We hope you enjoy our new Weekly Update. We continue to make improvements based upon your suggestions, including the new archives feature, which makes it easy to find past articles (see the link above). Thanks for the suggestions.
We email Weekly Update to our pastors in the U.S., and our Mission Developers and National Directors elsewhere. We encourage them individually to forward the email to others. Weekly Update can then be viewed by all at update.gci.org/. You may wish to link that site on your social media (such as FaceBook). Let’s share the good news of what God is doing!
This issue of Weekly Update contains the following:
A prayer update on Marj Friddle and a new prayer request for John and Naomi Biswas who, with Rand Holm, were in a multi-car accident (thankfully, they all are OK!).
May you realize God’s blessings! And remember that prayer is the battleground where we fight the good fight of faith.
Love from my family to yours,
We received many comments on last week’s video about the 87 churches that joined us in Mozambique, Africa. Here is another video, narrated by Tim Maguire, the GCI National Leader for southern Africa:
GCI-Canada: Camp Connections
Camp Connections, a GCI-Canada camp, just completed its sixth year. This year the camp had two sessions, held at Providence Point, in Lanark, Ontario. Campers come from Ontario, Quebec and New York.
The camp welcomed Pastor Dennis Lawrence for a couple of days. Dennis (pictured at far right), who co-directs the camp with his wife Lynn Lawrence, was unable to attend full time due to health issues.
The camp’s creative staff invented several fun activities. One was a “clue” game where the theme was that the Ontario Camping Association was coming to do their inspection and the “Director” felt the best way to pass was to have questionable campers disappear! It was great fun. However, the most enjoyed activity was the camp chapels, featuring a wonderful worship band. Chapel messages followed the “Living Loved” curriculum developed by GCI-USA Generations Ministries. Each camp session ended with a banquet, awards ceremony and bonfire. Special recognition was made of the loss this year of one of our strongest camp supporters, John Ferlatte.
Los Angeles satellite church plant
The following report is from Heber Ticas, District Pastor of Spanish speaking congregations in Southern California. It concerns the starting of a new church in Los Angeles as a satellite congregation of Comunion De Gracia, the GCI congregation that Heber pastors in San Fernando, CA.
Over the last three months God’s grace has been evident, as we have seen traction in the development of our new satellite church. God has blessed us with a dedicated leadership team that includes the Panamenos and Palacios families. Tony and Becky Panameno are talented musicians, and Enoc and Lourdes Palacios have pastoral experience. Enoc is a great preacher and Lourdes has worked with the Awana children’s ministry program for many years. These two couples have embraced our vision for kingdom expansion through church planting. They have joined with Jose Felipe Escalante and David Chicas (both from my district) in getting acquainted with my congregation and thus acquiring our “spiritual DNA.” Since our focus group in Los Angeles is similar to that of our “mother” church in San Fernando, we hope to replicate the good things that we have done in and through the mother.
Altogether, seven families have committed to the new satellite church: four recruited from outside my congregation and three from within. I have also given the green light to another three families that are attending in San Fernando, but live closer to the new satellite. Overall, we plan to launch with about 50-70 people in attendance (including six families that will be involved for only six months to help give us critical mass).
Our first preview worship service will be held on August 28 and a second one on September 25. On October 23, we plan an official launch with a grand opening service. Two small groups are already up and running in the focus group area, and are bearing fruit. A third one about 10 miles further south includes a family that already commutes to the San Fernando church. Our seven committed families are also in conversation with their unchurched friends and families living within a 15 mile radius.
We continue to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in all that we do, and ask others to join us in prayer.
Cross-generational youth ministry
For the last several decades, many churches have conducted youth ministry by putting teens into classes and events that are separate from adults (including their parents). However, the results suggest that this approach has not worked: A very high percentage of teens leave the church when they leave home. And so churches are seeking ways to include youth with adults in the life of the larger church. They are finding that a cross-generational (sometimes referred to as an “intergenerational”) approach works best.
For a helpful Sticky Faith video showing what cross-generational youth ministry looks like, watch this:
Base Camp in middle Tennessee
Base Camp, the Generations Ministries camp in middle Tennessee, was held recently in Nathan Bedford Forrest State Park near Eva. Dual themes of Pandamania and Living Loved brought a wonderful spirit of unity to the camp.
The camp had several traditional activities and some new ones, including “Marshmallow Mania” where campers shot each other with marshmallows using specially assembled and decorated shooters.
Though we plan to be at the same location in 2012, we are looking for another facility to accommodate growth and a wider variety of activities.
Here is a video report:
Update on Marj Friddle
The following update concerning Marj Friddle is from her husband Jim:
Marj went in for a routine colonoscopy Monday, August 15. The doctor found a colon mass just above the appendix. This was a shock since there were no symptoms of a problem.
She was immediately hospitalized and scheduled for surgery on Tuesday. The doctor removed more than a foot of her colon plus her appendix and was well pleased with the outcome of the operation. She was in ICU until Friday night when she was moved to a room. She was placed on solid food on Sunday evening. I stayed with her most of the time she was in the hospital.
Marj was released from the hospital on Tuesday, August 23. We got the pathology report right before leaving. IT IS GOOD NEWS! The mass was definitely colon cancer and it was contained in the part of the colon which was removed. The surgeon removed 12 lymph nodes and all were clear! His recommendation is that no further treatment is needed. He also recommends another colonoscopy in one year and contact with an oncologist in case he might want to do blood work or other tests during the coming year.
We love all of you deeply and appreciate your prayers, love, concern, cards and e-mails.
Cards may be sent to:
Mrs. Marjorie Friddle
7404 Stillwater Dr
Bayonet Point, FL 34667-2293
John and Naomi Biswas and Rand Holm in car accident
GCI pastor Rand Holm asks that we pray for Dr. John and Naomi Biswas. They were on their way to Rand’s congregation in Ventura, CA to give an update on their work with the Bengali Evangelistic Association (which John leads). As they travelled by car, they were rear ended and pushed forward into another car being driven by Rand. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries, however John and Naomi were shaken up and her right leg still hurts.
See you at the pole on Sept. 28
“Converge” is the theme for See You at the Pole 2011 (www.syatp.org/). This annual global day of student prayer is scheduled for September 28 at schools across the United States and in many other countries.