One of the realities of this COVID season is that we'll each be impacted uniquely. Even as we talk to different people within this church we're seeing it. Some are experiencing significantly reduced hours, others have had their jobs doubled. Lou Gregus, who helps organize our Side-by-Side Ministry dedicated to building bridges between our church and ministry in the community (and beyond), passed along a prayer that helps us remember how others might be faring in this season:
A Prayer for Our Uncertain Times - written by Fr. Michael Graham
May we who are merely inconvenienced remember those whose…
This new 2018 Operation Christmas Child video was filmed in Togo, a small country on the west coast of Africa. Many of our shoeboxes we packed last year were tracked to Togo and included a soccer ball and other items identical to the items in Kevin's shoebox. Through an Operation Christmas Child shoebox gift and The Greatest Journey discipleship program, God opened the hearts of Kevin and his family to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That's why we love Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes which are effective tools to not only reach children…
“We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done” (Psalm 78:4)
Each week dozens of men and women (and young men and women) give up hours of their Sunday morning to minister the Word of God to the next generation of the church. Why go to such effort? There are (at least) four reasons.
We are excited to tell you about an opportunity to get involved in our community through a ministry called Safe Families for Children. Safe Families is a volunteer ministry that exists to provide biblical hospitality, love, and support to families in crisis, largely through providing parents with safe places for their children to stay while they work to resolve whatever crises that they are experiencing, such as unemployment, homelessness, or financial difficulty. This ministry equips churches like ours to create support networks for desperate people in our community who have no one to turn to in times of crisis. They do this through creating teams of people to come alongside of these families in various roles. This is one of the really neat things about Safe Families - that there are many ways to be involved.
Last November our church members sponsored 100 Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes for boys ages 10 -14. OCC receives the least number of boxes for this particular group so we choose to focus solely on packing quality boxes that included school supplies, comb, soap, socks, small toys, and either a soccer ball and pump or a small tool kit. The Mike Noel Home Group hosted a packing party and all 100 boxes were registered to be tracked as to their final destination. So where did they go?
Sunday we looked at the shocking act of service Jesus did when he washed the feet of the disciples. We considered the marvel of God in Christ stooping to wash the dirty feet of creatures he had made, the humility of Jesus cleaning and drying the feet of Judas Iscariot, the one who would betray him.... And at the end we read through a set of questions to help us evaluate our own service of others.
On May 1, despite the threat of rain, Hand of Hope held a well attended Walk for Life and Run, Baby, Run race. This was their eleventh annual walk and second annual race.
Many folks from Sovereign Grace attended. If you ran in the race, you can find your results as follows. Thanks to a registration snafu, special congratulations are due to Luke Briley for an impressive performance for a 99-year-old! See below for some pictures from the event.
At the women's retreat this month Dorsey Jones shared on "Redemptive Works," those big and small things we do for others that can be an enormous encouragement and means of grace. During one part of her message she presented an excellent list of the kinds of things we can do for others. Let her ideas inspire you.
In June two of our families, the (Joby) Ruhls and the Greguses, went to the Agua Viva Children's Home in Guatemala. Here is a letter from the Ruhls.
Below is a family update and a praise report from our mission trip to Guatemala. We are continually grateful for the friendship and support from each of you as we walk through life together. We look forward to continued growth in our relationship with each one of you as we walk through life together here at our new "home" in NC.