Monthly Archives: October 2009

Praying for another great year

Today marks the end of “early registration” for Upward Basketball and Cheerleading. Registration officially ends Nov. 16 and we hope to register many more children before then. Please join us in praying that God would continue to grow our ministry and bring us lots of families that need to hear the good news of the Gospel.

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I hope you?ll join the excitement and find some way that you can help make Upward a success this year. There?s plenty of ways to get involved.

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Advertising (grab brochures or a yard sign & spread the word)
?Prayer Team
?Basketball Coach (or assistant)
?Cheerleading Coach (or assistant)
?Referee
?Concession Stand Worker
?Awards Program
?Player Evaluations
?Game Day Set up or Clean up

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If you are interested in joining the Upward team this year, I?d love to hear from you.

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Grace,
?Chris

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Thoughts from Sunday…

Sunday morning was so cool. I loved sitting there and watching our congregation serving each other during our time of communion. What a striking visual it was to see children serving the elderly, 1st time visitors serving old time attenders, boomers serving teenagers, Bears fans serving Packer fans!

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That is the church at its best. Humbly serving each other – our common bond being our faith in Jesus Christ. Communion reminds us of the level playing field we all are on. It is not about personal merit or individual achievement. We serve each other – we see each other as family – because of the mercy and grace of God exhibited in the death of Christ.

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It is such a privilege and joy to be a part of the ACC family.

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Peace,
?Dave

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Glory To God Forever

As a worship leader, I always love hearing some of the story behind how a song was written or how it came about. Earlier this year, Steve Fee and his band wrote a song called “Glory To God Forever” – and I remember the moment I first heard it thinking, “We have to do this song at ACC!”

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I love this song because it focuses on the idea that no matter who we are or what we do, God can take our lives and use them in massive ways for His glory. We?ve been singing this song at ACC a lot lately – in fact, we?re singing it this Sunday. Let?s be reminded by this song to offer whatever we have to God, and let Him use it for His honor and glory.

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Here?s a video from Steve that talks about the meaning behind the song.

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Enjoy,

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~Scott

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Our Kentucky Adventure

I am dragging just a bit today, having just returned last night from our brief but intense mission trip to southeastern Kentucky. It was a very good experience. God led us and provided for us at every turn. He stretched us – got us out of our comfort zones – to rely upon Him to do ministry. We learned a lot.

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A few miscellaneous thoughts and observations:

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•?I was incredibly proud of our team. They worked very hard. They fully engaged in whatever we were doing. They never complained and were intentional to be encouraging to others. They allowed God to use them and as we served alongside each other we bonded big time – the unity and laughter was so enjoyable! Our team included: Dawn Anama, Phil Beneda, Ray & Jamie Demich, Lynn Diers, Brion Kendzora, Judy Kristan, Bob Kuzmanic, Kris Milashus, Jim & Su Ray and me.

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•?We were serving in Harlan, a small mining town that has been devastated by unemployment, poverty and substance abuse. These folks are used to a hardscrabble life. Many have lost fathers, husbands and sons in mining accidents. There is a palatable sense of hopelessness and despair.

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•?Harlan is definitely in the Bible belt so there is no shortage of churches – over 500 in Harlan County – but most are very small – averaging 10-20 attenders on Sunday mornings. The churches are fragmented, isolated and seem to have little impact on their environment.

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•?We spent two mornings building relationships with folks at an adult daycare facility. There was a wide variety of people there including the physically / mentally disabled and the elderly. When first walking in it was pretty intimidating and overwhelming – but quickly we discovered that they were just people – lonely, hurting people in need of a kind touch, a listening ear and a warm smile. They ended up blessing us more than we blessed them!

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•?Afternoons were spent helping to rehab a local church. We did a lot of interior painting – the before and after photos were dramatic! Bob and Phil constructed new exterior stairs to the second floor doorway – those stairs will be standing even after the building collapses!

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•?We took time to read God’s word. We prayed together. We had awesome times of sharing during our team debriefing meetings. We sensed God’s presence and his working in and through us.

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I’m sorry you missed it – it was a fantastic trip. In 2010 we are hoping to schedule at least one, if not two, adult mission trips. Such experiences are life-changing. I hope and pray you will join us next year!

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Thanks so much for praying for us. Plan to join us this Sunday, October 25 as we share a few of our stories in our worship services.

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Peace,
?Dave

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Faith in Action Slideshow

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Happy Friday, everyone!

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At the Celebration Service this past Sunday evening, we showed a highlight slideshow of photos taken of all the work sites. Thanks to Brion and Carla for driving to all the different sites and snapping pictures, and to Kristen for putting the slideshow together.

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Enjoy!

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~Scott

It Doesn?t Get Much Better…

I hope you didn’t miss it! October 11 was Faith in Action Sunday here at ACC and it was an exciting, powerful, blessed, high energy day!

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Allow me to do a quick recap for you:

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•?We began the day at 9AM in our auditorium with a brief “pep rally”. We were challenged by the words of Christ upon washing his disciples feet when he said, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (John 13:15) We are very much like Christ when we choose to serve others. We also dedicated our day of service to the memory of our dear friend Allan Wood.

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•?We sent 6 teams to 6 different grocery stores (Harvest Fresh, Trader Joe’s, 2 Garden Fresh and 2 Dominick’s) to handout flyers and collect food donations for the Wheeling Township food pantry. Sunday morning shoppers responded most generously!

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•?We sent 12 teams into 12 different neighborhoods surrounding our church to collect food donations door-to-door. It was a lot of walking and door knocking but everyone worked hard (many with kids, wagons and strollers in tow) and again the people of our community responded to the needs of the hungry in a very generous way.

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•?9 teams swooped down upon the homes of the elderly needing assistance in a wide variety of chores: window washing, yard work, cleaning out gutters, minor repairs and so on. In all that activity – only one injury (We hope your broken rib heals quickly Bill!). They were so very appreciative of all the help.

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•?A prayer team led by Dale Hugo stayed behind and gave us the prayer support always needed when doing God’s work.

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•?We wrapped up the day with a 5PM Celebration Service in our gym. Scott and the worship team led us in some awesome worship and praise along with some great testimonies of how the experience impacted various people. We rejoiced in learning that we had collected over 2,840 food items.

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•?Finally, we thoroughly enjoyed the fellowship around our tables as we snarfed some amazing Nino’s pizza. Many hands made light work as we eventually broke it all down and cleaned up the gym – the end of a long but very rewarding day.

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If you missed it – don’t despair! You can join us on the 2nd Sunday in October 2010!

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In the meantime – Our desire should be to make serving others a lifestyle choice – not just an event! Good job ACC.

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Peace,
?Dave

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Faith in Action

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This Sunday is our 2nd Annual Be the Church: Faith in Action event. Instead of having Sunday morning services, we will be out in the community doing various service projects and collecting food for the Wheeling Township Food Pantry. Our goal is not necessarily to promote our church, but rather to serve our community.

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One of the things I love the most about Faith in Action Sunday is that it provides an opportunity for our church to meet some of the tangible needs of our community. It gives us an opportunity to love and serve the people around us. I know these are things we strive for everyday as a church, but the chance for our entire church to join hands and work alongside each other is tremendously powerful.

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We had a great turn out last year and are hoping for an even better one this year. I hope you?ll make plans to join us this Sunday 10/11 from 9am-12pm. We?ll have a celebration service along with a pizza dinner at 5pm Sunday evening.

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Grace,
?Chris

Being A Change Agent

When Jesus healed a man who had been an invalid for 38 years he demonstrated that change is possible even when it seems impossible! Jesus is in the business of changing lives but he has charged us to be change agents as well! Looking at his example from John 5:1-9, let me give you two suggestions for being an agent of change in your world:

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•?TAKE TIME TO NOTICE NEEDS

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It’s really pretty easy to blow right by people as we run through our busy day without ever noticing those hurting around us. Jesus took time – he stopped – he noticed – and it led to a life-changing encounter.

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Yesterday evening I took my trash container out to the street when I saw a neighbor standing on his front sidewalk – it was chilly, I was tired, but I decided to ask him how he was doing. For the next hour I listened to a man express deep personal pain. Wow! Not what I expected. As we turned to go back to our homes – with tears in his eyes – he thanked me for listening and caring. It would have been so easy for this conversation to have never taken place.

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Jesus took time for people. We should too.

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•?TAKE THE INITIATIVE IN RELATIONSHIPS

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Why was Jesus at the pool of Bethesda in the first place? Surely he knew it was like a ghetto for the outcasts of their society – filled with needy people. I believe Jesus was intentional – he went there to engage with others as his Father led him. Notice that Jesus approached him – not vice-versa. Jesus took the initiative to help this man.

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We seldom run short of excuses for why we don’t get involved with others: I might get dirty – I’m too busy – It’s too dangerous – What if they get emotionally attached to me? – If I help this one, I’ll have to help them all. Yet we see Jesus setting the example for us – engaging others with love and kindness.

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I believe God wants us to bring change to our world – it begins by us noticing and initiating. Let’s do that and see how God uses us!

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Peace,
?Dave

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P.S. I’m looking forward to Faith in Action this Sunday, October 11. I hope you will join us at 9AM as we infiltrate our community with the purpose of humbly serving.

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