Monday, January 3, 2011

"The Things You Quickly Forget"

 By the time you read this a new year is underway. 2010 is behind us, some of us have made new resolutions for the year ahead, and for the next several months I will still be writing 2010 whenever I put down the date. Coming off the high of the celebration of Christmas, we are filled with mixed emotions as we look at the year past while eyeing the possibilities of the year ahead. Many times while we move from season to season living our life at a hectic pace, we often miss the incredible accomplishments God has provided for us as a faith community as we lived out our vision and mission. As I look back on the last year, I have had the opportunity to be apart of some of God's greatest achievements. Listed is not about what I can do as a minister, but the awesome opportunity I have to get a front row seat to God's transformation. It is not about on person, one's career, or what I can get done but about the power of God. I have experienced many personal area's of growth, spent time in prayer, and tried to address the broken piece of me. Through it all I have experienced joy and pain, frustration and contentment, betrayal and love. I have realized life is not what I can accomplish but what God allows me to witness and be apart of is what truly matter the most. Here are a few things God has done at First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Centralia were I serve.
In 2010 we:
• Restructured our governing system to encourage ministry. Our new system places more emphasis on individuals and less on the administrated task of the church as an organization. This created Ministry Teams which empowers all members of FCC to take the initiative to get involve, create, and explore new ways to connect people to the love of Jesus Christ.
• We sent one of our own youth, Abby Henegar, to represent us in Honduras on a mission trip as she ministered in the name of Jesus Christ and First Christian Church.
• We created and implemented the Elder Shepherding program which allows the Elders to minister in a more concise, personal, and effective way. Each Elder can spend more time and attention to those they serve creating deeper meaningful relationships.
• We have provided 12 free Friendship Meals at Calumet Christian Church. Volunteers have feed and formed relationships with those in our community who are hungry physically and spiritually.
• We made Centralia Group Workcamp a reality. We hosted 408 people from all over the nation and three countries, which provided free home repair for 56 Centralia residents. The relationships that were formed, the hope that was instilled, and the love of God that was displayed in one week has changed our community forever.
• We provided over 500 pillows as a symbol of gratitude, blessing and remembrance to those who participated in Centralia Group Workcamp.
• We provided Christmas gifts for children and special needs adults. Through your generosity we provided hope, love, grace, and joy to those in our community who would go without.
• Through two massive food drives as well as contributions throughout the year, we have feed countless number of families in connection with the Food Bank.
• We created Fusion Worship an unprecedented accomplishment in any church. When churches routinely divide so they can offer two separate styles of worship, FCC consciously, prayerfully, and faithfully came together in unity. It was not about preference in worship styles but the different generations compromising, being flexible and unselfish for the greater good of the gospel and the future.
• As the vision grew, we created Kidz Zone. A place where younger children can grow in their faith during worship with an age appropriate ministry. A place they can feel loved and welcomed, and begin their relationship with Christ.
These are just a few accomplishments of 2010 we did as we lived out our vision of connecting people to the love of Jesus Christ. This does NOT account for the thousand of quiet individual ways in which you prayed, cared for, and reached out to others in the anonymity of you living out your faith. God has done some amazing awesome things through our faith community in the last year. We have been blessed to be ever growing, changing, and responding to God’s call in all we are and all we do. However, 2011 is upon us. I am thankful for what we have accomplished as Christ’s church but God’s has even more for us in the year to come. We all need to resolve to continue to give God our best, continue to grow in our relationship with Christ and one another, and open our selves to God’s possibilities as each of us are a blessing to others.
I hope to see you soon but until then take care of yourself and one another.

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