Friday, April 24, 2015

Grandparent Conference

It was such a thrill to be on the ground floor watching God inspire and put together His plan and program for the Grandparent Conference.  What a faith builder to those of us He called together as a committee to be a part of His vision.  He unfolded step by step the vision, speakers, topics, and program.  It was exciting to see how each of our spiritual gifts came into play to bring a truly professional conference into being.  

Following the conference there were many exciting comments.  One grandparent commented they appreciated the encouragement of being an active and godly grandparent along with the many ideas to be a “grand” grandparent.  Another reports that she has now put together her Prayer Journal having interviewed her grandchildren for their specific prayer needs.

For one grandparent, just one slide showing a family tree of a Boomer to a Millennial made a huge impact.  It was amazing to see how our families have changed over the past decades. From two parents and four grandparents to a multitude of both, as well as siblings that are not related biologically. In our own city, where we could make a difference, children are shoved from foster home to foster home; their parents no longer able to care for them because of drug abuse.  

Another grandparent was reminded by a comment by John Coulombe that “we need to be multigenerational in our church.”  It is so easy to get in our comfort zone with our activities, our style of music, and our lifestyle.  It is a challenge to interact with someone not years but decades younger and try to relate to their world.

As we age, it seems it becomes harder to accept change and even to learn some of the new technologies available and used on a daily basis by our own grandchildren.  It was enlightening to have a breakout session where grandparents were made aware of how much our grandchildren use social media.  We were reminded not only of its uses but also of some of the dangers these sites hold for our grandchildren.  They are so connected yet so isolated because there is no longer the face to face interaction with another person.  Seeing some their peers’ postings that make their life look so much better than the life they live can lead our grandchildren into times of despondency.  It is these times that we as grandparents need to come alongside in prayer and encouragement.

--Nancy Sperling for The Grandparent Committee



REMINDER:  Turkey Mission Trip Garage Sale is this weekend!

Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and 

Saturday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. 
The address is 220 Superior St S.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Come and See

Our men’s ministry is looking for opportunities to invite men outside our church to “come and see” events. We want our men to feel comfortable inviting other men to one of our activities and we want the invitees to feel comfortable attending. We want them to “come and see” Christian men having a good time.   We also want the invitees to check out our church and to check out Jesus. Our mission is to bring men into a life changing relationship with God and other men.

 One of these “come and see” events was our recent Sportsman Dinner. The theme was “the pursuit.” Our men invited many who do not attend our church.  Imagine walking from the parking lot into the building with the smell of grilled meat penetrating your nostrils and telling your stomach that you are starving. Once you are in the building your senses move to thoughts of the outdoors. You enter an area of duck and elk calls creating the atmosphere of the hunt and the outdoors. As you make your way to your table you see the wildlife mounts on the wall. Wow! You wish you could be out in the wilderness praising God for His beauty.

Our speaker talked about going on the hunt and ending up as the hunted.  So often we are hunting significance, control or comfort. We think that if we succeed in these areas we will be happy and prosperous. We do not realize that we are being hunted, either by a roaring lion who is looking to devour or by the Creator--the almighty personal God.  The results of the pursuit will be determined by how we respond to the signs that are around us. We can either be taken captive by the philosophy and empty deception of the world or we can be transformed by the renewing of our mind as we become Christ-like.

Our evening was full of laughter.  The stories and fellowship created an environment that made the men feel comfortable. They were willing to talk and listen. They were fed well and they had opportunities to win a nice door prize. But most important of all, they got to hear the Good News of Jesus Christ.

The response to the message was encouraging. We had four men who wanted to have coffee and talk more about Christianity, five men who would like to be discipled and 11 who said they trusted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

Please pray for these men who “came and saw” as their lives were touched. Now our desire is to have them “watch and learn” (discipleship) -- being transformed into His likeness so they will then be able to engage and reshape the culture they live in to reflect God’s heart.

I want to say thank you to all those who made this evening possible.  All 182 men appreciated it.
--Pastor Leon

Friday, April 10, 2015

Eternal Value

Are you looking for friends, new experiences and excitement? You don't need to bungee jump, hike the Pacific Crest trail or travel to exotic lands. Volunteering can bring all of these things to your life and you can have an eternal impact on the lives of others as well.  

I come from a family that has modeled the importance of serving others. Some of my great memories are working with my dad and others putting up sheetrock and pulling wires in a new church building project my dad was heading up, helping my mom put together table favors for special events, and sewing curtains for the nursery with my mom and her friends.

From the time we got married my husband, Skip, and I have been involved in Awana. It's so fun to see "kids" that are now grown, and reminisce about them being in one of our Awana clubs. Today Skip is serving in Awana with a young man that used to be one of his clubbers! What a joy to be involved in the lives of these kids for eternity whether in Sunday school, Awana, nursery, Upward Basketball or some other ministry. 

Over a year ago my daughter expressed an interest in serving in Higher Grounds, the coffee shop at church.  We thought this might be a fun way to be able to serve together - and it has been.  She has also had the opportunity to learn some valuable job skills plus gain some real-world experience. Serving in Higher Grounds may not seem like it has eternal impact but we have been able to provide yummy drinks (and caffeine!) to church attendees and visitors to help them enjoy their day.  We've also had the opportunity to build relationships with the fabulous volunteers in the coffee shop and with those who regularly stop by.  Since people are eternal, working in the coffee shop does have eternal value!

Really, volunteering is just a way to be involved in the lives of others, to walk with them in life and to encourage them in their journey of faith - sharing in their joys, struggles and challenges.  Nothing could be more exciting than that!

--Karen Neill



Exploring Life's Greatest Questions about God

If you would like to sign up for this 4-week small group then all you have to do is fill out your name, email, phone number, and specify which time you prefer to attend the class. It’s that easy. For any questions, you can call the church at (503) 364-2285 and ask for Pastor Jeff.

Click this link to sign up for The God Questions Registration