Saturday, August 29, 2015

Victory News - Work Well Done



This is how everyone feels after a long day's work...after taking a shower that is!

Which is harder to do?

To be content? - To be content in the present with whatever God provides for you without complaining, craving something else, or stirring up conflict? 

Or…

To be expectant? - To trust that God is more than able to provide you in the future with whatever you need beyond whatever you could ask or imagine?

Truthfully, they both can be pretty difficult, can't they? Well this Sunday as we continue our series Leading Questions we’ll see that we’re not the only ones who are tempted to wrestle with things like this. And so God would actually have us ponder a very important question. It’s the same one he once asked Moses. And this is what we’ll spend our time talking about and applying to ourselves this coming Sunday.

“Is the Lord’s arm too short?” (Numbers 11:23a) 

Hint: It’s not!

Than You Builders! It’s kind of hard to believe but the end of the summer for some of our Builders For Christ volunteers is upon us and there are a couple ways we'd like to thank them and send them on their way with God’s blessings till we meet again. First of all, this Sunday at church in the Showtime Cinema lobby our Victory Cafe will have a special spread of goodies in their honor. Please join us at church this Sunday to show thanks to these wonderful people who have devoted a summer to building our ministry center, and more importantly to doing God's work so faithfully and so well!

Daryle and Velma Larson...you are a hard working dynamic duo! God's blessings on your trip home to South Dakota.
Hymn Sing – Also this coming Monday evening we’ll be hosting an informal sing-along for our Builders For Christ volunteers inside the worship space of our new ministry center. We’ll have a simple set for some of our musicians and we'll play some favorite hymns. The intent is for folks to be able to sing along, maybe even break into some four part harmony. We'll have an ice cream sundae bar and some treats. If you'd like to join us, please bring your own lawn chair. Park on the shoulder of Loomis or pull into the entrance and park on the flat area to the left of the drive. Show up any time 6-7:30 pm. Please feel free to invite anyone you know from the area who volunteered on site or supported their efforts. 

A Couple Weddings – Congratulations to Andy and Alison who are renewing their marriage vows today as well as Jim and Sarah who are getting married tomorrow! God's rich blessings to you on your life journey together with the Lord.

Confirmation Class Parent Meeting Our Confirmation Class is designed for 6th-9th graders. This course breaks down into a 3 year revolving curriculum. This means that students can join at the beginning of any new school year and receive the full course without having to wait around or catch up. For the remainder of 2015, the class will be held during the 9:09am church service in the party room of Showtime Cinema usually 2 times a month from September to May. The 2016 schedule could change when, God willing, we open the door to our new church building. 

For those of you returning or those of you enrolling for the first time, please email Jon Brown-Schmidt or Pastor Ben so we can get you signed up.  If you have any questions, please feel free to pass those along as well.  

Also take note that there is a parent meeting this Sunday, August 30 @ 8:30am in the Showtime party room before church. Here we will hand out a schedule and discuss the expectations for the next year. If you have a child in confirmation class please make plans to attend if possible. 

Looking Ahead – Despite a few recent setbacks we’re still on track to be in our ministry center building when it’s completed sometime mid-late November. What follows a snapshot of our plan for making the transition into our own building:

September/October: We’ll be sharing our vision for more volunteers to participate in the joy of serving in each of our specific areas of ministry.

Mid-Late November: Ministry Center completion and occupancy. Begin Sunday worship upon occupancy. Possibly have some sort of Thanksgiving celebration service. Will begin right off the bat with two services on Sunday mornings: one service at 9 am, the other at 10:45 am. Kids ministry will occur during both services. We will promote a “worship one, work one” culture so that all our volunteers have an opportunity now to worship during an entire service every week.

December: Continue working out the kinks in our new building as we worship there on Sundays and look forward to Christmas. Hold Christmas Eve service(s)! Times TBD.

January 10: Tentative date for a special dedication service where we would invite area churches to attend and celebrate with us (potentially in the afternoon). Send special postcard mailing for sermon series “All Things New” for Sundays throughout January along with new location information and a heads-up about Grand Opening in March.

March 20 (Palm Sunday): Tentative date for a special community-wide Grand Opening service along with other open house events during the week to invite our community. Send special postcard mailing, invite door to door, and promote Grand Opening via social media, email, and by all means possible.

March 27: Easter (It’s really early this year!). Plan special welcome for guests and potentially other Easter related family activities.

 
Help Build Kayla’s Playground! Our community friends from Kayla's Krew need our help building Kayla's Playground. This is a great way to show Christ’s love and volunteer alongside lots of people from our local community. Sign up to help next week with the Pre-Build (September 2-4) and the Community Build (September 22-27).   

Bible Study Every Sunday morning at 8:09 we have Bible study either in theater #6 before worship. Come right in and learn with us!

Last Sunday’s Sermon you can find archived right here on our website. I had a lot of positive feedback on this message, especially if you or anyone you know has been struggling with feelings of insecurity, shame, or guilt. Check it out!  

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Friday, August 21, 2015

Victory News - Moving Along



Hymn-sing with the Builders For Christ volunteers. What better place than a garage?

“Shush, Satan!”

“Be quiet, Beelzebub!”

“Here’s a zipper, Guilt-Tripper!”

What can you say when you feel insecure, ashamed, or relentlessly accused? Sunday we’re going to apply an insight from the Bible that I believe has the potential to positively impact everything in your life. I can’t wait to share what I think is one of the amazing truths that makes Christianity so special and unique. I’m praying Sunday that God opens the eyes of someone’s heart perhaps even for the first time to see themselves from a brand new perspective—God’s.

If you or anyone you know has been struggling with feelings of insecurity, join me Sunday as we begin a short new series that I’ve planned called Leading Questions. For a sneak peek, read ahead of time the scene we’ll be studying found in Zechariah 3:1-5.

Welcome Caleb Schultz –This Sunday we will be welcoming our new student assistant from the Seminary for the next 9 months. Caleb Schultz will be installed in the service and I’m sure we’ll have a special welcome for him in the lobby. Caleb is fresh off of coming back from Georgia where he served as a vicar. Now he’s back for his final year of studying at the Seminary while also serving part-time at VotL. He’ll be helping teach confirmation class, preaching, playing with the band, and otherwise pitching in to help me out in all kinds of places as needed. I’m really looking forward to working with him the next couple months.

Moving Center Transition – This week about 25 leaders, coordinators, and volunteers from our church met here at the parsonage to begin making plans for moving into our Ministry Center upon its completion. Right now we’re still on track for our ministry center building to be completed mid-November.

Here’s a brief summary. I’ll be unpacking more info about every one of these things week by week as we look ahead to the big transition!

Mid-November: Ministry Center completion and occupancy. Tentatively begin worshiping at the new ministry center around November 22nd or 29th TBD. Possibly have some sort of Thanksgiving celebration in our own place. Will begin right off the bat with two services on Sunday mornings: one service at 9 am, the other at 10:45 am. Kids ministry will occur during both services. We will promote a “worship one, work one” culture so that all our volunteers have an opportunity now to worship during an entire service every week.

December: Continue working out the kinks in our new building as we worship there on Sundays and look forward to Christmas. Hold Christmas Eve service(s)! Times TBD.

January 10: Tentative date for a special dedication service where we would invite area churches to attend and celebrate with us (potentially in the afternoon). Send special postcard mailing for sermon series “All Things New” for Sundays throughout January along with new location information and a heads-up about Grand Opening in March.

March 20 (Palm Sunday): Tentative date for a special community-wide Grand Opening service along with other open house events during the week to invite our community. Send special postcard mailing, invite door to door, and promote Grand Opening via social media, email, and by all means possible.

March 27: Easter (It’s really early this year!). Plan special welcome for guests and potentially other Easter related family activities.

"We're #1...wait, I mean...One more window!"

Awake and Alive Recap – I had a great time talking about what it means that we are part of God’s family last Sunday evening. Check out this recap video for a taste of what this ministry for 81-25 year olds is all about. 

Help Build Kayla’s Playground! Our community friends from Kayla's Krew need our help building Kayla's Playground. This is a great way to show Christ’s love and volunteer alongside lots of people from our local community. Sign up to help with the Pre-Build (September 2-4) and the Community Build (September 22-27). 

Confirmation Class Meeting Our Confirmation Class is designed for 6th-9th graders. This course breaks down into a 3 year revolving curriculum. This means that students can join at the beginning of any new school year and receive the full course without having to wait around or catch up. For the remainder of 2015, the class will be held during the 9:09am church service in the party room of Showtime Cinema usually 2 times a month from September to May. The 2016 schedule could change when, God willing, we open the door to our new church building. 

For those of you returning or those of you enrolling for the first time, please email Jon Brown-Schmidt or Pastor Ben so we can get you signed up.  If you have any questions, please feel free to pass those along as well.  

Also take note that there is a parent meeting next Sunday, August 30 @ 8:30am in the Showtime party room before church. Here we will hand out a schedule and discuss the expectations for the next year. If you have a child in confirmation class please make plans to attend if possible.

Helping the Builders – Food Donations Needed. There are still opportunities especially now as we enter August to donate meals, snacks, and supplies. Go directly to the page via this link or contact Lori Stankiewicz.

Bible Study Every Sunday morning at 8:09 we have Bible study either in theater #6 before worship. Come right in and learn with us!

Last Sunday’s Sermon you can find archived right here on our website.  
Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Victory News - Reasons to Celebrate


Me and "Mr. Bill" who is one of our Builders For Christ volunteers

"The sound of rejoicing in Jerusalem could be heard far away” (Nehemiah 12:43).

The people of Nehemiah’s day had good reasons to celebrate. But so do we! This Sunday I’ll be taking us to the end of our summer journey through the Bible book of Nehemiah. That’s right, no more Nehemiah this summer after Sunday (but come on now, that’s not one of our reasons to celebrate!). 

I’ll be talking about the reasons that we too—every single one of us—have to praise God… and not just with our lips, but with our hearts and our lives. 

Nehemiah Q and A – As I look ahead to wrapping up our Nehemiah series on Sunday, I invite you to email or text me any questions that you might have lingering in your mind. I’ll take a couple minutes after my sermon to address them in a Q and A session or give some time to them post-service via my blog.    

Construction Site Cookout – This Thursday (tomorrow), I’ll be bringing my grill and cooking brats for our Builders For Christ volunteers and any of you who would like to join us. Stop by anytime after 5 pm, join the party, and check out the progress on our building while you’re there. Just park alongside Loomis Rd and wend your way back to the shed behind our ministry center where the Builders For Christ campground is too. I’ll be there I’m guessing at least until 7:30 or so.

These massive windows took a lot of work!
Awake and Alive – Know someone in the 18-25 season of life??? Perhaps someone heading off to college? Invite them to attend the Awake and Alive summer gathering this Sunday, August 16th. It's going to be an inspirational evening geared specifically for 18-25 year olds. Check out the website for more details. I’ll be giving the talk and leading the discussion on the topic “Not alone.”

Help Build Kayla’s Playground! Our community friends from Kayla's Krew need our help building Kayla's Playground. This is a great way to show Christ’s love and volunteer alongside lots of people from our local community. Sign up to help with the Pre-Build (September 2-4) and the Community Build (September 22-27).  
Nehemiah Series –Catch up with our sermon series via our website sermon series page. Simply scroll down to watch the week(s) you missed or download a printed pdf of just the sermon. 

Main entrance with those awesomely huge south facing windows to the left
Confirmation Class Meeting Our Confirmation Class is designed for 6th-9th graders. This course breaks down into a 3 year revolving curriculum. This means that students can join at the beginning of any new school year and receive the full course without having to wait around or catch up. For the remainder of 2015, the class will be held during the 9:09am church service in the party room of Showtime Cinema usually 2 times a month from September to May. The 2016 schedule could change when, God willing, we open the door to our new church building. 

For those of you returning or those of you enrolling for the first time, please email Jon Brown-Schmidt or Pastor Ben so we can get you signed up.  If you have any questions, please feel free to pass those along as well.  

Also take note that there is a parent meeting on Sunday, August 30 @ 8:30am in the Showtime party room before church. Here we will hand out a schedule and discuss the expectations for the next year. If you have a child in confirmation class please make plans to attend if possible. 

Helping the Builders – Food Donations Needed. There are still opportunities especially now as we enter August to donate meals, snacks, and supplies. Go directly to the page via this link or contact Lori Stankiewicz.

Bible Study Every Sunday morning at 8:09 we have Bible study either in theater #6 or #5 (depending on movie times) before worship. Come right in and learn with us!

Last Sunday’s Sermon you can find archived right here on our website.  

Sharing Christ’s Victory,

Pastor Ben