Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Several have expressed their appreciation for the new One Quick Thought videos on the GCI website (www.gci.org/oqt). Many are using these short excerpts from our You’re Included interviews along with Speaking of Life as part of the weekly service.
Beginning today, another all-new, short program will be posting weekly as well – GCI Reflections (www.gci.org/category/series/gci-reflections). Through the eyes of GCI members, GCI Reflections will explore a wide variety of topics related to the Christian life and experience. I think you’re going to really enjoy both the variety and the opportunity to hear from members around the world in these short programs.
From Charles Fleming:
On the weekend of November 19-21, Randy Bloom and I were in Freeport, Grand Bahama, for a two-day conference on Church Multiplication. Robert McKinney, Senior Pastor for the Bahamas, along with four members from the Nassau church also flew in to join the 25 members of the Freeport congregation.
Randy led us in lively discussions of mission and church multiplication principles. The conference was timely, as the Freeport church recently took possession of some land on which they plan to construct a building. It was good to remember the reason God gives us property – for mission and multiplication.
A highlight of the weekend was the ordination of Calvin Parker, who pastors the Freeport congregation. Attendance almost doubled for the ordination service as a number of relatives and friends of the Parker family came for the occasion. Calvin and his wife Colleen have three children who, during the service, dedicated a song to their father and provided accompaniment on keyboards and drums during the worship service. It was special to experience the gifts and loving ministry of the Parker family, and to share the joy of the congregation.
From Pastor George Hart:
For the second year in a row Christ Community Church of Cincinnati reached out to the community around its church hall the Sunday before Thanksgiving with Thanksgiving meals. The meals included all the traditional Thanksgiving trimmings and a gift certificate for a turkey at a local grocery. The first year we collected enough items to put together 100 meals, but this year we set an ambitious goal of 150 meals. Not only did we reach the goal, but we exceeded it, in putting together 170 complete meals. After a shortened service, the congregation pitched in to put the meal packages together. We enjoyed a pizza dinner and delivered the meals to the community.
The area around the church hall is one of the lowest-income communities in the county, with many school-age children. The impact was tremendous. We received calls and cards not only from those who received the meals but from people who were aware of the outreach. In addition to reaching the local community, a number of members shared the meals with family members and neighbors in their own communities. Even after exceeding our goal, we were able to donate several hundred dollars of food supplies to a soup kitchen the congregation serves every month.
From Pastor Ted Milhuff:
Grace of God Fellowship in Tucson meets at an SDA church on Sunday afternoons. The Orthodox Presbyterian Church of Tucson meets there on Sunday mornings. A couple of months ago one of the GOGF members gave the Called To Be Free DVD to Pastor Crum of OPC.
Pastor Crum talked to me and asked if he could show the DVD to his congregation. We agreed, and on December 5 Pastor Tom Landess and my wife, Lila, and I joined OPC for some snacks and then watched the video.
The OPC congregation was quite interested. At the end of the video, Tom and I gave testimonies of how the changes had affected us personally and the effect on the entire congregation as their understanding was opened.
We ended with a Q&A session.
Eagle Rock, California
From Mat Morgan:
Teens of New Hope Christian Fellowship filled 77 shoeboxes with toys, toothbrushes, hair brushes, tooth paste, soap, shampoo, school supplies, crayons, coloring books, socks, blankets, candy and other necessities and surprises donated by the congregation for needy children in Mexico. After the teens were finished wrapping and filling the boxes, they prayed for the recipients, hoping that they would feel the love of Jesus through these gifts. The boxes are now on their way to Texas, where they will be combined with gifts from GCI congregations in Washington, DC, Tennessee, Big Sandy, Tyler, San Antonio and Longview, TX. SEP Rockies also contributed baby blankets. The gifts will be transported across the border on December 11 by Lee Berger, Director of Crossing Borders GenMin camp; Pedro and Consuela Orduno; San Antonio Pastor, Rodney Schuler; Barbara Miller and approximately 15 other volunteers. The gifts will be distributed to Casa Hagar Douglas children’s home, and Blanca Navidad and Los Artistes, pallet cities in Nuevo Laredo. Please pray for the safety of those traveling to deliver these packages and that the message of hope in Christ will also be delivered through their gifts and words.
Remember that prayer is the battleground where we fight the good fight of faith. Let’s encourage everyone to join together in prayer, for we belong to Christ, and by the Spirit it is in Christ that we pray. Prayer and other spiritual activities help keep our hearts in tune with God and remind us of who we are in Christ. He is our all in all, and in him we are eternally beloved of the Father and blessed to share his good news with others.
Love from my family to yours,