Reach updates

Current progress

$4.8M+ of $4.8M

Updated on Jan 15, 2024

Quarterly Update: January 2024

Winter 2024 Update

In this Reach Quarterly Update, Pastor Matt offers encouragement as the end of the Reach journey approaches.

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Quarterly Update: October 2023

Fall 2023 Update

In this Reach quarterly update, Pastor Matt shares a powerful testimony of gospel-transformation in the life of Chirag as well as ways you can be praying for Citylight Church.

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Quarterly Update: July 2023

Summer 2023 Update

In this Reach quarterly update, Pastor Matt invites you to celebrate the recent baptisms of elementary students. Additionally Pastor Matt shares about recent favor with the Historical Commission and also how you can pray for what is upcoming at Citylight Church.

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Ministry Update: July 2023

The Gomez Family

Quarterly Update: Apr 2023

Spring 2023 Update

In this Reach quarterly update, you will read an update from Pastor Matt about significance that Scripture puts on the Lord’s Day gathering. You will also read an update from Pastor Tim on the design phase of the building project and how you can pray as we move towards construction. Finally, Pastor Paul shares about the encouragement the church experienced through several baptisms in April.

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Project Update: March 2023

Facility Update

On December 2, 2022, we closed on the property at 4050 Main Street in Manayunk.

In January, many in our congregation gathered at an on-site open house to see, pray and step into the facility. It’s a large, beautiful building and will take a great deal of improvements to make it functional and hospitable!

We’ve been working with an architectural and engineering team to design the facility. Some highlights of the early design are parking on the first level of the building as a flood proofing measure, and on the second level, a sanctuary that seats 465 people, a dedicated children’s ministry wing, and three adult education classrooms.

After a vetting process, Citylight has officially contracted with a construction company that is guiding the overall process. This partnership and expertise helps guide and check budgeting as the building is designed.

So why would we go to all this trouble to restore a dilapidated building in the heart of our town?

When God’s people gather regularly for worship, entire communities are transformed, and God receives the praise he deserves. Restoring this building on Main Street is a sign of that spiritual restoration we pray for in our city and ensures that God’s people will be gathering for worship here for generations to come.

There are two ways you can be a part of what God is doing in Philadelphia. The first is by prayer. Here are some big bold believing prayers I’ve been praying lately, and I’d invite you to join me.

  1. Please pray that the pricing sets come in under budget so we have no delays moving into the construction phase of the project.
  2. Please pray for God’s ongoing financial provision. I’ve been personally praying that the Lord would blow us away, perhaps even providing so abundantly that we could build the phase 2 expansion of the project right along with phase 1.
Ministry Update: February 2023

Citylight Institute: Women’s Discipleship and Worldview

Citylight’s vision for Christian formation is that we would have fully-formed disciples of Christ who know their God, know the times that they live in, and know how to connect what they believe to all of life.

To that end, covenant member & Plymouth Meeting citygroup leader Rachel Porcelli will be stepping into a staff role as Citylight's Women's Discipleship and Worldview Intern.

Rachel’s prayer and vision for Citylight Church is that we would all be followers of Jesus who love, trust, and obey him more and more, and that we would all run our race with endurance to the end, which aligns with the vision for the Citylight Institute.

In this role, Rachel will be focused on two areas. The first area is seeing women in our church formed as fully mature disciples of Christ. The second is seeing both men and women in Citylight develop a Christian worldview and weather the cultural moment now and for the rest of their lives.

We invite any women reading to sign up for the women’s Bible study starting on March 4 at, and for everyone, please keep an eye out for more details on the March worldview seminar as part of Citylight Institute.

Quarterly Update: Jan 2023

Winter 2023 Update

In this Reach quarterly update, you will read an update from Pastor Tim about the progress we have made on Citylight Church’s new facility at 4050 Main Street in Manayunk. You will also read an update from Pastor Paul about the wonderful outreach that Citylight Church put on in our community during the Christmas season. I hope that you enjoy both updates because Reach isn’t only about a long-term facility where we can set down deep roots in our community and bear lasting fruit for generations. Reach is also about Citylight Church’s day-to-day mission of making disciples of Jesus for the glory of God in the Philadelphia region (Matthew 28:18-20).

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Project Update: December 2022

Weekly Email Facility Update

Citylight Church is now the joyful owner of the facility at 4050 Main Street in Manayunk! For Citylight Church to own a facility in such a prime location for gospel-impact is far beyond what we could have asked or imagined.

I want to invite you to respond to the wonderful news of our new building in two ways. First, I want to encourage you to join me in giving thanks to God! Second, I want to ask you to consider giving a generous year-end gift toward the design and build-out of our new facility. More on both of those in a moment, but first I want you to see just a few pictures of our new building.

As you can see from the photos above, Citylight Church is stepping into an exciting and expensive facility renovation that we believe will lead to extraordinary gospel impact. For those of you who already have a Reach commitment, I want to invite you to consider fulfilling part of that commitment with a significant year-end gift toward advancing the gospel through our new facility. For those of you who have not made a Reach commitment but have been very supportive, would you consider a year-end gift towards this effort? To make a generous year-end gift toward the design and build out of Citylight Church’s new facility, you can:

  • Give by check or cash in person at our Christmas Eve services.
  • Mail checks to Citylight Church, PO Box 29159, Philadelphia, PA 19127.
  • Give via credit card, stock, or set up regular giving at

In addition to generous giving, I want to invite you to pause and verbally express thanksgiving to God for our new facility. For so many Sundays we prayed for God to provide a facility for Citylight Church. Now that he has provided, we shouldn’t rush to the next phase. It is good and right to give thanks and glory to God for his goodness to us.

All glory to God!


Quarterly Update: October 2022

Fall 2022 Update

In this quarterly update, you'll hear just a few of the many stories of people just like you who have made significant generosity commitments toward Reach, as well as some recent Citylight highlights made possible by your generosity.

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Ministry Update: October 2022

Partnership with Roxborough High School

“God’s ways are mysterious as the pathway of the wind…” Ecclesiastes 11:5

The beginning of a new partnership

Citylight’s REACH Initiative is about our search for a long term facility AND our ability to put down deep roots in the Manayunk/Roxborough community. God, in his infinite wisdom, used this unique combination to connect Citylight with Roxborough High School (RHS).

It was while searching for a long term facility that Pastor Tim ended up on a call with the Vice Principal of RHS, during which a few needs of the school were mentioned. God used this conversation to open the door for a partnership with the school, one we never anticipated, and a new way to grow deep roots in our community.

After that initial conversation, I sat down with the Vice Principal and discussed a myriad of productive ways for Citylight to support the students. On September 11, Citylight Manayunk fulfilled the first goal developed through those meetings by holding a supply drive and donating hundreds of school and personal hygiene supplies to RHS’s “store”, where economically insecure students are able to pick out supplies they need.

In response to her office being filled with the supplies, school social worker Claire Lindquist said, “I was blown away by the generosity of your congregation. Your donations will allow us to better address the needs of our students and we are so grateful!” With 30-40 Roxborough High students being housing insecure at any given moment, these donations will meet a real need at the school.

Tragedy and response

On September 27, several gunmen opened fire on football players after a scrimmage between RHS and neighboring high schools. A 14 year-old-boy who played for RHS was killed and four others were wounded. The evil perpetrated against these children is inconceivable, and all of our hearts break for the students and staff as they grieve and navigate the horrors of this reality.

In God’s wisdom, he positioned Citylight in such a way that we were able to offer support in the wake of this tragic event. In God’s perfect timing, Citylight has been able to continually offer physical and spiritual support to staff and students. Had this happened even six months ago, that would not have been the case. His ways truly are “mysterious as the pathway of the wind”. We could never have orchestrated this partnership with RHS, but God could and he did so in his perfect timing. While we continue to mourn, to stand with RHS and pray for the grieving school, we can also understand God’s hand in guiding Citylight’s roots deeper into the community. And we can praise him for that.

Project Update: September 2022

Sunday Morning Facility Update

By God’s grace, I have an exciting announcement this morning. After a 3.5 year long search for a facility, Citylight is under agreement and our members have voted to purchase a property on Main Street right down the street from where we are now.

We could not be more excited that we’re moving forward with this facility. This has been quite a journey!

The members' decision to move forward with this property came down to two things: the objective reasons, and the subjective reasons. Objectively, Citylight needs a facility. Our lease is up in February of 2024 here at Mishkan Shalom. We are over ten years old as a church. Our vision is to put down roots long term in this community, and for that we need a facility. Objectively, we have been searching a long time: 3.5 years of searching and we have had three real prospects. The other two sellers moved on to seek more money from developers. Objectively, this facility is right-sized for Citylight, not too big, not too small. Our program fits with exciting opportunities for expansion. Objectively the location is perfect for us. Main street in the community we planted in, just a few blocks from here. Objectively Citylight could grow up to 1,100 people in this facility one day. This facility truly can be our long term home. Finally, objectively, while this property is expensive, our projections speak to the affordability for this congregation at this time. Your financial commitments through our Reach generosity initiative changed the game. The projections have been heavily vetted by our own finance team, mentors and guides, and our lender who recently voted to fund the project. Objectively, it is a stretch financially, but it is not foolish.

Subjectively, it seems that the Lord is leading us to move forward with purchasing this facility. As we have prayed, the Lord has opened more and more doors. Doors that were previously shut have been blown wide open. A board of denominational leaders voted to give $1M to the vision of our congregation being in this property on Main Street in Philadelphia. Finally, in prayer, the Lord brought your pastors back to Isaiah 61:4 “They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities,the devastations of many generations.”

Isaiah 61 was the passage that inspired our generosity initiative which we call Reach. Isaiah 61 speaks of the Lord raising his people up into oaks of righteousness who establish his kingdom. These oaks of righteousness - what will they do? They will repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. Of course, this is symbolic of rebuilding the kingdom of God, but what a wonderful picture it is for us, God’s people, to restore a ruined building in the heart of our city even as we’re called to be oaks of righteousness - those who will repair the spiritual ruin of our city.

So what’s next with this property? We’ll close on the property sometime in late October or early November and then get to work designing and renovating it to be usable by our congregation. If all goes smoothly we’ll likely move in sometime in the first half of 2024.

How can you get involved? So many of you already are through our generosity initiative we’re calling Reach.

Reach is about God’s abundant generosity to us as a church and the privilege we have to join him in his desire to reach Philadelphia with the gospel.

In order to acquire a long term facility and continue our ongoing gospel ministry in the city, we needed to raise around $4.3M over the next two years. The initiative kicked off this past March, and we were blown away. We projected after commitment Sunday that we’ll bring in $4.7M in the next two years, beating our initial goal by $400,000!

Your generosity has allowed us to pursue property in this area, one of the hottest real estate markets in the city. If you made a commitment we’re grateful for your ongoing fulfillment of that commitment. For the many of you who are newer to Citylight and weren’t around during the launch phase of Reach, the good news is that you can get involved. All gifts to citylight through the entire initiative count toward our goal. Hit and learn more today.

Ministry Update: August 2022

Rus Murphy Story

Project Update: August 2022

Sunday Morning Facility & Financial Update

On the surface, Reach is about a simple fact, that our lease is coming up here at Mishkan with no opportunity for a long term renewal. As a church, we feel the Lord is calling us to find a long term facility where Citylight can put down deep roots in our community for decades to come.

In order to acquire a long term facility and continue our ongoing gospel ministry in the city, we needed to raise around $4.3M over the next two years. The initiative kicked off this past March, and we were blown away. We projected after commitment Sunday that we’ll bring in $4.7M in the next two years, beating our initial goal by $400,000!

On a deeper level, Reach is about God’s immense generosity to us as a church, reflected in our giving toward his mission. This generosity has allowed us to pursue property in this area, one of the hottest real estate markets in the city. This morning I have updates for you on our fundraising progress and our facility search, and then I’m going to give all of us a moment to pray together.

First, how are we doing toward the $4.3M goal? I have great news on that front. Today is about 21% of the way through the initiative (so ⅕) and since the beginning of the initiative we’ve already brought in just over $1M (around ¼ of the goal). So we’re ahead of schedule! I think that’s worthy of celebrating. Digging a little deeper into these numbers, there are a few large gifts that were given up front in March and April. In light of that, I would say we are basically on track, which is a testament to all 189 of you who made commitments generously following through.

But Reach isn’t just about those who made commitments. Every single gift to Citylight from now until March, 2024 counts toward Reach. That means if you support Citylight in any way financially, you are supporting this initiative. We remain incredibly grateful for your generosity as you fulfill commitments and extend yourselves to give generously to Christ and the church.

Second, what’s going on with the facility search? The last time I gave you an update, we were staring at our lease running out here at MIshkan at the end of July, and we had just signed a letter of intent to pursue a property on Main Street right here in Manayunk.

By God’s grace, we were able to extend our current lease with Mishkan through February of 2024. Praise God because this provides us much needed time.

What about the property on Main Street? We now have a signed Agreement of Sale, which means we are ‘under contract’ and in our due diligence period. We recently extended Due Diligence a few weeks to allow for some further investigation of the property. The property is two things simultaneously. It’s incredibly exciting to think about the opportunities it presents for Citylight. And it’s also very expensive. As most of you know, construction costs have never been higher, and property in our region is not cheap.

For these reasons, we continue to investigate and seek the Lord for wisdom as to whether this is the long term home he has for Citylight. It isn’t hard to imagine this being the place where the Lord would root us long term to bear fruit for years to come in this region. At the same time, the costs are very real and frankly, daunting.

What will happen is between now and September 12, our covenant members will meet twice. First we’ll look at all the details of the property and decision together and pray. The second time, we’ll vote together as to whether to purchase the facility and begin the renovation project. We will announce the dates of those meetings this coming week.

This is an exciting time to be part of Citylight Church! We’ve been here for 10 years, and we believe we’re in the beginning of the next chapter of our church. We deeply need your financial support, and even more importantly, your fervent prayer.

Quarterly Update: July 2022

Summer 2022 Update

In this quarterly update, you'll hear just a few of the many stories of people just like you who have made significant generosity commitments toward Reach, as well as some recent Citylight highlights made possible by your generosity.

View the full update
Ministry Update: June 2022

Ben & Iris Story

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