, they use the New Trinity Hymnal (got to learn new page numbers, but still a great bunch of hymns), weekly communion, the whole bit. They did have communion by going up to the front rather than having the elders serve it, but I have a hunch that may be due to a small number of elders as much as anything doctrinal. Either way, it worked fine.
And the sermon was excellent. I believe it was the campus/youth minister that preached, but it was anything but what I consider “campus preaching.” He preached from I John 2-3, and tied in Mark 8-9 and bits from Romans, basically about focusing on Christ, because pondering Christ’s purity is the way to become more Christlike, the way to portray Christ in the world. He did a great job of describing the dangers of misreading the passages to mean that we should focus on practicing righteousness rather than on Christ’s righteousness…that turns the focus inward, towards ourselves, and not towards Christ, and leads to legalism, self-righteousness, and doubt. I was afraid that a small church (it’s about the size of Providence) in a college town might veer away from meaty sermons, but those fears are gone. The synopsis I just gave truly doesn’t do it justice. edit: I’ve just posted a little longer version of the sermon and some of my thoughts in my livejournal.
Unfortunately they don’t have an evening service, but I’m looking forward to going back next week and getting more of a chance to speak with the pastor, etc. (I had to run straight to the restroom after the service, and couldn’t easily locate him when I got back.)